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, October 6, 2010

Garden-fresh veggies and comforting dumplings make this birthday luncheon dish appealing

In scads of ways my hubby and our only daughter are birds of a feather. They form our nuclear family's "blue-eyed duo"; the other two of us--myself and our son--are the dark-eyed contingent. Both Hubby and Darling Daughter thrive on multi-plate spinning--they're totally in their element when they have scads of projects under way at the same time. She takes after her dad in seeing the "big picture" of how things will be accomplished. And our girl definitely inherited her dad's entrepreneural gene and sound business sense.

Their likes and dislikes in food, however, are where the similarities ends. With few exceptions, most of Hubby's faves, which tend to be food items that are grown in a garden, wouldn't end up on any of our "meat-and-potatoes" daughter's wish list.

One of those rare exceptions, however, is Chicken and Dumplings. That's why I've chosen to serve my homemade "Weekday Chicken and Dumplings" recipe for her birthday luncheon this week. Her dad couldn't be happier. It also would be his first pick if he were choosing a birthday meal for himself as well.

Prevention magazine featured this recipe some years back; I tucked it away in my fall recipe binder because I knew both of the blue-eyeds would be thrilled with it. Fresh carrots, celery, and onions are plopped into the steaming broth until they are tender, are drained and set aside, and are returned to it after the sauce is thickened. This dish gets a "double-yum" from me every time.

So Happy Birthday to our baby girl, who this year celebrates her first birthday as the mother of a new baby boy that she and her husband welcomed a few weeks back. Here's hoping her little one ultimately will have vast numbers of foods--both the meat-and-potatoes variety as well as those that are garden-fresh--in his food repertoire.

Weekday Chicken and Dumplings

4 cups defatted reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 cups baby carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 cup frozen small whole onions, or 1 cup chopped, fresh onions
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2/3 cup skim milk
1 3/4 cup cubed, cooked chicken breast

1 1/4 cup fat-free biscuit mix
1/3 cup skim milk
dash paprika

In a medium saucepan bring broth and bay leaf to boil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and celery. Cook 5 minutes. Add onions and cook 2 minutes. Add peas and cook 2 more minutes until tender. Strain vegetables and set aside. Collect liquid; add broth or water to make 4 cups. Discard bay leaf. Return liquid to saucepan. In a small bowl whisk together flour, seasoning, and milk. Whisk into broth. Cook and continue whisking over medium heat for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the chicken and reserved vegetables.

For dumplings: In a small bowl stir biscuit mix and milk to form a soft dough. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto simmering stew; cook according to package directions. Dust paprika over the tops of the cooked dumplings. Serves 6.

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