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.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The onions of summer get a fitting farewell as they become part of a warm potato salad recipe

Pulling the last--the very last--onion from the onion bin to use with a recipe prompted a walk down memory lane.

Our onion supply that had amply filled the basket on the porch had endured since late winter, when Hubby bent down in the bleak, empty expanse of dirt out back--a space that soon would become so prolific with this year's garden yield.

In his annual ritual he had visited Roach Feed & Seed and brought onion sets, put them out in bare ground under a gray, early February sky, and dreamed of weeks ahead when he'd be surrounded by green and growing things.

Some wonderful onions did emerge from that February planting. And of course the onions were followed by the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, zucchini, okra, and cabbage that we've enjoyed all summer. That's in addition to the plums, peaches, and pears that have been part of this year's harvest.

But now the onion basket was down to the dregs. The recipe in which they got chopped up and used--Heidelberg German Potato Salad--represented a tasty, ceremonial goodbye to the onions that have helped spice up salads, vegetables, and casseroles for the past six months. Thank you, onions!

Thankfully that's not the end of the garden for the year, however. As fall beckons bushy green pepper plants are ready to give their abundant birth. At least half a dozen cantaloupe are peeking through the leaves on the ground. We're spotting four big watermelons that soon will be bringing us a late-summer delight. And the ubiquitous okra--the hotter things get, the more it produces. All these still will be around a while. Then we have the fall garden to which we can look forward. Hubby has his fall tomatoes already in. And what will become of his recent planting of pumpkin seeds? Our Halloween jack-o-lantern? Time will tell.

Heidelberg German Potato Salad brings a different twist to a potato-salad recipe. Served warm with an apple-cider vinegar/bacon-drippings dressing, it is a delicious side dish to a summer meal. Years ago I pulled it from the pages of a Family Circle magazine and stuffed it in my summer-recipe file. For my last rose of summer--the last onion in this year's onion bin--it represented a fitting farewell.

Heidelberg German Potato Salad

5 pounds redskin potatoes
2 cups water
2 beef bouillon cubes (we use reduced-sodium cubes)
1/2 pound bacon, diced (we use turkey bacon)
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup vegetable oil (we use olive oil)
1/3 cup apple-cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (we use sugar substitute)
3/4 teaspoon salt (we use salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place potatoes (unpeeled) in a large pot and cover with cold water. Salt lightly. Bring to a boil and continue to boil gently for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and cool slightly. Peel while still warm. Slice and place in a large bowl. While potatoes are cooking, bring 2 cups water to a boil; stir in bouillon cubes until dissolved. Set aside. In a large skillet cook bacon until it is crisp. Break bacon into bite-sized pieces. Spoon bacon and 1 tablespoon bacon grease over potatoes. Add bouillon, onion, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix gently. Serve warm. Actually takes even better after a night in the fridge, then warmed up or served cold.

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