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.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Always on the hunt for creative ways to prepare carrots—found one!

Imaginative, quick ways to prepare that healthy but prosaic side dish—the carrot: I’m always on the lookout for them. As I’ve blogged about before, I’ve had a passion for carrots ever since I was a wee sprout propped up on seat cushions to dine at Dallas’ Wyatts Cafeteria on its legendary carrot-raisin-pineapple salad. 

Everyone knows the nutritive benefits of this bunny food—beta carotene, which benefits the eyes; helps for diminished risk of heart disease; boosts to healthy skin, hair, and bones; great source of fiber, to name just a few plusses.

In other words, if your mother said eat them and you did everything possible to avoid her counsel, you were WRONG. We grow too soon old and too late smart.

But how to add diversity to the orange veggie? The Chickasaw Nutrition Services, ever on a quest to help people dine more healthfully, gave me a recipe card for Balsamic Roasted Carrots. I love the simplicity of the plan: roast some sticks of quartered carrots in the oven; toss the carrots in an olive oil-and-balsamic vinegar mix before roasting. Roasting about 15 minutes in the oven leaves the carrots cooked to a slightly crunchy/tender but not overly mushy stage.

Actually, these tasted as good chilled as they did warm. I can imagine making these in advance of a picnic and refrigerating them to serve as you would a marinated carrot salad alongside chicken nuggets. See, I’ve returned to my roots: carrot salad—the food that got this whole carrot thing started for me in the first place!

Balsamic Roasted Carrots

8 carrots, medium, peeled, cut in half and then quartered lengthwise (3 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a roasting pan with foil. In a bowl combine all the ingredients; toss to coat. Place coated carrots in the pan and roast for about 15 minutes. Toss occasionally until caramelized and slightly tender. Makes 4 1/2-cup servings.

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