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.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Easy skillet side dish--Asparagus with Tomatoes--pairs color and flavor

This recipe was submitted by a faithful reader of this blog. At the time she emailed it to me, she didn’t know the month was being observed as Asparagus Month (Prevention magazine had selected the stalky green veggie to be featured during May); she did it because she and her hubby had just enjoyed this easy skillet side dish and wanted to share the idea with others.

Immediately I knew that Asparagus with Tomatoes, which she had received from eatbetteramerica.com, was a must-try, because the person submitting it wasn’t just any reader: she was the daughter of the Queen of Cooks—my cousin, Yvonne. This reader’s mother (praised in both my cookbooks—Way Back in the Country and Way Back in the Country Garden) could take any ordinary veggie and turn it into a culinary symphony. Ditto for everything else edible; she’s the maestro . . . always has been.

Her daughter, my cousin Lynda, follows in her mom’s footsteps. So I knew that anything she cooked and recommended was to go on my agenda, for sure.

Some chopped-up tomatoes and onion, cooked in oil for just minutes and then seasoned with lemon juice, honey, and salt, make a wonderful topping for some tender-cooked asparagus that were briefly boiled for 7 to 10 minutes in the same skillet. The tomato mixture was placed over that. The asparagus was so tender, it was unbelievable. Best of all, one serving of this veggie (high in vitamins A and C) contains only 70 calories.

The month of May may be behind us, but asparagus still rules, as far as I’m concerned. Just love this Asparagus with Tomatoes recipe my cousin sent along.

Asparagus with Tomatoes

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
3 plum (Roma) tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 1/2 pounds asparagus

In 10-inch skillet heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion in oil 2 to 3 minutes; stir occasionally until tender. Stir in tomatoes, lemon juice, honey, and salt substitute. Cook 1 minute; stir occasionally. Remove mixture from skillet; keep warm. Wipe out skillet. In skillet heat 1 inch of water to boiling. Break off tough ends of asparagus as far down as stalks snap easily. Add asparagus to boiling water. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until stalk ends are crisp-tender. Drain. Place asparagus in serving dish. Top with tomato mixture. Makes 4 servings.

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