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.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Oui oui!" to French Cabbage, a most unusual but flavorful use of this summer veggie

I've never known what was French about it, but the French Cabbage recipe featured here is one to which we definitely say "Oui! Oui!"

I turned it up a few years back when our garden produced row after row of cabbage. I was desperate to find recipes that would incorporate the vegetable beyond the basic "boiled cabbage on the stovetop" routine.

Enter the Birchman cookbook, or as members of my family would teasingly mock me, "The Birch-man Cook-book", repeated in a singsong fashion. They did this because seemingly every dish I put on the table, for months and months on end, had its origin in this outstanding church cookbook that included one of the best recipe collections I've ever run across in a cookbook that was not commercially produced.

As, working my way through the cookbook I prepared the recipes, compliments abounded from those I served. "The Birch-man Cook-book", I'd reply to make sure proper credit was due. Pretty soon my family members turned this into a tease. "The Birch-man Cook-book," they'd reply. Thank you, Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, for being a goldmine of excellent recipes then and now.

One of those, of course, was this one for French Cabbage. Our cabbage rows definitely weren't as prolific this year as they were in the one when we first began preparing this recipe, but I had several heads left in my refrigerator. (The final one went for Cabbage Sloppy Joes, which I'll feature in an upcoming blog.)

This makes a great, unusual, and colorful combination for a bring-a-dish buffet or potluck. People will be blown away when you tell them that cabbage is the main ingredient.

French Cabbage

1 medium cabbage
1 to 2 small bell peppers, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup celery, chopped fine
1 cup whole milk (can use skim)
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
toasted bread crumbs

Quarter cabbage and cook in small amount of water until tender; drain and chop fine. Cook celery, peppers, and garlic in butter until tender. Add to cabbage. Pour in cream and grated cheese. Mix well and place in a 9-by-9-inch dish. Put bread crumbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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