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.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Will Omega-3's in this recipe bring good exam results? If they don't, at least the black-eyed peas will bring good luck.

The day was two months away, then the day was two weeks away, then the day was two days away, then the day was tomorrow. The day was the date for my annual physical with my G.P. It was The Moment of Truth. No matter how much I repeat the phrase, “I’m in terrific health; I’m in terrific health”, I was about to encounter the one I couldn’t fool, even with my mantras. My G.P. (after a little blood-letting, of course) would know the numbers. He’d tell me whether all my efforts during the past year had paid off.

What to eat the night before my annual physical exam? (a meal, of course, which would be my last food to ingest before my fast began—necessary for accurate bloodwork). Only one solution to that, of course—fish and more fish. I wanted those bad-cholesterol numbers in the bloodwork to be as low as possible. Just a little more fish, after consuming it and nuts and oatmeal and fish-oil tablets all year, would never hurt.

Actually, I couldn’t help be a tad excited about this necessary evil, the annual exam. It would be my first checkup since I became a runner 15 months ago and since we began Hubby’s Extreme Healthy Eating Plan, prompted by his uncomplimentary bloodwork in November 2009. Last year’s physical occurred after I had only about three months of our new-world order under my belt. This year’s would be the first to reflect a whole 12 months of running and major outrageous eating.

My “last supper” featured my Big Easy Gumbo recipe from Southern Living. Lots of sweet onion, green bell pepper, and celery went into the stock pot; fiberific black-eyed peas, cooked chicken, turkey sausage, and the seafood element—shrimp, all served over brown rice. This hearty Creole gumbo was super-filling and would tide me over until after I could break my fast with a late-breakfast after the exam. (Years ago I learned to book the earliest-possible appointment time so I could resume eating as quickly as possible.)

Back to the recipe. Hubby and I just loved the Gumbo. The minced garlic and salt-free seasoning were just enough to spice up the mixture. The recipe made enough for dining before 10 pre-doctor’s visits. Hopefully that last boost of Omega-3’s from the fish will put me over the top for a good report.

I may well file this recipe under my New-Year’s Day recipe section since it features black-eyed peas. Looks to me as though it would make a good lucky ticket for a new year. We’ll see if it was my lucky ticket for a successful annual exam.

“Big Easy” Gumbo

1/2 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt-free Creole seasoning
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 pound turkey sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 cups frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
1 pound peeled, large raw shrimp (16/20 count)

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes, or until flour is chocolate-colored. (Do not burn mixture.) Reduce heat to medium. Stir in onion and next 4 ingredients and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Gradually stir in chicken broth; add chicken and next 2 ingredients. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Add shrimp and cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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