Please note: The couple who are the focus of today’s show and their friends seem to be some of the nicest people in the world. In no way is this recap meant to be critical of them or their guests.
Today the Antichef asks us to suspend disbelief, sit back, and watch as she prepares food for 50 people in 22 minutes. For the second time in a month, Ree pimps out her former babysitter for script material. She never once mentions how labor intensive this endeavor was and the fact that to pull this off as she describes it, would have required tons of behind-the-scenes help. We already know from Twitter and Instagram that Tulsa party planners Talmadge Powell Creative were hired to create the “country casual” theme and decorate Ree’s stunt kitchen. Ree’s sister-in-law Missy prepared the gorgeous cupcakes, bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers and mashed potatoes, a fact Ree mentions numerous times. What we found particularly odd about this episode, billed as a family affair, was the absence of Ree’s daughters.
The show starts with Ree saying she and Missy are co-hosting an engagement party. She and Missy prepare different parts of the party menu which includes prime rib, asparagus and peas, whiskey glazed carrots, mashed potatoes and appetizers, stuffed mushrooms, bacon-wrapped jalapenos and bacon-wrapped shrimp. As the show opens, the Antichef, adorned with hair extensions and an English chintz shirtain, tells the audience about their love for Haley and how this is going to be an Osage County celebration.
Ree says she’s making a “really scrumptious” herb rub for the prime rib. She starts with 2 cups of olive oil, some crushed garlic and so little salt and pepper, you’d think she was preparing it for a couple of steaks. We see later that she roasts 2 huge prime ribs, we’re guessing 10-12 lbs. each. Using such small amounts of salt and pepper wouldn’t even make a dent in the seasoning. As she adds the garlic to the food processor, she makes damn sure to mention she crushed it first. Why? Could it be the ribbing she got over her Today Show appearance, the one where she didn’t have a clue how to cook with garlic and told Meredith Viera how it makes her feel “all urban.”
After loading one oven with 20 lbs. of beef–she has multiple ovens after all–and certainly could have roasted these slabs in separate ovens, Ree moves on to the whiskey-glazed carrots, a recipe from her first crookbook, one probably lifted from the local church ladies and no doubt updated by a paid chef. Ree says she has a “whole bunch” of carrots–shown overflowing in one of Ree’s green Mason Cash freebies–and claims she peeled and cut them into rough pieces. She says she’s going to saute them until they brown. Again, she could have thrown these in one of her multiple ovens and roasted them to achieve the desired results and intensify the flavors.
While Ree sautés 20 pounds of carrots, she says this is a good time to tell us about Haley. Hell, why rush things Ree? You never bothered to tell the audience much about her during your restaurant supply show which you cleverly disguised as a shopping spree for
yourself Haley’s shower gift. Why not string everyone along until the couple’s silver anniversary?
After Ree browns the carrots, she removes them to yet another Mason Cash bowl so she can prepare the whiskey sauce. While Jack Daniels deglazes the pan, Ree describes how they decided on a “country casual” theme, making the transformation of her stunt kitchen sound so damn easy breezy. At least Ina Garten credits the people she hires to decorate for her events. As the camera pans over chafing dishes, flowers, napkins and silverware, Ree mentions the “plates.” Referring to your Herend and Villeroy & Boch china as plates sounds just a tad déclassé Ree.
We’re back to the stunt kitchen, where Ree apologizes for adding 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of brown sugar to the whiskey sauce. Why apologize, she overuses butter and sugar every week. After adding the carrots, she says she’s going to cook them for about 5 minutes. Next she walks over to the oven where the slabs of beef are roasting and demonstrates how to reduce the temperature. Hope everyone DVR’d this—it’s important to know how to turn your oven down.
After a commercial break, it’s back to the Antichef preparing bacon-wrapped shrimp and brie-stuffed mushrooms. Wait, isn’t Missy preparing bacon-wrapped jalapenos? To a pound of butter, Ree adds a quarter cup of chili powder and starts brushing half the mixture on peeled, deveined and skewered shrimp. She puts them in the oven, ostensibly hours before the party. Shrimp cooks pretty quickly so why would you do this step hours ahead of time? Ree gets around the reheating question by saying the shrimp can be served room temperature. Hmmmm, don’t know about you Ree, but we prefer our oven roasted shrimp a teensy bit warmer. Seriously, how hard would it be for the paid catering staff to pop those babies in the oven right before the guests arrive?
Next, she moves to the brie-stuffed mushrooms. She melts more butter and adds another “good amount” of chopped parsley and a “whole bunch” of minced garlic. When she adds the wine, she repeats the same wine diatribe she’s been using for eleventy billion years, “oh, I need to take a moment to savor this” and then laughs at her own joke. She goes to the refrigerator and removes the already prepped mushrooms telling the audience how she, Ree, cleaned all these earlier in the day. Yeah right. She puts the mushrooms in the same oven where the shrimp are baking. Why? The oven next to it isn’t being used.
During this implausible set up, Ree never mentions the poor schmucks who actually peeled, deveined and skewered all the shrimp and cleaned all those mushrooms. Trust us, you don’t wake up one morning, attach some hair extensions, throw on a $300 shirtain, apply make-up and prepare food for 50 to be served the same day. After Ree puts the mushrooms in the oven, she says she’s leaving to get dressed for the party. What a load of bullshit. What about all the decorations Ree, the ones shown earlier in the show which are nowhere to be seen at this point?
We see a brief scene of Missy’s house–her place is gorgeous by the way–who’s loading up the car with her daughter. All too quickly, it’s back to the Antichef who has changed into her party shirtain, jeans and boots, plus her hair has been Ree-styled. The stunt kitchen, however, still looks the same, no country casual theme going on yet.
Okay, raise your hand if you get all dressed for a party, go back to the kitchen, minus an apron, and start cleaning 10 pounds of asparagus. That’s exactly what Ree wants you to believe as they cut back to the stunt kitchen where she says she’s preparing roasted asparagus with peas and lemon salt. So, let’s get this straight, first you dress up for your party in jeans, cowboy boots and a blue shirtain. Then you do your hair and go back to the kitchen to clean asparagus, mix them with olive oil and then zest 12 lemons? Oh right, sure you do if you’re Ree. You see, this helps achieve the dirtied-up shirtain so you can post about it on Facebook and bemoan how your clothes were grease-splattered, all in the name of show promotion. Oh, boo hoo Ree, shame on you for not packing a back-up shirtain.
After a commercial, it’s back to the stunt kitchen which was magically transformed to the country casual look during the break. Our retinas burn as we see a full-frontal of the Antichef’s party attire. Cowboy boots Ree? Good lord woman, don’t you own a nice pair of Chrisitan Louboutins or maybe some stylish flats?
As Ree removes the lid from the carrots, she states she was warming them up, when in fact they’re boiling. By the time she serves these, they’ll have the consistency of mush. Next they cut to scenes of the various serving dishes, now full of food. Of course, what we don’t see are the people who actually filled the chafing dishes and painstakingly arranged the appetizer platters.
We see Missy’s lovely jalapeno poppers on display. One problem, which we mentioned earlier, the jalapenos are wrapped in bacon just like the shrimp appetizers. Seems a bit impractical to serve two appetizers wrapped in bacon. Next, it’s back to the real star of this party, Ree, who’s now showing us how she prepared horseradish sauce earlier in the day. The recipe includes prepared horseradish, sour cream, mustard and whipping cream—the same recipe available on the back of the horseradish bottle.
The guests begin arriving but are required to park in a nearby field. We see the lovely couple, holding hands, walking through ankle length grass. Haley has on a pair of gorgeous stilettos and gets into an ATV being driven by one of the Drummond kids. Why couldn’t the guests of honor park outside the stunt kitchen? Oh yeah, the film crew got those prime spots so they could load up their equipment after the party. We see more scenes of guests, most of whom dressed appropriately for the occasion, being shuttled to the party down a dusty, gravel road in an ATV. By the time these people got to the party, they probably needed showers and insect repellant.
Now for the conundrum of the day: why would you invite 50 people for dinner, but not provide enough tables and chairs for them? From what we could see, there was one, lone table for a few lucky guests while the rest were forced to sit on sofas and chairs balancing plates of food on their laps. Food, by the way, that required forks and knives to consume making it quite awkward to eat unless you were seated at the lone table. Ree served roast beef sliced so thick, guests needed a table just to cut their portions into bite size pieces.
For the last scene of a show full of menu screw-ups, no extra tables and chairs, poor parking arrangements and atrocious editing, Ree shows us, in less than a minute, how she assembled labor-intensive chocolate truffles. Forget that Missy already made some divine looking chocolate cupcakes, Ree’s adding her take on chocolate. Too bad she didn’t think to dip the truffles in white chocolate to offer some sort of contrast. The show ends with toasts to the betrothed. Naturally Ree couldn‘t keep her big mouth shut and let Ladd propose a toast. How nice that the Drummonds threw a party for their babysitter but man, there was so much wrong with this show on so many levels, not the least of which was Ree pimping out this young couple.
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