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The Pioneer Woman Review: Football Camp

We’ve seen Ree cook for crowds of hungry cowboys and large gatherings of friends, but today is the first time we’ve seen her cook for 120 elementary school football players.

Yes, Ree has volunteered herself to cook lunch for her sons’ preseason football camp and that means food for a lot of hungry boys.

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For the main course of her football Lunch, Ree is making 120 roast beef sandwiches. These sandwiches are fairly basic made with a roll, pre-sliced cheese and store bought roast beef. She does make a homemade dressing to kick the sandwiches up a bit that has mayonnaise, grated onion, mustard, horseradish sauce and poppy seeds.

After that it’s pretty much what you’d expect: bun, dressing, cheese, beef, more cheese and topped with the other half of the bun. She wraps each in a foil sheet and then pops them in the oven to heat them up and melt the cheese. This is not an inventive or mind blowing recipe, but once these get to the football camp, the individually wrapped sandwiches will make for a simple distribution.

To go with the sandwiches, Ree is making homemade Spiced Up Potato chips. A mixture of kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic salt and cayenne pepper is sprinkled onto freshly sliced and fried potato chips. This is an unexpected food to make for a crowd, in that homemade potato chips are labor intensive and time consuming. T

o make homemade chips for 120 little boys isn’t something that I would have chosen to do, although they do look fantastic. In fact, this is quite possibly the best looking recipe in the entire episode.

Her ‘Football Fruit’ can’t be considered a recipe in any way, shape or form and it’s odd that it even has a name. It’s individual bags of fruit – nothing more and nothing less.

Not a terrible idea, but I question whether or not it would have been simpler to just have a bowl of fruit to dish out at the camp. Plus, then there wouldn’t have been 120 wasted sandwich baggies. Food for thought.

Ree and Page take this massive crowd lunch to the camp and the tiny football players all seem very pleased with their sandwiches, so Ree obviously knew her audience. The food is completely gone and she heads back home to make some dessert.

For the dessert, Ree is making something that she calls Spreads. The spreads start with a basic cookie dough that is spread’ out on a baking sheets and baked.

After being baked, Ree sprinkles on chocolate chips and pops them back into the oven to melt. The melted chocolate chips get smoothed out over the cookie base and then topped with a variety of toppings like granola, sprinkles and s’mores toppings. Ree cuts the spreads into small pieces and delivers them to the hungry football campers. What kid wouldn’t like to get a cookie topped with chocolate and other good stuff?

These are definitely a hit with the kids.

Football Camp is an unusual episode. Cooking for 120 football players isn’t something that most people will ever have to do, so it lacks roots in realistic cooking situations.

If I ever found myself in that situation, I think I would lean toward Sloppy Joes or something else that didn’t require packaging up individual sandwiches and bags of fruit. That being said, Ree’s generosity was the shining star of the episode.

The fact that she offered to cook for this crowd and made a tasty, although not creative, meal just adds to the many reasons she is so well loved. As for the recipes…eh, not her best work and I look forward to seeing what she has in store for next week.

Thanks for reading – and be sure to visit our section of Pioneer Woman recipes today!