‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond Recalls the First Time She Cooked for Ladd

The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond enjoys a good meal and she loves cooking for her family. Here’s what The Food Network star said about the first time she made dinner for her husband, Ladd.

Ladd Drummond invited Ree to his ranch for their fifth date

Ree Drummond, Maria Shriver, and Hoda Kotb on the Today Show | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Ree Drummond, Maria Shriver, and Hoda Kotb on the Today Show | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

In her book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, Ree talks about her and Ladd’s love story and how their relationship unfolded. She says she finally received an invitation to Ladd’s home for their fifth date. Ree was so smitten, there was no way she was going to decline this cowboy’s invitation.

“We had a second date that night, then a third, and then a fourth,” writes Ree. “And after each date, my new romance novel protagonist called me, just to seal the date with a sweet word. For date five, he invited me to his house on the ranch. We were clearly on some kind of a roll, and now he wanted me to see where he lived. I was in no position to say no.”

Ree Drummond offered to cook since there were no restaurants nearby

The Drummond ranch is a bit isolated, so Ree offered to make a homecooked meal for Ladd. She wanted to impress him, so she made her fanciest meal, linguine with clam sauce. Ree says it was one of her family’s favorite meals.

“I agonized for hours over what I could possibly cook for this strapping new man in my life; clearly, no mediocre cuisine would do,” writes Ree. “I reviewed all the dishes in my sophisticated, city-girl arsenal, many of which I’d picked up during my years in Los Angeles. I finally settled on a non-vegetarian winner: Linguine with Clam Sauce—a favorite from our family vacations in Hilton Head.”

Ladd loves meat, but he ate Ree Drummond’s special linguine meal

Ree Drummond was confident her linguine would be a hit. However, she didn’t realize Ladd is a big meat eater. Ree put so much time and effort into the meal, but she later discovered she missed the mark.

“I was utterly confident it would be a hit,” writes Ree. “I had no idea who I was dealing with. I had no idea that this fourth-generation cattle rancher doesn’t eat minced-up little clams, let alone minced-up little clams bathed in wine and cream and tossed with long, unwieldy noodles that are difficult to negotiate. Still, he ate it.”

Although Ladd is a meat-and-potatoes guy, he still ate the meal Ree prepared. In fact, he ate almost two plates of the linguine just so he could show his appreciation. Ree says she made him a second plate of food because she thought he was still hungry.

“I didn’t want him to go away hungry—big, strong rancher and all—so when I sensed he was close to getting off the phone, I took his plate to the stove and heaped another steaming pile of fishy noodles onto his plate,” writes Ree.

“And when Marlboro Man returned to the table he smiled politely, sat down, and polished off over half of his second helping before finally pushing away from the table and announcing, “Boy, am I stuffed!” I didn’t realize at the time just how romantic a gesture that had been.”

Read more: This is the First Meal ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond Cooked for Ladd

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