There isn’t much Ree Drummond does without her best friend, Hyacinth Kane, whom she credits for her latest book and success. The women have been close pals for years, attending the births of each other’s children (they have four kids each) and traveling together.

So it’s fitting that Ree, who’s built a lifestyle empire as “The Pioneer Woman,” would make her latest project about her BFF. “I wanted to introduce Little Ree’s best friend Hyacinth,” Ree said recently at a signing event for her latest kids’ book, Little Ree: Best Friends Forever. “Hyacinth and I became BFFs when we were adults. As is the case with our real lives together, [in the book] Hyacinth rescues me a few times and she pulls me out of the mud.”

 ree drummond and her best friend facebook

Ree and Hyacinth.

Ree, 49, incorporates ingredients from her life on the ranch into the story, as she did with her first Little Ree book. That tale, she notes, focused on “my transition to country life.”

In the mid-’90s, Ree was on her way to live in Chicago when she returned home to Oklahoma briefly and met her future husband, Ladd, and through him, Hyacinth. “When I moved to the country as an adult, I sure was a fish out of water,” Ree admits. But her new friend helped her adjust.

Hyacinth has been by Ree’s side, too, as her business has grown from a blog to include a Food Network show, a restaurant, store, and now a guest lodge in Pawhuska, OK. “We’re getting thousands of people in our little 3,800 population town,” Hyacinth marvels. “There’s all these tourists!” Ree brought in the crowds, but she still gets the most joy spending time with her bestie. “It’s impossible not to have fun cooking with Hyacinth,” she says. “She makes wisecracks, stirs, chops, and most importantly, does dishes.”