Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Salad a stunner on live TV as talk show focused on joys of gardening resurgence

Would my speckled blue spongeware bowl be too "busy" to allow the cameras to focus?

Would my romaine lettuce wilt under the spotlight?

Would I remember the list of ingredients when I had to regurgitate them for the talk-show host?

I'm sure veteran TV cooks Racheal Ray and Paula Deen never have such concerns.

But Friday when I had to prepare Tangy Orange-Pecan Salad (I even devised the acronym TOPS to help me remember the name of the dish in case I blanked on live TV) for the Arizona Midday talk show, a thousand concerns such as these ran through my mind before I stepped on the stage with host Destry Jetton.

When my first cookbook, Way Back in the Country, debuted in 2002, I became highly familiar with cooking on live TV. Stations in a numerous places asked me to be a guest and to prepare my "Golden Corn Bread" that was featured in that book's first chapter. I became so accustomed to my corn bread preparation, I could have gone through those motions in my sleep.

But Friday's appearance to help promote my new book, Way Back in the Country Garden, was a first on live TV for me to prepare Tangy Orange-Pecan Salad, which I had chosen specially for this Arizona audience because oranges and other citrus are so plenteous in Arizona citrus groves. TV stations ask you to bring a sample of the finished product as well as the recipe in various stages of preparation (cut up orange sections in a bowl, dressing in a clear-glass container, spices mixed and ready to add.) My brain cells were eight-years older than when I did this previously. Could I remember everything I was supposed to do and say during the brief three-minute time segment?

Thankfully my host, Destry, a seasoned TV personality on this NBC affiliate, made the process comfortable (beforehand we discovered she had been a Texan some years back and even worked in the same city at the same my son was employed there. Small world!) She interviewed me about why I believed home gardening is experiencing a resurgence. She was enthusiastic about my recipe and even asked me why this particular recipe, Tangy Orange-Pecan Salad, was special to me (in the cookbook I write that I first prepared it last January when we were in Phoenix for our grandson's birth at the height of Citrus Season.)

Despite my niggling concerns, my spongeware bowl looked fabulous on camera. I spieled off the recipe ingredients fast and accurately. The crunchy romaine held up great and looked delectable with the orange sections, pecans, parmesan cheese, and cilantro on top. And best of all, the camera focused on the cover of my new book again and again! Great publicity!

Doubt if I'll be edging out Rachael or Paula, but I'm pumped and ready to cook on camera again any time.

Tangy Orange-Pecan Salad

4 navel oranges
1 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar (we use sugar substitute)
1 tablespoon oil, such as olive oil or canola
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (16-ounce bag) romaine, washed, dried and chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 cup broken (not chopped) pecan halves

Peel and section three oranges; remove white membrane; cut orange sections into bite-sized chunks. Set aside. Into small container squeeze the juice of the remaining orange. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the container. Combine sugar, oil, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk into juice. Place chopped romaine into mixing bowl. Add dressing and toss. Onto serving bowl place lettuce that has been tossed with dressing. Sprinkle on orange segments, chopped cilantro, and parmesan cheese. In small nonstick skilled toast broken pecans for about five minutes until they become brown. Sprinkle on top of salad. Makes six servings.

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