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.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Can I hold a Veggie Pocket in one hand and quilt with another? Time will tell.

The note instructs participants to "bring a sandwich for lunch". Tomorrow's my big day: I begin my first official quilting class. I've quilted for years and sat at the feet of some of the greatest quilters who ever sewed a stitch--my mother, my aunts, my grandmother. I adore quilts and have a house full of them, including several I've made.

But I've never had a professional quilter actually sit down and teach me the trade secrets. I feel sure I'm missing some shortcuts and can learn some easier ways to tackle the craft. I've had people tell me that once they took a quilting class, they realized all the ruts they needed to "un-learn" in their own self-taught quilting processes.

So, I've signed up to learn to make a quilt-in-an-afternoon fall table runner. Now that's the class for me--when I return home, I'll have a finished project in hand--fits my lifestyle just fine.

The note from the teacher told the students that lunch would be grabbed on the run between stitches. I wanted something that wouldn't be messy. "Celebrating a Healthy Harvest", my old standby source, helped by providing a recipe for Veggie Pockets--a vegetable sandwich stuffed into a whole-wheat pita half. Cucumbers and shredded carrots, along with the mashed chickpeas, make this just about as healthy (and tasty) as you can get. The pita-bread pocket makes the contents manageable for dining during this quilting circle.

Time will tell whether I bring home a souvenir--a finished table runner--from the class, or whether I'm too pokey slow to finish on time. But one thing's for sure--I have a favorite new recipe that I've gained as part of the process.

Veggie Pockets

1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beams), drained
1/3 cup fat-free Italian dressing
4 whole wheat pita breads, cut in half
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded Italian cheese

Process the chickpeas in a food processor until they are almost smooth. Scrape the sides of the container as needed so all is blended. Add the salad dressing and process until smooth. Open the pita pockets and line them with cucumber slices. Fill each pita half with 3-4 tablespoons of the bean mixture; sprinkle shredded carrot and shredded cheese on top. Serve cold or warm briefly in microwave. Makes 8 pockets.

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