Vera’s off this weekend. Have a wonderful Memorial Day everyone.
On the weekend when America honors its war dead, the Pioneer Woman and Food Network decided to air a non-holiday show featuring Ree, Ree and more Ree. Unlike the Farmhouse Rules episode that followed–showing Nancy Fuller honoring four vets–Drummond never mentioned the brave people who died serving our country. Memorial Day occurs every year on the last Monday of May, so Ree and FN can’t claim they didn’t know. There are vets in Oklahoma, right Ree? Unlike the 4th of July though, it seems Memorial Day probably wasn’t self-serving enough for Ree to acknowledge it.
Instead, on today’s show, Ree and a film crew head to a Tulsa restaurant supply on a “shower gift shopping mission” for Haley. During the entire twenty-two minutes of this show, we hear Haley’s name mentioned ad nauseam, but we never see the woman, not even a photo of her. Ree intros the episode telling viewers that the mysterious Haley is getting married and Ree’s gifting her with Ree’s favorite kitchen tools. And who doesn’t love receiving a well-thought-out gift, one that’s actually someone else’s favorite things?
The pimping of Haley continues as Ree claims she’s using Haley’s shower gift as inspiration for today’s menu of Italian Meatball Soup, Skillet Cookies and Orange Brulee. However, if you watch the episode closely, it becomes clear early on that the show has absolutely nothing to do with Haley. Rather Ree, the producers, and editors cleverly combined a trip to the restaurant supply with footage from previously aired shows, to produce a new episode minus the heavy production costs. As the show gets underway, we see a smiling Ree, dressed in a haute couture shirtain, hop out of her red pick-em-up truck. Once she enters the store and grabs a cart, viewers learn that miniature ice cream scoops, iron skillets, half-sheet pans and a kitchen torch are Ree’s favorite kitchen tools along with other assorted items. By the end of the show, Ree has loaded up enough gadgets to stockpile several brides. But then, don’t most people spend $386 on a shower gift?
Ree’s first stop is at “ice cream scoop central” as she refers to it. As Ree breaks into her “I love it, it’s the most wonderful thing,” diatribe, she sounds like she’s about to reach orgasm. To hear her talk, you’d think no one else in the entire universe had a clue that ice cream scoops are manufactured in different sizes.
The show then cuts to Ree’s TV studio where Ree’s dressed in what appears to be a pajama top. Ree quickly explains that she’s making Italian Meat Ball Soup using her midget ice cream scoop. Next, the audience witnesses a first in the history of this show: Ree gives her mother a shout-out for the Italian Meat Ball Soup recipe.
Again, we cut back to the restaurant supply store where Ree is shopping for wooden spoons, flat whisks and a potato masher, one she declares every Oklahoma girl needs. Then it’s back to Ree’s place for footage from past seasons showing the multiple uses for sheet cake pans. This is truly one of the most educational shows I’ve watched. Did you know you could roast meat and turkey on sheet pans. No way!
Once the meatballs are shaped and formed, we see the cow patty queen place herbs in cheesecloth and secure it with cotton twine. Then Ree squirms as she mumbles the words “bouquet garni.” We know she doesn’t want to offend her beloved reeple
meal ticket by using unfamiliar culinary terms, but this schtick is getting old and it’s why no one takes her seriously. She explains how a bouquet garni imparts flavor without those pesky “herbs floating around.” Excuse me Ree, unless you’re preparing a stock that you plan to clarify, removing the herbs is optional.
For the last several episodes, we’ve noticed Ree returning to her lame attempts at humor. As she serves the soup, her mouth runs wild again, “ Oh boy oh boy, now to send it over the top I’m going to grate some fresh parmesan, oh my goodness I’m getting excited, I am hungry—that’s a dangerous combination by the way.” Not as dangerous as losing brain cells watching this mind numbing crap.
Up next, we have Baking Sheets 101. Raise your hand if you knew you could actually bake cookies on a sheet pan? Within seconds, the editors cut to more past show footage, this time detailing the different sheet pan applications. And OMG, did you know…wait for it…one can bake pizzas on a sheet pan? Man, I’m going to use this long weekend to try out these ideas.
Next, Ree explains the benefits of frozen pizza dough for those times when you don’t have fresh on hand. Yeah right Ree, when was the last time you made dough from scratch? Ree declares, “The thinner a pizza is, the less time it takes to bake.”Well thank you Captain Obvious for that bit of cooking wisdom.
Again from Captain Obvious, “Since this is a leek and potato pizza, I’ll put the potatoes on.” Next, she says she’s going to add salt “because there are so many potatoes on the pizza.” So she adds salt, but the leeks, mozzarella and goat cheeses are on top of the potatoes, so they never get any salt. As Ree adds the goat cheese, she deadpans, “I swear if you haven’t had goat cheese on a pizza, you haven’t lived.” Guess that’s why most major cities have a California Pizza Kitchen Ree, so foodies don’t have to watch you tout a ten-year old cooking trend.
Wearing yet another shirtain and with her best nobody’s-home-expression, Ree says, “Two of my favorite things on earth: an iron skillet and cookie dough.” Again she breaks into her Captain Obvious routine explaining how much easier mixing cookie dough is when you use an electric mixer as opposed to mixing by hand. Trust me, she’ll have a completely different set of “favorite things” next week. And while the cookie dough bakes, Ree promises she’s going to “wax rhapsodic about my love, iron skillets.”
Again, the editors insert iron skillet footage from past shows. Ree then pulls the cookie dough out of the oven and says she’s going to let it “cool down” before she tops it with ice cream. Really Ree? I never would have imagined doing something like that. Give your audience some credit. Don’t most reeple understand the science behind hot and cold? At this point, they cut back to the supply store as Ree runs her mouth how iron skillets come in different sizes. Ree missed her calling; she could make a fortune if she posted these insipid tutorials on YouTube.
At this point, Drummond adds a pastry brush to her cart. Too bad she didn’t have this earlier when she needed it for the olive oil. Next we see her add two salad bowls to the cart, clearly an afterthought by the show’s producers. Why bother? How often does Ree feature a salad recipe unless it’s one drowning in an oily, mayo dressing.
Next she purchases a kitchen torch and because it’s a utensil she used in past episodes, the editors cut to more old show footage. With this reliance on previous episodes for material and Drummond’s stale humor, how does this show remain number one? It’s unsettling what the masses consider entertainment in this country. Finally, Ree heads to the check-out lane with her cart overflowing. We can only wonder if Haley received any of this.
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