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.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Greata"-Tomato-Feta stems tide of tomato deluge

They have us on the run now.

For days we watched for the first green tomatoes to appear on the vines so I could haul them in for Green Gazpacho Soup and other "easy-to-be-green" recipes. Then we eagerly waited for a few to redden so we could slice them and serve them fresh on sandwiches.

Now we're in the typical mid-summer tomato deluge. (Be careful what you pray for.) They're cropping up on the vines faster than we can work them into recipes.

I know, I know. Instantly I could polish a bundle of them off by setting out to put up some of my cousin Jana's Picante Sauce (requiring 5 quarts of tomatoes) or homemade Tomato Sauce (18 tomatoes) that I recommend in my new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden.

On some other week that might be a great idea. But this is the week of our daughter's baby shower--with deadlines and responsibilities and houseguests in town to observe the impending arrival of that sweet baby boy. Not the week to undertake a leviathan canning effort, although I'd love to do so soon.

That's why I was thrilled to find the recipe for Tomato Feta Pie (spiel off the recipe title fast and you'll sound like a server at an Italian restaurant). It calls for four large beefsteak tomatoes--truthfully, after I sampled the finished product, the recipe just as easily could have called for six tomatoes instead of four. Preparing it and carving into my tomato supply quickly provided some extra space on refrigerator's produce shelf.

The result (some fresh onions from our garden joined the fresh tomato slices in the recipe) produced a quiche-looking dish without the crust. Hubby cut him a slice of the finished "pie" and served it to himself cold. I heated mine in the microwave until it was bubblin' good.
What a clever, wonderful idea for fresh tomato usage!

The recipe, featured below, was one of the two top tomato recipes recommended in my oft-quoted "Celebrating a Healthy Harvest" recipe book. No, it didn't clear out all the tomatoes in my garden, but the summer's still young, relatively speaking, with hopefully more days ahead-- unless little expected grandboy arrives earlier than his August due date--for grinding up bunches of tomatoes into salsa.

If he does, instead of baking this Tomato Pie we just may see if we can find a recipe for Tomato Cake and celebrate.

Tomato Feta Pie

4 beefsteak tomatoes (2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) feta cheese
2/3 cup (3 ounces) reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, grated
2 large eggs, beaten (we use egg substitute)
2 teaspoons dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonfat cooking spray. Arrange 1/3 of the tomato slices (overlapping them) to cover the bottom of the pie place. Over the tomatoes sprinkle one-half of the onion. Sprinkle on one-third of the feta and mozzarella cheese. Repeat for a total of three tomato layers. In a bowl combine the eggs and oregano. Pour over the pie. Sprinkle on the remaining feta and mozzarella cheeses. Sprinkle pepper on top of all. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the egg mixture is set and the cheeses on top are bubbling and deep brown. Let the pie sit 30 minutes; cut into wedges and serve warm.

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