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 12, 2011

Mess o’ Greens Salad with Warm Pecan Dressing: a great way to bid farewell to our winter garden

Hubby says the secret with gardening is knowing when to roll ’em and knowing when to fold ’em. As far as the collard-green yield from our winter garden was concerned, the time definitely had arrived to fold ’em.

These delicious greens that practically were a foot-wide in some spots across the leaf were in their waning days. Leaves were on the verge of growing tough and yellow. The weekend that just passed seemed to be a good time to amass all those collards recipes that I blogged about uncovering on the Internet last week and to get to cookin’ while, as the advertisements go, supplies last.

My first task was to prepare Mess o’ Greens Salad with Warm Pecan Dressing, a delightful salad that used up an amazing amount of the collards plus some of our red-leaf lettuce that also has seen its glory days in our winter garden. (Recipe was from the Internet collection of www.nikibone,com, that I mentioned earlier.) Besides combining these two foods that we have been blessed with this season, the recipe also called for toasted pecans. As I’ve mentioned before, we have a big bucket of pecans in our freezer from the last time the dozen pecan trees on our property had their big output. This meant that all the key ingredients of this salad were home grown right here on our little spot of earth—just like our ancestors experienced in the olden days.

A simple dressing that combined balsamic vinegar, oil, and honey and was warmed on the stove was poured over the greens after toasted pecans fragrant from the oven were stirred into the vinegar mixture. The recipe says to serve warm; drizzling the dressing over the collards/red-lettuce wilted the greens slightly and made them tender for salad-eating.

Good things can’t last forever; the winter garden has to be cleared out to make way for the plantings of the spring and summer. We are thankful that some of those “good things” found their way to our table in the form of this wonderful new favorite.

Mess o’ Greens Salad with Warm Pecan Dressing

6 cups fresh collard greens, about 1 pound
6 cups other greens (mustard, turnip, red-leaf lettuce), about 1 pound
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped or broken, toasted

Wash greens well, dry thoroughly, then remove and discard the long stems. Tear the greens into salad-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine the vinegar, honey, and mustard. Set aside. In a small skillet heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Add the vinegar mixture and pecans and cook; stir regularly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour over the greens; serve at once. Makes 4-6 servings.

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