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, January 20, 2011

With luck Cranberry-Chocolate Chip treats will inspire us to be quilt-finishers

At last I'm learning to quilt. Even though I spent the vast preponderance of my life surrounded by expert quilters and picked up bucketloads of tips from them—and even though I've already stitched numerous quilt projects on my own—I'd never previously had someone meticulously teach me the basics—all the little tricks of the trade that prodigious quilters know. I knew I needed some "aha" moments that would explain why my finished work always looked a little . . . uh . . . different, shall we say, than the Great Ones’ quilts that I have hanging in my home.

In December I got that opportunity when I signed up for a beginners class at Suzy's Quilt Shop, that renowned emporium of beauty and knowledge on the square in Downtown Garland. Teacher Paula patiently sat by all us stumbling newcomers to watch us sew our crooked seams and with great longsuffering helped us get back on track.

I emerged with what had the potential to become a lovely blue-and-white, machine-quilted tabletopper made with the Bear Paw pattern. Long hours were spent under Paula's tutelage as I put my tabletopper together and ripped out seams and re-sewed until I got it right.

Only problem was, I didn't get finished. Neither, thankfully, did the others in my class. Time ran out in our class session before we acquired all the techniques for the finishing touches. So I suggested our group get together for a "Quilt-Finishing" party and offered my spacious sewing room that Hubby had installed for me in the ground-level of our outdoor storage facility in our back yard.

This weekend my classmates and their unfinished quilts, along with Teacher Paula, will arrive for her show us how to finish well. I promised to feed them a light lunch and a little snack, so before we get those sewing machines churning, I will offer them a plate of Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Treats, which I have made for the occasion. These turned out to be a delicious use of some leftover cranberries and had healthy oatmeal stirred in.

I hope my group will like them and that they'll spur us on to get those tabletoppers completed and ready to be displayed!

Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Treats

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/2 cup light brown sugar (or 1/4 cup brown-sugar substitute)
2 eggs beaten (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup fresh cranberries (each berry cut in half)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars together until all is whipped and fluffy. Beat eggs; add to sugar mixture along with flour, oatmeal, and chocolate chips. Gently fold in cranberries. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges; cool on a wire rack.

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