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 6, 2010

Cute bow-ties, healthy tomatoes and herbs make chicken-salad dish memorable

The bow-ties make it cute; the tomatoes and herbs make it garden-fresh.

Hubby almost couldn't find the bow-tie pasta when I sent him to the grocery to purchase some of the ingredients. Finally he discovered it under the label "farfalle", its formal name.

"Mediterranean," was all he could say after the resulting Herbed Pasta and Chicken Salad was prepared and served. Truly the recipe had many the elements (olive oil, herbs, etc.) of the Mediterrean cuisine that many are telling us is health-inducing and life-prolonging.

But the fresh tomatoes absolutely made the salad. I kept looking out the back door and longed for the day when our fall tomato plans are thriving and when all tomatoes that are called for in a recipe can be the fruit of our garden's handiwork.

Allowing this dish to chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight is mandatory. The mixture would have seemed rather insipid if it had not been for the lengthy melding of the flavors. Allow plenty of time; don't get in a hurry (the Mediterranean way, of course). You'll have the salad around forever, so don't rush things here--just as if you were enjoying the more-relaxed pace of the Old Country.

We did. It's still filling up our lunchtime plates after we enjoyed it for dinner one evening.

Herbed Pasta and Chicken Salad

4 ounces bow-tie pasta
1 cup chopped cooked white chicken meat
2 cups small cherry tomatoes, halved (or 4 regular-sized Roma tomatoes, cut into small chunks)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped black olives
2 ounces diced cheddar cheese
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh parsley
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Cook pasta according to directions, omitting salt Drin, rinse in cold water, and rinse again. Combine pasta, tomatoes, celery, olives , and cheeses in a large bowl. Set Aside. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients, stirring with a wire whisk. Pour over pasta and toss gently. Cover tightly and chill in at bowl at least 8 hours. Yield: about 7 cups.

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