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, December 28, 2010

Spinach salad has enough festive color to dazzle any holiday buffet

Terrible to love a food passionately yet to be allergic to it. Hubby craves strawberries, but alas, let one stray strawberry seed wend its way into his digestive system, and for days he pays an awful price. His diverticulitis doesn't seem to react to any other type of seed—he can eat seed-infused kiwi, tomatoes, even raspberries and blackberries to his heart's delight and have no reaction, but he literally can be on the same city block as a strawberry and feel its gastrointestinal after-effects.

So, if I'm yearning to prepare some food item that contains strawberries, I have to do it for a covered-dish meal at which PLENTY of other choices are available, so he's not tempted to dig into whatever I've fixed and so it's not the only food item on the menu, leaving him stranded.

For such a reason I had carefully picked out Spinach Salad with Berries and Almonds as one of the food items to bring to my cousin's holiday family gathering. I long had had this delightful dish on my to-prepare wish list, but I wanted to be sure Hubby wasn't squeezed into a corner with no other salad options. At this family food fest I knew he'd never even glance in the direction of the strawberries because the other salads, prepared by our family's good cooks, would be so enticing.

The reason I chose this dish for holiday season is because it looks like a holiday (not to mention its health benefits). Green spinach, red berries, and the white feta cheese represent a great choice for a buffet. The delightful dressing made with raspberry vinegar and sugar-free raspberry jam is a terrific coating. On my recipe, which I once clipped from the Dallas Morning News, I previously had written, "No words to describe how great this is!" I stand by my story. I believe you will, too—setting it aside for your next year's holiday "must" file—or preparing it for any of your gatherings still ahead in those few days of 2010 remaining.

Spinach Salad with Berries and Almonds

6 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 cup fresh strawberries (can also use raspberries)
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar-free raspberry jam
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey

In a large bowl combine spinach, feta cheese, nuts, and berries. In small bowl whisk together vinegar, jam, mustard, and honey. Drizzle dressing over top of the salad and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

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