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Pining away to be that Pioneer Woman

I admit that I’m gullible, but watching one episode of “The Pioneer Woman” on the Food Network, and I’m thinking, oh yeah, baby, I want so badly to pull off a Pioneer Woman party in a Kiaski kitchen.

I can do that, right?

Well, in my dreams, maybe.

Ree Drummond’s life seems pretty perfect from where I sit in my living room recliner.

She lives on this fabulous ranch with lots of horses and cows running around. Nothing’s rotten in her spotless refrigerator. She has all these cute pots and pans and bowls and serving dishes and spoons. Her husband and children work in harmony and never complain. Her clothes and makeup are flawless.

And she cooks and smiles at the same time, which is pretty remarkable if not contradictory. I’ve never had that experience.

This particular episode was devoted to cocktail party food.

Now I was all on board with that, thinking, woo-who, bring on the skewers and toothpicks! My kind of food.

A “Lidia’s Kitchen” fan, Better Half was all on board with changing the channel.

Over my finger-food failures you will, I warned, guarding the remote control.

In this episode, the Pioneer Woman was late getting home one afternoon, having lost track of the time and running behind after doing some holiday shopping with her children.

And, oh dear, it’s only a couple of hours before she’s expecting about 20 people to come over for a party. Better get crackin’.

There is not one bead of sweat on her forehead, however, and not one hint of deadline pressure detected. No feathers ruffled.

Has she no holiday strife?

Apparently not.

She sent her children to decorate the front porch. Wow. Off they dutifully went, not one of them grumbling that they’d rather watch TV or play video games. Not one of them whined, “Mommmmmmm!” Instead, the good little baby chicks headed to a tidy closet dedicated to porch Christmas decorations and proceeded to deck the halls to perfection with no need for supervision or suggestions. Another wow.

Meanwhile, back in the ranch kitchen, Ree Drummond is making cocktail party food she says is easy and yummy.

I know deep down she’s probably lying, but I so want to believe her and duplicate the effort in the Kiaski kitchen.

I want to make a vegetable arrangement that looks like Santa Claus’ face, his beard made out of cauliflower, his hat cherry tomatoes.

I want to believe my family will be amazed, not alarmed, that I’ve made some new and novel things that are toothpick worthy.

But I get grief even when I wrap silverware and tie it with a ribbon. Don’t get me started on my fancy food attempts.

This is the season of miracles, to be sure, but I’ve got too many sugar plums and cocktail party recipes dancing in my head.

No wonder I’m exhausted.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted atjkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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