I just updated my Facebook status with our dinner menu for tonight. I rarely update my status with a menu since I cook most nights, and, unfortunately, it's usually not exciting. However, I was channeling my inner Ree Drummond (aka, the Pioneer Woman), whom I just watched on Throwdown With Bobby Flay.
She inspired me to cook my family a Thanksgiving feast of our own. However, I used my mother-in-law's, mother's, and frozen roll recipes, not the fancy gourmet-ish meals Ree prepared as she competed with Chef Bobby on the Food Network.
As I washed my dishes in my normal sized sink in my beautiful, yet cozy (read, smallish in comparison to the Drummond's) kitchen, I got to thinking about the beginning of my blogging. Right after I started posting, I found out about the Pioneer Woman. I even wrote to her, telling her how alike we were, living in the sticks. I explained to her that I too was new to the farming life, and was about to embark upon writing on it as a person with a new perspective on the American Family Farm. I never heard back from her, which is fine, because now that I have read a little bit more about her, followed her website, and grown with mine, I realized she and I have a different life in a seemingly common livelihood.
First realization that we are different: She has a guest house on their sprawling 1000+ acre cattle ranch in Oklahoma. Man, is that guest house something to behold. I guess cookbook sales were good, and cattle sold well for them! Seriously, their lifestyle is almost like a celebrity's life in the farm world. Huge ranchers with deep family history in the business, coupled with a best selling cookbook and a syndicated, widely followed and highly advertised website equals a guest house.
We have a shack where we store our lawn furniture in the winter.
The second realization I made is that I am not out for the same audience, or even the same goal as the Pioneer Woman. When I first saw her link to the "Confessions" category in her website, I panicked. I seriously worried that I would come across as someone who was trying to steal her idea. Of course, this dawned on me after I had already come up with my seemingly original and catchy title for my blog. However, I realize now that her niche is not to learn more and share about the agriculture and animals that surround her. She's cooking. She's making things beautiful, taking glorious pictures of it, and wearing Anthropologie to her Today Show interviews.
I'm wearing LOFT and Talbots to the Illinois Commodity Conference, while making a really noteworthy meal (that I will not be taking a picture of) for the first time in a long time.
My fears about starting this blog have subsided, and my worries that I would be stealing thunder or ideas or audience from this nationwide sensation who is featured on the Food Network are gone, and I'm happy with that.
I like my cozy kitchen, will enjoy my pumpkin pie tonight, and will go to bed realizing that my life is as extraordinary (or ordinary) as everyone else's. It's just that my marketing is just not as fancy!