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, November 15, 2010

Late-season farm stand yields zucchini for delightful mini-muffins

Oh boy, oh boy, we found a roadside farm stand still open and still offering fall veggies! Sometimes this late in the year we end up disappointed when we go on a hunt for outdoor produce stands, but the one to which we were directed in rural Oklahoma (where we traveled for Hubby's physical exam that I mentioned last week) was well-stocked and ready for business.

I jumped for joy when I saw zucchini on the produce table. Now I could make my Carrot-Zucchini Mini-Muffins that always smell so autumn-y when they're in the oven. The recipe was from a Family Circle magazine of several years back. I love the fact that these muffins are bite-sized and taste wonderful by themselves or with some of my homemade peach preserves that I put up during the summer.

I've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating about a simple solution to recipes calling for buttermilk: any recipe calling for buttermilk has an easy substitution. In this case put 3 teaspoons vinegar in a one-cup measuring cup; then fill the remainder of the cup with skim milk. Let this stand for five minutes. You can forget about having to purchase buttermilk which has a high fat content and then be stuck with the remainder sitting around in the refrigerator unused.

We enjoyed these as a little "extra" with our breakfast cereal in the mornings, but they also would be great as an "extra" (healthy) side dish with a Thanksgiving meal. Thank you, little Oklahoma roadside stand, for being available to us with this fresh produce just before closing-down time for winter. Makes us eager for spring when the whole cycle starts up again.

Carrot-Zucchini Mini-Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1 cup buttermilk (or 3 teaspoons white vinegar mixed with the rest of the cup filled with
skim milk)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar (or 1/4 cup brown-sugar substitute)
1 small zucchini, shredded (1 cup)
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (1 cup)
1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoons chopped pecans for topping

Heat oven to 375 degrees. With nonstick cooking spray, coat just the bottoms of three mini-muffin pans. In a large bowl whisk together both flours, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In medium-sized bowl, whisk egg, buttermilk, oil, and sugar until blended. Stir in zucchini, carrots, and nuts. Make a well in flour mixture; pour in egg mixture. Stir until dry ingredients are just moistened. Into each cup spoon a rounded tablespoon of batter. Sprinkle tops with chopped pecans. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until toothpick emerges clean. Cool pans on rack for 5 minutes. Remove muffins; cool on rack. Makes 36 mini muffins.

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