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, February 15, 2011

Hairdresser-tested recipe for Mexican Salad a real bonanza of freshness

If you want to know something, ask a hairdresser.

For years I've lived by this maxim. Hairdressers are walking encyclopedias for all that lives and breathes. Their vast degree of social contact gives them, on a daily basis, access to more information than the average individual would collect in a lifetime of living.

Our daughter was fortunate to marry well in this regard. Not only did she get a special, devoted hubby, she also acquired a mother-in-law who is a hairstylist (and a very nice person, to boot). My daughter's hair always looks bandbox-perfect as a result of this fortunate connection.

Recently my daughter's mother-in-law shared with me this recipe for Mexican Salad; around the salon she'd picked up the instructions for this new dish. Wow, was I glad I knew a hairdresser after I tried this recipe! Debbie was absolutely correct in believing this one would be up my alley because of its fresh ingredients. With the fiber-ific properties of beans getting higher kudos by the day, this recipe has the double benefit of containing both black beans and blackeyed peas, with a little corn tossed in for added measure. Green onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and celery (the latter addition drawing a big smile from Hubby, since he's mad about celery these days) add to the health plusses of this flavorful mixture.

Letting the ingredients marinate for at least four hours (or better, overnight) is crucial to the success of this dish. Stirring it frequently to make sure all the liquid is mixed in is a must. Actually I ended up doubling the recipe for the marinade to be sure the dressing had enough moisture, but if I had been more vigilant about tossing it frequently, I probably didn't need to increase the liquid and could have stuck with what the recipe below specifies.

I garnished the finished product with a cut-up avocado and served it with tortilla chips. Hubby kept returning again and again for just a few more morsels of the salad. I was extremely thankful to have this hairdresser-tested recipe, which, as most women know, is just about the best recommendation a dish could have!

Mexican Salad

1 14-oz. package slaw
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can blackeyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (12-15 ounce) bag frozen corn (or 2 cups fresh corn cut from the cob)
2-3 chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
avocado for garnish, if desired

In a large bowl mix and toss the first nine ingredients. In a small saucepan mix vinegar and sugar; boil and let cool. Toss the dressing with the salad mixture. Allow to marinate for 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with avocado, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

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