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 28, 2011

Trees will be loaded soon, but can’t wait to try these Peach-Pecan Muffins

Until this weekend’s spring-spoiler cold snap here in Texas, we could view them as fuschsia-colored spring blossoms on four different trees in our garden. The cool, strong, north wind swept those petals off the branches, but before long tiny fruit will be visible. Day after spring day we’ll watch those little ones become more and more plump until—mature peaches! Does any greater anticipation exist regarding the weeks ahead? (A gardening tip: Hubby chose different varieties that ripen in succeeding months to spread out the joy!) Soon our buckets will be full of that ripe, sweet fruit. The “peach” section of my recipe book is ready for ’em.

Whetting my tastebuds for peach-harvest days was a recipe from a recent Southern Living magazine for Peach-Pecan Muffins. The recipe was part of Southern Living’s tribute to one community’s church that for decades had served Lenten meals. Peach-Pecan Muffins represented a traditional menu item that helped draw hordes of people to the luncheons.

The muffins seemed so inviting, I simply couldn’t wait for our own peaches to appear. I sent Hubby to the grocery to bring back a few peaches that bore an “imported from Chile” label. I just had to try Peach-Pecan Muffins, even if the peaches therein were derived from Chile instead of from my own back yard.

Delicious peach chunks were folded into a batter and dropped into muffin cups, with a generous topping of brown-sugar, cinnamon, and pecan streusel. We enjoyed these as a Saturday-morning breakfast item before we departed to conduct round-two of spring cleaning at our place at the lake. I prepared these delicacies on the Friday night before; all evening the plateful of just-baked, wonderful-smelling muffins tempted me, but I self-disciplined and didn’t take my first bite until morning.

Terrific as only something made with fresh peaches can be!

Peach-Pecan Muffins

Pecan Streusel:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar (can use 1/6 cup brown-sugar substitute)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup skim milk
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1 cup peeled, chopped, fresh peaches
cooking spray

Prepare streusel: stir together pecans and next four ingredients until mixture is crumbly. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour and next four ingredients. Make a well in center of mixture. Stir together butter, milk, and egg; add to dry ingredients by pouring liquid into well. Stir just until moistened. Gently stir in peaches. Coat muffin tin with cooking spray. Spoon batter into muffin cups; fill two-thirds full. Sprinkle with pecan streusel. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center emerges clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12-13 muffins.

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