White Trash Cooking and a Letter to Ree

July 8th, 2010

A few weeks ago, while going about my regular duties of hiding all the Pioneer Woman cookbooks in my local bookstore, I stumbled upon this particular tome of fine cookery – White Trash Cooking by Ernest Matthew Mickler.

How exactly could I not purchase this volume?

Mein Gott!  It’s almost the exact opposite of the Pioneer Woman Cookbook!




Look at these photos!

They are beautiful and yet not a single eyeball glows with anime!

Not a single flower has been misted beyond recognition.

Not a single child has been plastered with a sheen of marbley perfection.

Some people are perfect just the way they are.

“crepes (go buy a package of flour tortillas).”

I love this book.

It’s my new bible.


In other news…

I have toyed with the idea of posting my half of the e-mail conversations that Ree Drummond and I exchanged over the years. I would publish both sides of our conversation, but somehow it doesn’t seem quite right and I doubt that Ree would give me permission to publish her letters even if I asked her.

But I guess…

could try…

So I wrote a letter to Ree.

It went like this…


Dear Ree,


Remember me!

It’s Rechelle…




I went to your ranch once?

You thought I had a baby?


This isn’t ringing a bell for you?

I was the one with the head lice.


That was me!

Sorry about that.

So anyway!

I had this great idea!  I thought that I would publish some of the emails that you and I have sent to each other over the past few years!  You know?  In the interest of posterity?  Would that be okay?  I know this may seem a little odd coming from me as I have been uh… rather um… just a teensy bit critical of your site and um… well -  maybe even of you personally lately.  You might have even considered publishing a step by step recipe blog where you fry my liver over an open flame and serve it with a side of my french fried fingers! No – actually you probably haven’t thought of that have you Ree.  But can I suggest it?  Because honestly Ree that would be hilarious…  and such a nice departure for you.  Lots of people would really love to see a new side of you.  Something that doesn’t involve your yoga pants or your husband’s uh… ‘tailgate’.  You know… the bitter side.  Because everyone has a bitter side Ree.  Even people like you, whose skulls are full of butterflies.  In fact, I think if you published a cooking blog that suggested any kind of cannibalism it would be a refreshing change from all those insanely vivid photos of freshly spritzed food items with the fuzzy backgrounds.  But then again, I am not a world famous blogger so what do I know?  Still – I don’t see why we can’t let bygones be bygones!  All is fair in love and the blogosphere right?


Right Ree?

So can I publish the e-mails Ree?

You don’t even have to write me back.

Just circle yes or no!




Go straight to hell.


PS – That last one is just a joke Ree!  A JOKE!  Can’t wait to hear back from you!

Love ya more ‘n my luggage!



I’ll let you know if she gives me permission.  Until then – I am going to go get some tortillas so I can make some of those crepes a la creola le beau!


  • I have this cookbook. I love it. It was given to me new when it first came out. The peach cobbler is to DIE for. Really.

  • M.R.:

    I also own this cookbook. I come from East Tennessee/North Georgia and it strikes a chord. I am now a vegetarian (for the past 30 years) and love foods like baba ganooj, saag paneer and chili rellenos. But last night I made a summer squash casserole (mix up boiled potatoes, sauted onions and summer squash in a cast iron skillet, add some grated cheddar cheese and a generous dollop of mayonnaise — cook in the oven at 400 degrees until all bubbly and beginning to brown on top). And as I dolloped in the mayonnaise I thought of all those meals we made down home.

  • Kay in KCMO:

    “…skulls are full of butterflies.” I’m going to find a reason to use this.

  • jamoody:

    The cookbook looks awesome…I’m thinking I know what to get more than a few people for Christmas this year! Thanks!

  • Nancy:

    I’ve had this cookbook for several years. Used it for several recipes – one of them blackberry cobbler.

    Good recipes – and funny ones too!

  • Tina:

    Well if you look at PW’s cooking section today you might have thought she stole a recipie from this cookbook. But of course instead of using ground possum or some other roadkill she used rib eye steak. You can be rich and still be white trash right??

  • You wrote:
    “They are beautiful and yet not a single eyeball glows
    Not a single child has been plastered with a sheen of marbley perfection.”

    Does anyone do this more than DOOCE? Her photos of her kids are beyond bizarre. They look like aliens! It makes me crazy.

  • Melissa:

    I am reminded of a passage from “The Egg and I” by Betty MacDonald wherein Ma Kettle explains that SHE never uses a recipe book because the recipes all start out with “take a CLEAN bowl……”

    • Melissa, I agree. We had a Betty MacDonald Fan Club meeting and discussed this cookbook.

    • Author Wolfgang Hampel mentions in Betty MacDonald Biography this cookbook. I own it. Very good recipes.


  • Carol:

    Love the new look – and I’m pretty sure you have a lot more hits than PW at this point- and I’m also pretty sure your new fans appreciate you and your sense of humor and insights more than hers do. I had never heard of PW until I began reading your blog, and I know now that I have no interest in doing so, thanks to you. : )

  • Joann, I had to go look at Dooce…and mah god. That’s some crazy eyeball editing over there. I’ve never really understood the popularity of that blog, either, but I don’t think I’m the right demographic anyway.

  • Kait:

    Wow you have you new site up and running. Does that mean we are going to see more of Dear Charles?
    Jealous of your new cookbook. Saw a similar one in the bookstore once but it was titled Road Kill…recipes or something of that sort. I am not kidding!

    • M.R.:

      Yep, I must be a hillbilly! Not only do I own the White Trash Cookbook, but I own this Road Kill one too.

  • Sabazinus:

    There are actually 3 of these books in the series…I think. I’ve recently packed them into boxes to move and can’t remember if I had three volumes. All of them are fantastic and amusing.

  • As someone who is a relatively new fan, I can say definitively that I had no idea who PW was before you. Using Stubleupon I’ve gotten routed to your site three times, and to PWs once (and I only knew it was PWs because I read through a ton of your old archives) (and the recipe she had on there only looked so-so). So make one of the recipes from this book and blog about it!

  • That sounds a lot like some of my relatives cooking. (Seriously. Who puts pork & beans in taco meat?) I must now go find a copy…

    LOVE the new digs.

  • PW Cooks has a recipe up right this minute that looks like it is from the White Trash cookbook: meat salad. Could also be considered zombie food.

  • km:

    Rechelle , I love the site’s new look!

    How about an atheist cookbook? “Cast it into the oven of hellfire and damnation at 500 degrees /gas mark 9 “

    • Martha in Kansas:

      I love the idea of the athiest cookbook. So much you could do with this idea! So much mischief comes to mind!

  • Em:

    Oh my, I’m laughing so hard that it’s hard to type. I just have this visual of what her face is doing as she reads the request, or perhaps she’ll let out a “Help me Rhonda!”

  • GA in GA:

    OMG! I also have this cookbook. I received it from my husband one Christmas and was not amused at the time.

    But the other day, while I was moving my too numerous cookbooks for some remodeling, and I found my copy. 20 years later I can chuckle about this gift.

    Love the new blog design, Rechelle!

  • Great new look here, Rechelle. Yes, pls let us know when you hear from PW – this ought to be interestin’. :)

  • Geo:

    On the rare occasions that I have looked at Ree’s recipe section, I usually become so traumatized by the all the step-by-step photography that I forget what recipe I’m looking at. Also, I once thought I’d try the enchiladas she raved and raved about, an “old” family recipe that brought back wonderful memories. Words can not describe how ordinary and bland they turned out.

  • tessa:

    no reply from Ree yet?
    How rude!!

  • p:

    My mother has the first two volumes of that cookbook, picked up at yardsales. Unfortunately she refused to make any of the good recipes, and stuck with the foulest ones she could find. You know, the ones they slipped in as a joke?

    I’ve been boycotting PW for months now, but will head back someday to scope the new recipes. (Will never be buying the cookbook though.) A number of hers have fallen flat, but others are quite good. Of course, if I had a brazillion dollars to play with, I’d be cranking out some great recipes too… Anyway, I’m such a food junkie, I don’t really care where the recipe comes from – if Hitler made a mean blackberry cobbler, I’d be all over it.

  • well at least you didn’t kill her off in the middle of a conference.

  • I’ve seen the cookbook, but seriously, nothing is funnier than you!

    And I’m certain she’ll circle yes.

  • David:

    You are the boil on P-Dubs butt…and you ooze once again!

  • Freth:

    So this is where I stumbled across this funky cookbook … I ordered it … there were a bunch of recipes in there that my wife liked.

    I also ordered the RoadKill Cookbook (oh yuck! my sister said)

    And Ruby Ann’s Down Home Trailer Park Cookbook … I know more about her trailer park than I ever wanted to know.

    Now I just have to find some “friends” to anonymously give these cookbooks away to …

    Although Ruby Ann’s may have some cheese and lard stains in it before it gets handed off. I really like the chapter about “Low Fat” …

    • Rechelle:

      Oh – now I have to find Ruby Ann’s – that sounds like some good reading!

  • Eve1234:

    Ok, i’m coming late to this party, but i’ve got to get this off my chest. I had started reading the Pioneer Woman website when it was referred to as the best thing since sliced bread on a website i enjoy. I thought it was ok, and read it a few more times. Then it seemed to be getting all this buzz, so, when i had time to kill, i read a bunch of it and started to visit more often. Things just didn’t seem to ring true to me. It started with being horrified at some of the unsafe things she allows her kids to do, the widow-maker food, and the persona that seemed far too crafted to be real. In my mind, i referred to her as “la Dub”, since she reminded me of rich people i know who think they’re “keeping it real” when they talk about letting the laundry pile up as they’re wearing $100 jeans and a $250 top.

    One of the things i find very interesting is, not only seeing that i’m not the only one who finds her posts both disingenuous and slightly disturbing, but that with some analysis, her market plan is pretty clear. I haven’t heard anyone here or on the other sites mention her “agoraphobia,” though. She’s talked about it quite often, even while taking pictures where she’s standing out in an open field on the plains – something someone with even mild agoraphobia could not do. In thinking more about her crafted persona, i think this is one of the contrasts she’s cultivated – it serves two purposes. ‘Cause after all, isn’t it funny – a city girly girl who has agoraphobia living on a country ranch with a manly man? The other day she mentioned it again, talking about when she goes to a conference, she’ll have to hide out in her hotel room instead of talking with too many people because of this weirdness. Interesting that she doesn’t want to shoomze with the people, but can trapse all over NYC buying shoes.

    I read with interest Rechelle’s tale of adventure on the ranch – just wanted to let you know what the video camera and the questioning was all about. She was doing a focus group and you and the other bloggers there were the unsuspecting group. It’s clearly all about the marketing, complete with subtle polling done with giveaways asking folks to answer a question. She’s even shown the results – albeit under the guise that it’s just a sweet reader who loves to do statistics.

    The post about going to New York to be on the ALL CAPS TODAY SHOW!! OMG!! read like a teenager texting or someone rather tipsy. I finally posted just that, and went back the next day to find the post removed, but that the post itself was different, not so tipsy sounding. Talk about quick on her feet!

    At any rate, i’ve said my piece and now i’m done. I won’t post negative things on her blog, but may click on her links that pop up when searching for “pioneer woman fake” so her referrer links show that search from time to time. I’m now a big fan of hiding those darn cookbooks – maybe they should go in the romance novel section. ;-)

    Thanks for these posts – glad to know i’m not the only one. i’ll be back to this site as well, not just for the snark, but for the writing. So long and thanks for listening!

  • eve1234:

    Seriously? Seriously…

  • Brittanie:

    Grow up people. If you don’t like her blog stop reading it. Your just jealous because she has money.