Ree Drummond Honors Late Mother-in-Law in Heartfelt Episode of “The Pioneer Woman”


Earlier this summer, The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, shared the heartbreaking news that her husband Ladd’s mother, lovingly known as “Nan,” had passed away after battling cancer.

According to Ree’s blog post titled A Different Kind of Show, Nan passed away within weeks of receiving her terminal prognosis, which came as a shock to the entire family. “I told the filming crew early that Friday morning that Nan was gone. They’ve been coming to the ranch to film our family for years, after all, and have all gotten to know Nan through all the meals and get-togethers and celebrations,” Ree said. “Most of the crew wasn’t aware of the seriousness of her condition, so it was a blow to everyone.”

Ree and Ladd agreed that they wanted to continue with filming and decided to dedicate an entire episode to Nan, making a few of her favorite recipes and showing the Drummond family prepping the cemetery for Nan’s funeral.

“Right after Nan died, Ladd, his brother Tim, the kids, and our kind cowboys threw themselves into sprucing up our family cemetery in preparation for her funeral. It’s how country folks deal with grief—they pick up a welding torch,” Ree said. “Our cemetery’s fence needed rebuilding, some holes needed to be filled, and it was just a good way for everyone to focus on a task during the week leading up to her funeral.”

One of the recipes Ree made was Nan’s famous blueberry cobbler, which you can find here.

Ree also shared how understanding and helpful the film crew was throughout the time. “I have to mention how wonderful Pacific (our production crew) was—and how supportive Food Network was—during this block of filming. Originally we had nine episodes planned; I think we finished up with four, maybe four-and-a-half. But we received zero pressure from Pacific or Food Network; on the contrary, they basically said “Don’t even think about us, don’t worry about the shows this block—just take time with your family.” Their generosity was such a gift to Ladd and me. We were able to keep our focus where it needed to be. And the whole crew came to our house after the funeral, just like all our friends and family did. They took food to Chuck, they helped coordinate things. It was a surreal situation – a collision of filming and life. But it all worked out as it needed to.”

You can catch re-runs of “The Pioneer Woman” on The Food Network, or watch online here.