I am not breaking up with you completely Ina. I have followed you. You have helped me to feed my family and friends. I love being invited into your home and kitchen, meeting your friends and husband, Jeffrey. I have dreamed about living in The Hamptons, about lush gardens and old buildings, all about as far away from San Diego as you can get. Who wouldn't want a Contessa for a friend? Especially a Barefoot Contessa. Of course I am talking about Ina Garten. I have all your cookbooks, I've cooked countless meals from fancy dinners to Holiday extravaganza's and easy nights at home with your help. Your recipies are almost all a great combination of simple and fabulous. I've loved you and shared you with friends and family. My copy of "The Barefoot Contessa Family Style" is dog eared and has so many drops and splashes on it, it would probably make a yummy soup if I boiled it. Don't worry I won't, and I won't give you up forever, Ina, I just couldn't. I made your Mac and Cheese this week. As always you assist me with one of my super powers; to make my husband swoon with yummy food. "The way to a man's heart..." and all that. Sadly you have left me wanting more. I have never truly felt I was a "friend". Our time is waning, it is time for you to move over Ina. I have a new BFF.
Her name is Ree Drummond and she is the Pioneer Woman, who cooks, and confesses and is a wife and mother, she has dogs and kitties. We have ever so much more in common. She writes you see. She is prolific. As I devour her stories in her blogs and her cookbook aptly titled, "The Pioneer Woman Cooks", as well as the food she inspires me to cook, I find myself falling for my new BFF. My daughter has a cold this week, and I went right to Ree's Chicken Noodle Soup for her and the family last night. It was wonderful, yummy, comforting, and I am sure healing for my daughter. This relationship is so much richer than my previous one. While I could watch Ina on tv, Ree e-mails me ideas for cooking almost every day, with pictures and a sense of humor to boot (pun intended). Doesn't this sound like a good friend? Good news, I am not delusional. I know Ina and Ree are not my friends. They don't even know I exist. I am clear on this. When it comes to virtual BFF's, this one is really hot (cooking, hot, you see what I just did there? Insert teenage daughter's eye roll here please). Ree can make her way into your heart too. I invite you to visit her website www.thepioneerwoman.com and her blogs www.thepioneerwoman.com/cooks and www.thepioneerwoman.com/confessions, I think you'll enjoy her. You will thank me later. Did I mention she has contests too? Where you can win actual supercool, awesome Le Creuset cookware and Kitchen Aid Mixers and even trips to visit Ree. Wowee. Right now I am about to dive into her book, "The Pioneer Woman, High Heels to Tractor Wheels, A Love Story". It looks great! I'm not giving anything away if I tell you she married a realo-trulo cowboy. And no, I am not being paid for this. This is all from my heart, and stomach, urp, excuse me.
As virtual friendships go, they are pretty one sided. It is their nature, being virtual and all. For all the giggles, heartfelt, sentimental stories, pictures and wonderful recipes, I thank you Ree Drummond. This is one way I can reciprocate for all the joy you've brought into my life, and no, if some of you are thinking about it I have never won any of her contests either! Sheesh!
I thank you Ina, Ree and all the other virtual friends I have followed out there. There have been others, but none so great as you. Most of all, hugs to my real BFF's (the ones I talk to and they actually talk back!), to my Mom who introduced me to cooking and the love of sharing food oh so many years ago and to my daughter Krista who has carried on the love of loving, writing and cooking for family and friends. You all make my life rich!