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, September 27, 2010

"Absolutely terrific" still best label for Salmon Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs

Some years back, as my mother's health grew more compromised in her latter days, Hubby and I endeavored to keep her in her own home as long as possible. We knew her independent streak raised its head when we considered outside help, but at least we could share our meals with her so we could be sure she was well-fed.

One day when I seemed out of ideas about what to prepare for her, in desperation I looked in my pantry and found a can of salmon. Flurrying through my recipe files, I turned up instructions for Salmon Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs. I had no experience with salmon being prepared in any way except for salmon croquettes and salmon loaf. I had no idea whether my mother even liked salmon salad (we'd certainly never dined on it in my childhood), but it seemed our only food option for that evening's dinner.

When we presented her with her food tray and she spotted my creation, her face erupted in delight. "Oh, I was just thinking about how much I was hungry for salmon salad!" she exclaimed. Well, I'll be, I thought. Who knew? Seems this dish was a favorite of her young adulthood and early marriage. My desperation ploy to scrounge up a meal actually fit the bill perfectly. My mother was pleased as punch; Hubby and I enjoyed the dish, too.

Recently when we had some baked salmon left over from a meal, I remembered the delight on the face of my mom, who for the past five years has been dining at heaven's Banquet Table, and dug out the Salmon Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs recipe. Fresh tomatoes and onion from the garden, along with fresh herbs (chives and dill), formed the basis for this notation to be made in my recipe binder: "Absolutely terrific salad! Wonderful for company luncheon or summer supper."

We were past the time of "summer supper"s, but an early fall supper was upon us; this recipe was more than fine. Salmon Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs, the dish that I once considered a throw-together meal that I hoped would suffice, now ranked way up there with the food of kings--and once again, it was "absolutely terrific"!

Salmon Salad with Pimento and Herbs

1 (14-ounce) can red salmon, well-drained, bones and skin removed (or 14 ounces baked fresh salmon)
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced white onion
1/2 cup diced tomato
3 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh chives or 2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon fresh dill
3/4 teaspoon paprika
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon green onions, chopped

In medium bowl mix salmon with celery, onion, and tomatoes. In small bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, dill, paprika, if desired, and black pepper; combine with salmon mixture. Top with green onions and serve immediately over dark greens or over whole-wheat pita wedges, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

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