Ree Drummond, “The Pioneer Woman,” is known for cooking up hearty meals for her hardworking rancher husband, Ladd, and their kids on their homestead in Oklahoma.

The Food Network and lifestyle star frequently discusses how her dishes aim to satisfy seriously hungry palates from a long hard day’s work under the blazing hot sun.

And like other celebrity chefs who keep their husband’s taste buds in mind while drumming up yummy recipes, Drummond knows that her meals must be good enough to please the hungriest, hardest working cowboy she knows — Ladd.

Posted by The Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond on Saturday, June 10, 2017

It’s a noble task she signed up for decades ago when the couple first met.

In light of the launch of The Pioneer Woman Magazine’s first issue, Good Housekeeping shared an excerpt from the publication in which Drummond explained the story of how she was instantly drawn to her husband-to-be.

She might even call the connection electric.

At the time, the Oklahoma native was living at her parents’ home before gearing up to move to Chicago, when her friends invited her down to the local watering hole.

In dire need of a break from the apartment hunting and resume editing, Drummond accepted. And with a flick of black mascara and swipe of lip balm, the young woman was on her way.

She wrote:

Fifteen minutes later, I was in the company of my old friends and the chardonnay, feeling the contentment of being with people who’ve known you forever.

That’s when the man on the other side of the room caught her eye:

He was tall, strong and mysterious, sipping bottled beer and wearing jeans and cowboy boots. And his hair. The stallion’s hair was very short and silvery gray — much too gray for how young his face was, but just gray enough to send me through the roof with all sorts of fantasies of Cary Grant in “North by Northwest.” Gracious, he was a vision, this Marlboro Man–esque character across the room.

While each woman has their own way to determine if they’re dealing with a worthy suitor, Drummond admitted there was only one way to truly know if the silver-haired cowboy was worth her time.

After a few minutes of staring, I inhaled deeply, then stood up. I needed to see his hands.

Without another moment’s hesitation, Drummond walked over to where the handsome man was standing:

I meandered to the section of the bar where he stood. Not wanting to appear obvious, I grabbed four cherries from the condiment tray as I caught a glimpse of his hands. They were big and strong. Bingo.

Within minutes, we were talking.

She continued:

He was a fourth-generation cattle rancher whose property was more than an hour away. But I knew none of this as I stood before him, trying my best not to look too gazingly into his ice blue/green eyes or, worse, drool all over him. Before I knew it, two hours had passed. We talked into the night. My friends giggled where I’d left them, oblivious to the fact that their redheaded amiga had just been struck by a lightning bolt.

When they went out on their first date, Drummond recounted how she and Ladd talked all through dinner and at the end, the ambitious young woman who had her heart set on city living suddenly had an epiphany:

At the end of the evening, riding in a Ford F-250 diesel pickup with a cowboy, I knew there was nowhere else on earth I wanted to be.

And as they say, the rest is history.

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