Here’s How the Pioneer Woman Feeds a Big Group of Unexpected Guests

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Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, has a multi-million-dollar food empire, an adorably rustic kitchen that’s bigger than many apartments, and a reputation for whipping up down-home recipes big enough to feed an entire cattle ranch. But even she knows what it’s like to be surprised by a huge group of her kids’ friends, and it turns out she handles it just the way the rest of us do: with pre-made food from the grocery store.

Drummond posted on Instagram that she was caught by surprise recently when her daughter, Alex, came home from college with a huge group of friends. Drummond knew Alex was coming with her huge party, but she expected the kids to show up on Sunday night, in time for a big family dinner of homemade lasagna, Caesar salad, and garlic bread.

But Alex surprised her mother by showing up at 11 a.m., right when her family was getting home from church. Suddenly Drummond had more than a dozen young people in her kitchen right at lunchtime. One might expect a Food Network celebrity to magically manifest a charcuterie platter and 20 trays of prosciutto-wrapped figs and French chocolate bark under those circumstances, but Drummond did exactly what many of us would have done: She drove to the grocery and bought enough fried chicken and macaroni and cheese to feed an army of 20-year-olds.

Fried chicken and macaroni and cheese sounds like just the right thing to feed unexpected guests. It’s both warming and comforting. My one thought is that it would have been nice to have a big salad to accompany the rest of the meal (having green things is nice, right?), but to each their own.

Drummond became a huge celebrity in part because she’s just so relatable. She’s a TV star and the 23rd largest landowner in the U.S., but she has no problem with handing out Solo cups of soda and paper towels instead of napkins when the situation calls for it.