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.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Garlic-Chive Mashed Potatoes a hit of a side dish, even with the particular

One version for the picky, one for the not-so-picky. This is how I’ve learned to manage food preparation when I wanted to try a new recipe out on the family. Not fair to deprive them of the foods they like just because I have a dish I’m itching to try, I reason. So where the mashed potatoes for Sunday’s Easter meal were concerned, we had a serving of the plain and one of the fancy.

In the February 2011 issue of Southern Living magazine I had earmarked a recipe for Garlic-Chive Mashed Potatoes, with garden-fresh chives and 4 ounces fat-free cream cheese swirled into the white fluffiness just before serving. I considered this a can’t-miss side for the Easter dinner. I mean, doesn’t every Easter dinner call for mashed potatoes? The ones at our house do. Our daughter particularly loves them—but she also loves them plain. She would be crestfallen if she sat down at the table to some substitute.

At our house Hubby is the grand poohbah of potato mashing. He knows the exact amount of time to whip them with the electric mixer, knows the exact amount of butter and milk to add, and knows the exact amount of pepper and salt (substitute) to shake in. So I asked him to peel a few extra potatoes to boil and mash. Then when he finished, I took half his whipped potatoes and added a butter-and-garlic mixture, the fat-free cream cheese, skim milk, chopped fresh chives, and salt and pepper.

The fluffy, rich side dish looked very tempting on the table in Grandmother Moore’s pretty silver-rimmed oval serving dish. But after all, it did have GREEN THINGS in it. The plain mashed potatoes in their clear bowl looked appetizing as well. Now everybody would be happy. I waited to see what transpired.

Guess what? Even the picky went for the new version. Garlic-Chive Mashed Potatoes was a hit with all. The plain version wasn’t neglected, but kudos went out loud and long for the experimental side dish. Success! I knew I had hit on a new winner in the potatoes category.

Garlic-Chive Mashed Potatoes

24-ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) cooked potatoes, mashed
1 tablespoon butter
4 minced garlic cloves
4-ounces fat-free cream cheese (I use Neufchatel)
2/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
salt (or salt substitute) and pepper to taste

Cook potatoes; mash to desired consistency. Meanwhile in a small skillet over medium heat melt 1 tablespoon butter; add minced garlic cloves and sauté for 1 minute. Transfer cooked potatoes to a large bowl. Add garlic mixture, cream cheese, milk, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until mixture is fluffy. Makes 6 servings.

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