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, April 27, 2011

Delicate syrup is perfect for this fruit salad

Surely I could find some way to dress up my fruit salad. A beautiful serving of fresh fruit would be healthy and colorful on the Easter table, but I didn’t want it to be boring and predictable. I went out to the herb bed next to the back porch and plucked some mint springs to doll up the serving dish (using my mother’s sherbet bowls from her crystal stemware), but what else could I do?

Martha Stewart would know, I decided, so I visited marthastewart.com and typed in “fruit salad” recipes. Out rolled all kinds of fruit-salad doll-ups. I chose the marinade that accompanied her Ruby Fruit Salad, which called for chopped plums, blackberries, and blueberries to take center stage. I used the fruit I had on hand—Granny Smith apples, bananas, kiwi, red grapes, and strawberries (For Hubby I always have to make up a small batch minus the strawberries, who develops severe gastrointestinal problems from the strawberry seeds. He can hardly be in the same room with a strawberry without pains developing, so I have to be very careful not to get these mixed in.)

The Ruby Fruit Salad dressing is a mixture of brown sugar and lime juice, in which the salad ingredients soak overnight. As the lime juice and brown sugar sit together, they create a delicate syrup that suits this fruit salad perfectly. Plus since the dressing acted as a preservative, I could cut up all my fruit (including the banana) the night before without anything turning brown. This saved bunches of time in the panic between church and lunch when I was trying to get the food ready.

Ruby Fruit Salad Dressing atop Fresh Fruit

3 tablespoons light-brown sugar (or brown-sugar substitute)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 lime)
2 cups seedless red grapes, sliced in half
3 kiwi, peeled and chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
1 large banana, diced
1 cup strawberries, stem removed, diced

In a large bowl stir together sugar and lime juice. Let stand 10 minutes for sugar to dissolve. Add red grapes, kiwi, apples, banana, and strawberries; toss to combine. Refrigerate up to 1 day. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. Serves 4.

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