‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond Was Once Physically Unable to Cook: ‘I Was Miserable’

The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond is known for her tasty recipes. Fans faithfully watch her each week on the Food Network so they can see her latest creation. The Accidental Country Girl loves to whip up a home-cooked meal, but there was once a time when she was physically unable to cook.

Ree Drummond had a tough time adjusting to life on the Drummond ranch

The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Drummond says she loves her husband, Ladd, but she didn’t love ranch life at first. In her book Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, she says it took a lot for her to adjust to all the quirks that come with living in the country. She couldn’t walk to a local store for basic household items or go to a fancy restaurant for sushi.

My courtship with Marlboro Man, filled with fizzy romance, hadn’t prepared me for any of this; not the mice I heard scratching in the wall next to my bed, not the flat tires I got from driving my car up and down the jagged gravel roads. Before I got married, I didn’t know how to use a jack or a crowbar… and I didn’t want to have to learn now.

I didn’t want to know that the smell in the laundry room was a dead rodent. I’d never smelled a dead rodent in my life: why, when I was supposed to be a young, euphoric newlywed, was I being forced to smell one now? During the day, I was cranky. At night, I was a mess. I hadn’t slept through the night once since we returned from our honeymoon.

Ree Drummond, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels

Ree Drummond was once physically unable to cook

Drummond says she was overwhelmed with her new life. She also had to deal with illness. After Drummond became pregnant with her first child (just one week after the wedding), she experienced severe morning sickness. Consequently, she couldn’t cook.  

“I was miserable,” wrote Drummond. “I wanted to be a young, energetic new wife, full of vim and vigor. Instead, I was olive green, plastered to my bed, and unable to raise my head from the pillow without munching a handful of sugared cereal. Every time Marlboro Man entered our bedroom to check on me, he’d step on an Apple Jack.”

Smells bothered Drummond during her pregnancy, so cooking a meal was out of the question. She says certain smells would make he want to vomit. Just about any smell would set her off.

“The smell of air alone sent me into dry heaves, even with a lemon wedge shoved under my nose,” Drummond continued. “I couldn’t cook. Everything—from apples to bread, not to mention animal flesh in any form—would make me cry and hurl. I’d drive 25 minutes to town just to pick up a pizza, then stop halfway home and put it in the trunk because the smell was so horribly overpowering.”

Ladd Drummond tried to help as much as he could

Ladd Drummond (right) with guests |  Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine
Ladd Drummond (right) with guests | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine

Drummond says Ladd tried to offer moral support. Although she appreciated his kind words, she felt he didn’t fully understand her misery.

“All the while, Marlboro Man tried his best to sympathize with me, his new hormone-poisoned and depressed wife,” wrote Drummond. “But there was no way he could possibly understand. ‘Maybe if you just hop up and jump in the shower,’ he’d say, stroking my back, ‘you’ll feel better.’ He didn’t understand. “There’s no hopping,” I’d wail. “There’s no jumping!”

Drummond says she longed for her old life. “I was in a new place, in a new world…and suddenly my life was completely unrecognizable,” she wrote. “I didn’t want to be pregnant. If I’d gone ahead and moved to Chicago, I wouldn’t be. I’d be away from my parents’ separation and nowhere near pregnancy hormones and maybe wearing a sleek black turtleneck and eating Italian food with friends.”

Thankfully, Drummond adjusted to life on the ranch. Now, her fans can see her on television, read her cookbooks, and continue to read about her daily adventures on social media.

Follow Sheiresa Ngo on Twitter.