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.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blissful, cool October days bring on Apple-Raisin Crisp

Day after day, week after week, it sits on the shelf and gathers dust--this labor-saving device that I just had to have. Recently Hubby was my conscience. He observed me as I peeled, cored, and sliced an apple the cumbersome way--with a paring knife--as I practically diced off a finger in the process.

"Why don't you ever use that thingy we paid so much for? It would be a lot easier," he intoned.

The thingy was my apple peeler-corer-slicer by Pampered Chef--a delightful little object that sits on the counter, accepts an apple pushed onto a spear, and then (as the operator twists a handle) peels, cores, and slices the apple all in one sweep. Blame it on my being left-handed or something, but I've never exactly perfected the art of using it. My apples emerge less than desired; I end up having to use a regular knife on them anyway.

But Hubby's words piqued my conscience; I was being wasteful by not giving it another try. Onto the spear went one of the four apples I was saving for a fall dessert. This time, success!
The gadget worked perfectly. In seconds I had a peeled and cored apple sliced into skinny, perfect rounds--ready to be diced for my Apple-Raisin Crisp recipe. Three more apples quickly followed. The apple peels went into a separate bowl to become ingredients for one Hubby's upcoming smoothies. All I had to discard was the very slim core and stem--great stewardship of a fruit God provided. I was so-o-o glad I tried again.

Apple-Raisin Crisp is a recipe I clipped years ago from a Family Circle magazine. Normally I disdain raisins--never my favorite things to eat--but in this dish they cook up soft and inconspicuous and add to the flavor and texture. The crisp topping is to-die-for over the mellow, succulent apple filling. And as a perfect accompaniment for these blissful, cool days of this first week of October, this easy-to-prepare dish, as Hubby says, "just tastes fall."

Apple-Raisin Crisp

Apple Filling:
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (1/3 cup if using brown-sugar substitute)
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 pounds Rome apples, peeled, cored, cubed
1 cup golden raisins

Crisp Topping:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar (1/3 cup if using brown-sugar substitute)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 7-inch-by-11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Filling: in a large bowl toss together sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon; add cubed apples and raising; toss again. Let stand 10 minutes while preparing topping. Topping: Melt butter. In medium-sized bowl stir together butter, flour, sugar, pecans, oats, cinnamon, and salt until mixture is evenly moistened and forms clumps. Transfer apple-raisin mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with crisp topping. Try not to break up clumps. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly and apple pieces are tender. If browning too much, cover loosely with foil during last 5 minutes of baking. Let cool 15 minutes before you serve. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes 12 servings.

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