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, January 18, 2011

Soon those spinach leaves will be pick-able from our own garden, just planted

Our winter garden is in! From my home-office window and looking out past my deck toward the garden plot I see the onion shoots and the new spinach and red and green lettuce plants. These were put in the ground late last week after the snow melted and the temperatures rose above freezing. Afterward, steady, gentle rains throughout the weekend were absolutely perfect to soak the soil and give those baby plants a great start.

This year marks the earliest in January we've gotten the plantings in the ground. We've also never planted quite this much this early. If even a portion of our onion starts turn out, we'll be well-supplied with onions for months on end. Hallelujah! What a feeling of accomplishment!

Soon, Lord willing, the spinach I use for this and other recipes will be plucked straight from our leafy plants outdoors, but for now, bags of fresh, prewashed spinach from the grocery produce aisle help me get this food item on the table fast. Spinach with Feta Sauce can be served alone as a delicious side or as a sauce over pasta, cooked vegetables, or chicken. The first night we dined on it as a solo veggie. For later meals I cooked up a little spaghetti and topped it with the remaining spinach and sauce. That was divine-tasting as well.

The days ahead hold great promise because of our early 2011 garden (and hopefully the spring/summer plantings to follow). On gray January days—with a lot of winter-doldrum sameness to them—having a fun garden to look toward is a great morale booster.

Spinach and Feta Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup low-fat evaporated milk
1/2 cup feta cheese, packed firmly
14 cups (about 2 packages of prewashed) spinach

Cook oil, onion, and garlic in skillet over medium heat until soft. Add evaporated milk and cheese; simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Add spinach; stir and cook until spinach just wilts. Serve as a veggie side or as a sauce, as described above. Makes four servings.

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