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, March 7, 2011

Oodles of syrupy pecans get weekend morning moving with this delectable French toast

This past Saturday morning called for a power breakfast that was needed to keep us pumped for a LO-O-O-O-NG day of errands. Time away to visit son and family out West had been terrific, but now we were back to get-serious time in terms of putting our lives here back in order.

Part of that re-entry involved catching up on those unavoidable tasks that pile up when we’re out of pocket. Wal-Mart, grocery, a little pre-Easter prep, etc., all awaited; some of those required Hubby’s presence. Fortify him well, I reasoned, so he’s a willing accomplice to all the “Honey-Do”s that lie ahead.

After the breakfast I hatched up, Hubby might well have been primed to say yes to diamonds and pearls (I didn’t try, mind you, but I could have.) Breakfast consisted of none other than a dish temptingly titled Praline-Pecan French Toast, adapted from a recipe out of a recent Southern Living magazine that featured old Southern standbys with a new twist. The recipe’s tagline read, “A short-order breakfast special gets an easy hands-off finish in the oven.”

I have to admit, this dish doesn’t look very promising when it’s baking. I had to keep peeking at it through the oven-door window and kept murmuring, “Southern Living, I don’t know about this . . ..” From top-side up it simply resembled a bunch of wheat-bread scraps stirred around in a bread bag and shaken out into a 13-inch-by-9-inch glass pan.

After I pulled the baked item from the oven, however, I turned the bread slices onto a dish with their bottom sides flipped over. During the cooking the bread had been baking in a pool of melted butter, brown sugar, sugar-free maple syrup, and broken pecans. Overnight the bread had soaked in a mixture of egg substitute, skim milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Once turned out onto its serving dish the pecan mixture in which it had baked became a crumbly, golden, nut topping that crowned the browned French toast. The broken nuts, saved from a previous pecan harvest from our pecan trees, had cooked up crisp and sweet. I sprinkled on a little powdered sugar, a requisite for any French toast. Then I summoned Hubby for the breakfast of his dreams.

Not one extra dab of syrup was needed for this breakfast delight, fit for a king (or the king of my house, anyway). Sure did make the errands that stretched out ahead look an awful lot sweeter.

Praline-Pecan French Toast

8-10 torn slices (day-old) whole-wheat bread
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (or brown-sugar substitute)
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar-free maple syrup
3/4 cup chopped pecans
4 large eggs (or 1 cup egg substitute, lightly beaten)
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir together brown sugar and next two ingredients; pour into a lightly greased 13-inch-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle broken pecans over brown-sugar mixture in baking dish. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Arrange torn bread pieces over pecans; pour egg mixture over bread. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 8 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread 35 to 37 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out, pecan-side up, into individual serving dishes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

No comments:

Post a Comment