I know, I know...I'm being a spoiled sport to not just enjoy Ree Drummond's (aka The Pioneer Woman) win over Bobby Flay in Food Network's Thanksgiving Feast Throwdown BUT...did anyone else find it at the very least annoying that once more...Oklahoma is portrayed as the domain of Laurey, Curly, Jud Fry and Aunt Eller? I mean, I LOVE our state but, for God's sakes...we do have a few more things besides horses and cowboys in the prairie. Why does this always happen? Is there anyone out there who would like to be known for something besides The Dust Bowl, Grapes of Wrath, and wide open spaces? Wouldn't it be nice if we finally got some even treatment?
I thought the images were beautiful of the Drummond ranch that spreads out as far as the eye can see in Osage County, I thought Ree was just as charming as she always is, I thought her food looked great and, frankly, their "ranch house" was pretty close to what could be called a mansion. And, I'm not trying to compare our fine cities to the big cities of say, New York, LA, Chicago, or even Dallas...well, maybe Dallas, but we finally get Food Network to come to Oklahoma for something pretty big and they show, what else? The wilds of Pawhuska! Really!? We don't all live on a working cattle ranch...Bobby opens his visit to our fair state with "in Northeast Oklahoma, cattle is king". Really?! Last time I checked, Tulsa was part of Northeast Oklahoma. Where are the cows in Downtown Tulsa? Next to the BOK Center or, no...maybe housed out in the middle of our new ONEOK Stadium...yeah, I can definitely see Drillers' owner, Chuck Lamson rounding up some cattle out there.
The state of Oklahoma is a melting pot just like every other state. We, of course, are much younger and we don't have the diversity but we are not all living out in the middle of nowhere not able to get a portabello mushroom. Don't get me wrong, I love the country. My boyfriend lives outside of Muskogee on a lovely acreage and I always enjoy going out there. But I am a city girl through and through (just ask him) and I was born and bred in Oklahoma and there are a whole bunch of us who have never roped, ridden or come closer to a horse than to bet on them at Blue Ribbon Downs. It is just frustrating that the only thing that people want to recognize Oklahoma for is our "country-ness".
Yes, I love Ree, Carrie, Garth and Trisha but, puh-leez, could we be known for Tulsa Ballet or Philbrook or the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra or even the Hard Rock Cafe? Oklahoma City (although not nearly as beautiful as Tulsa, sorry, OKC, I am a Tulsan, after all) has certainly come into its own in the last decade or more and should be recognized for much more than the Oklahoma City Bombing. It has the Oklahoma City Museum of Art with the amazing Dale Chiluly glass collection (among others) and its Ford Center is second to none for great events. Even Bricktown has become a place on the map. And, what about Bartlesville's OK Mozart Festival and the Price Tower? I could note many other examples but I think my point has been made.
Do we have any Michelin guide restaurants? Ummmm, no, and unlikely that we ever will, but we have plenty of fine dining, casual dining and everything in between and there are a few of us who seek out the unusual, exotic and sophisticated and, believe it or not, it can be found in Oklahoma...you just have to look for it. So I guess what I'm trying to say is...we are not a one note state...there is more to us than country and I would like someone on the East or West Coast to recognize it. I suppose it doesn't really matter...we know who we are...just don't like being stuck in that same old box especially in the 21st Century.
So...Ree, girl, we are super proud of you! Great job!! But next time could we send Food Network to, oh, I don't know, Caz's Chowhouse?