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, February 3, 2011

Nobody knows country cooking like these East Texas folks; carrot casserole is but one example

While I was on the visit to my college roomie's house (I mentioned this in yesterday's blog), I spotted what I knew would be a dynamite cookbook. The book on her shelf was produced by the First Baptist Church of Longview, TX, and contained favorite recipes from members over the years. Now, you talk about a group of smokin' hot cooks—difficult to imagine any collection of folks who have it more together food-wise than these folks do.

Understand that the East Texas cook is just a different breed than are people in the rest of the world. People from East Texas tend to be gourmet country cooks. They just KNOW how to do everything to perfection—from the world's best stovetop fried chicken to everything-from-scratch. My cookbooks, Way Back in the Country and Way Back in the Country Garden, are paens of praise to this region of the country (from which my own forebears hail) and the good, basic foods that emanate from it. Many East Texas cooks are from families that originally migrated over from the Deep South, so the moonlight-and-magnolias ways of food prep are deeply ingrained. Furthermore the rich East Texas soil promulgated vegetable gardening at its finest, so East Texas cooks became inventive in their veggie dress-ups.

Time didn't permit me to leave with every recipe from this book that caught my eye. But Cafeteria Carrot Souffle was a must-copy. Anyone who's ever dined at Luby's or Wyatt's cafeterias remembers this dish from the serving lines. Hubby’s response when he tasted a sample: “Isn't this dessert?” It definitely could be, but the use of sugar and egg substitutes makes it a healthy choice and a good way to get all those benefits that carrots offer.

Thanks to Katherine Doane of FBC Longview for submitting this scrumptious choice for her church’s recipe book collection.

Cafeteria Carrot Souffle

2 pounds carrots, cooked and mashed
3 eggs, beaten (or 3/4 cup egg substitute)
3/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
powdered sugar

Combine mashed carrots with next 8 ingredients. Pour into greased 8-inch-by-8-inch casserole dish. Bake 350 degree for 30 minutes. Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Makes 6-8 servings.

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