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 6, 2011

Graham-cracker topped pineapple rings a healthy treat for birthday “season”

We are in the midst of what I have termed Hubby’s birthday “season”. Instead of one giant, bombastic party or activity planned to help him celebrate his “Welcome to Medicare” birthday next week, he preferred a “season” of small events to help underscore this milestone day.

Already we’ve held the first one—a visit to see members of his family in Oklahoma and a joint lunch in which his sister’s grandkids and one-third of our grandkid contingent could get together for a viewing (some new babies in the midst). That was a fun time.

Now I’ve begun another part of the series—preparing certain foods and treats that would be special to him and help commemorate his eligibility for all the over-65 discounts that fall to one of his advanced age. Hubby hasn’t been at such an ideal weight or so physically fit since he was in college, so for him, turning 65 is just another day on the calendar, but I did want to plan some key surprises for this auspicious “season”.

One of those recipes is the dessert that’s pictured—Maple-Roasted Pineapple, borrowed from the March 2011 Prevention magazine that featured pineapple as its superfood, since pineapple is at peak availability from March through June. This made a dandy dessert, with slices of fresh pineapple dredged in low-fat graham cracker crumbs and drizzled with sugar-free maple syrup and then roasted in the oven for 15 minutes or until brown. Served with sugar-free ice cream (in Texas, that’s always Blue Bell) this is an absolutely fabulous way to pack in some vitamin C and manganese (a trace mineral that promotes bone health).

You can serve it either with the center ring cut out or left in. After roasting and then broiling briefly, as the recipe specifies, the center portion was tender in some pieces and still tough in others, so if you leave it in, it might need to be cut around as you eat. Instead of being stuck with a sicky-sweet birthday cake that lingers around for days (and lingers around the waistline a lot longer), Hubby felt a guilt-free festive after dining. Even better, he had some leftover (unroasted) pineapple rings to use for his smoothies.

Maple-Roasted Pineapple

8 thick slices of fresh pineapple
1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup
1/4 cup low-fat graham cracker crumbs
1 pint sugar-free vanilla ice cream

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Put pineapple on pan, drizzle with syrup, sprinkle with crumbs, and coat with cooking spray. Roast 15 minutes or until brown and remove from oven. Turn on broiler, brush pineapple with any dripped-off syrup, and place under broiler about 5-inches from heat. Cook until charred in spots, about 2 to 5 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream. Serves 4.

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And now a brief clarification about yesterday’s featured recipe, Japanese Pasta Salad. A thoughtful reader helped raise my awareness that rice, the key element in the salad, doesn’t actually fall into the pasta category and is considered a grain. However, my original recipe from the Chickasaw Nutrition Services actually suggested macaroni instead of the rice, so the pasta title technically would be correct if the dish were made with macaroni (or bow-tie pasta, which also would be good). So let’s just say that if you choose the rice route, tell folks you’re serving Japanese Rice Salad; if you go with the macaroni, stick with my original title. I think the term Japanese is derived from the fact that oranges are called for; the original recipe also suggested using Mandarin oranges if you don’t have any fresh ones around. Any way you title it, you have a winner with this great dish.

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