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, January 31, 2011

Life-enhancing broccoli, tossed with tomatoes and avocado, featured at meal celebrating a life-marker event

A special event deserved a special meal. Our little 5-month-old munchkin over the weekend participated in his church's baby-dedication ceremony. His parents marched him across the stage as the pastor read a special Bible verse his mom and dad had chosen for his life's marching orders. This act symbolized their commitment to dedicate him to the Lord and the church's support for that pledge. Afterward both sets of grandparents and some friends gathered at the house for a celebratory dinner.

The entree, of course, could be none other than sliced barbecue beef from Mesquite (TX) Barbecue, the eatery founded by our legendary Uncle Herbert. Though he's long gone from this earth (read about him in the chapter "One Day in January" in my first cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden), barbecue prepared his way still can be purchased at this downtown Mesquite eatery. No important family occasion can occur without being graced by this dish, which we'd order as a take-out and bring to the meal.

But that barbecue beef called for some complimentary side dishes. One I had chosen was Broccoli and Tomato Salad that featured tomatoes and avocado as mix-ins. As each day goes by, broccoli gets more accolades as a super-food—one that people need as a diet staple because
of its health benefits. Broccoli’s noteworthy nutrients include vitamin C, vitamin A (mostly as beta-carotene), folic acid, calcium, and fiber. Calcium does more than build strong bones. Research shows that this mineral may play a role in controlling high blood pressure; it also may work to prevent colon cancer. Guacamole and tomatoes get rave reviews in the "must-have" foods area also.

A dressing that featured mustard, horseradish, and fat-free sour cream as its basic elements was tangy and provided a great marinade. The red-and-green salad mixture made a beautiful dish as we served our food buffet-style.

Munchkin won't remember the special weekend ceremony at the church and can relive it only through photos in his album and a video taken of the event. But we'll never dine on Broccoli and Tomato Salad in the future without it reminding us of this memorable day that we hope will help set a dear little boy on life's right pathway.

Broccoli and Tomato Salad

2 small heads broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup water
3 cups grape (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
1 large avocado, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 onion, sliced thin

2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

Blend dressing ingredients with a whisk. Cut broccoli into florets. In a medium sauce pan cook broccoli in water over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until broccoli is desired softness; drain and cool. Combine broccoli, tomatoes, guacamole, and onion. Pour dressing over the salad. Mix to coat. Serve warm or chill before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.

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