Thanksgiving in the Heartland: Plan B

Honestly, our Thanksgiving week did not begin how we had imagined. Sam infected myself, Mike, my dad, my brother Jeff, my aunt Trish and uncle Andy with a stomach bug. Plan B consisted of my mom’s homemade chicken soup and lots of naps, which ended up being pretty wonderful. We all rebounded quickly, and whether by force of luck or Clorox, my mom and sister in law Lisa managed to stay healthy.

And so, we ventured to Tulsa later than planned but just in time for our annual Stolperfest Thanksgiving.

Aunt Susie’s Famous Relish Tray

The Newest Ping Pong Spectator

This Year’s Ping Pong Champions – Jeff and Stephen

We made a special excursion on our way back to Pawhuska, Oklahoma to see Ree Drummond’s Mercantile.  The Pioneer Woman opened a restaurant, bakery and shop in her hometown. The line to get in was far longer than our patience would allow, so we only saw it from the outside.

What I can tell you from our visit is that there’s a stark difference between the Pioneer Woman’s lifestyle as portrayed on the show and the real Pawhuska. Ree married into a very wealthy family who is near the top of the list of top 100 land owners in the US, so her life is different than many others in the town. We enjoyed wandering around the historic downtown and exploring a different side of the local culture.

Instead of the Mercantile, we went to Braum’s. As a religious bowl-a-night ice cream enthusiast, my grandpa Phil used to say that his car would automatically turn into Braum’s whenever he drove by. Grandpa Phil knew his stuff – I’m quite sure our meal at the Mercantile couldn’t have been better than a bag of burgers, crinkle cut fries and plain old delicious ice cream.

Sometimes, Plan B ends up working out better, anyway.

Until We Eat Again,

Two Happy Cooks


  1. Kat

    Glad everyone is on the mend. V interesting that you saw Pawhuska. Hopefully the Mercantile brings enough people to the area to improve business as a whole for the community. Happy Thanksgiving!

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