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, November 23, 2010

Harvest Chili show-stopper on any Thanksgiving table or for family meals on this week of mega-food prep

Also left over from our earlier Oklahoma roadside stand visit: a large butternut squash as well as a pattypan squash. I knew these were just begging for some wonderful recipe to be included in, but I wasn't really familiar with cooking either. I've always been very "garden-variety" (no pun intended) where squash was concerned—yellow squash and zucchini were the extent of my repertoire. (At the roadside stand Hubby scooped these up because he thought these looked interesting.)

My Celebrating a Healthy Harvest handbook fortunately helped me out in a wonderful way. The recipe for Harvest Chili was a lifesaver. But peeling the extra-tough skin on the butternut squash was a challenge. The recipe didn't say to do so, but I heated up a large pot of boiling water and boiled the butternut until it softened up and peeling was easy.

Adding the fresh corn, fresh tomatoes, and green bell pepper made this a healthy as well as colorful combination—perfect for Thanksgiving week, especially since folks are trying to limit their food intake to make room for that extra amount of Thanksgiving Day dining in which they plan to indulge. Harvest Chili was so enjoyable, we dined on it for both lunch and dinner in the same day for many days.

Also, quick and easy describe this prep—a good idea since most of us are busy readying for Thursday's dinner. The ease of preparation of this Harvest Chili can halt the fast-food-to-go line temptation on this week of (food) weeks, so you can serve your family something nourishing while not sacrificing precious time in the kitchen. Or, thinking outside the box, Harvest Chili would be a show-stopper on any Thanksgiving table.

Harvest Chili

2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 pounds butternut squash (or a combination of butternut and pattypan)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
2 cups fresh tomatoes (or 1 14-ounce can, undrained)
1 cup water (If you are using canned tomatoes, omit the water.)
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 large ears of corn, cooked and cut from the cob
1 small can green chilies or 1/2 cup fresh, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Peel and chop squash into 1/2-inch chunks. Heat oil in skillet and add squash, onion, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add tomatoes and green pepper; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover; simmer for 15 minutes. Add corn, chilies, salt, and pepper; simmer covered for 5 minutes or until squash is tender. Uncover and increase heat to high. Cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid is reduced; serve.

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