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.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This squash melange certainly rated best in our pre-Thanksgiving "show"

The saved recipe that once appeared in the newspaper stated only that it was "Best of Show—All American Casserole Contest". Since I cut the clipping out long ago, I didn't preserve with it the headline saying "Best of Show" where or when. The State Fair of Texas? Some other kind of local bakeoff? My info was incomplete. Yet any recipe that's labeled "best" of something, I eventually have to try.

So as I planned my menu for my "drive-by" Thanksgiving I mentioned in yesterday's blog, I automatically zeroed in on this choice, because I saw it had been a winner. Only winners for my family for this special gift we were handed of our son dropping in for a pre-Thanksgiving visit.

Fresh zucchini and fresh yellow squash, called for to make the casserole, were vegetables we had on hand after our recent stop at the Oklahoma farm stand I mentioned in a previous blog. They were diced and boiled and mixed with sour cream and cheddar cheese. On top went crushed butter crackers. Hubby and I enjoy the fact that a lightly salted variety of Ritz crackers (officially called Hint of Salt) is available; this works well for snacking in Hubby's sodium-restricted eating plan. These crackers I now used crushed for the crust on top.

Ultimately this squash melange looked fabulous in the mix of Thanksgiving offerings on our buffet table. Even some avowed non-squash-eaters that dined on this recipe gave it rave reviews and wanted to know how it was made.

The "Best-of-Show" title for this casserole certainly lived up to its name. Days later when we were cleaning up leftovers, everyone was begging for the last morsel of this tasty dish that couldn’t be more Thanksgiving fare than if it had been served by the Pilgrims.

Yellow Squash-Zucchini Casserole

6 cups large diced yellow and zucchini squash
vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup grated (2-percent milk) cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed butter crackers (tried with Ritz lightly salted variety)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté squash in a little vegetable oil over medium-low heat until it is soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Line colander with clean dishtowel or cheese cloth. Place cooked squash in lined colander; squeeze out excess moisture and set squash aside. Sauté onion in butter for 5 minutes; remove from pan and mix all ingredients together except cracker crumbs. Pour in buttered casserole; top with cracker crumbs. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

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