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, June 28, 2011

Peaches and carrots and nuts, oh my! A great breakfast bread combo

For the last month I’ve been salivating all the way to the mailbox (who says people don’t get anything worth having through the U.S. Mail anymore?) The June 2011 issue of Southern Living magazine promised that the next month’s installment would be all about peaches. For a peaches gal like me that promised heaven. I’m forever scouring every source imaginable for new and inventive ways to cook with peaches. I knew the SL folks would hatch up some doozies.

O my! No disappointment there when my July installment finally appeared. I knew I’d find some treasures when I saw the magazine quote author Alice Walker (In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens), who wrote the following: “Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.” The theology in that quote may not be accurate, but the fresh-peach part of life truly helps fulfill on the psalmist’s belief that he would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Ps. 27:13). Peaches truly represent one of the crown-jewel aspects of life on earth.

What to try first among all of SL’s novel suggestions? I already possessed a half-bag of fresh carrots that I needed to use in a recipe and of course always have shelled pecans on hand, so Spiced Pecan Carrot Bread seemed as though it was a great way to get started on responding to SL’s call to honor the peach. The idea of blending peaches and carrots in a breakfast bread tantalized me; the recipe was touted as having won first place in South Carolina’s 2009 Annual Peach-Off Contest. Instead of making the recipe into one large 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf, I used a large pan that contained spaces for 8 mini loaves. I thought I’d enjoy having lots of little loaves to share with friends and family; I also knew we didn’t need a big ole chunk of tasty breakfast bread sitting around all week. With mini loaves I knew I could get rid of the temptation quickly.

These turned out wonderfully moist. I loved biting into the warm fresh peaches as the loaves were first out from the oven and cooled minimally; the combination with carrots was a big success. Of course Hubby couldn’t resist topping his bites of bread with some homemade peach preserves (from last summer’s canning). Best of all I have 11 little loaves left for some delicious little gifts (although some of them may remain as gifts to ourselves!)

Spiced Peach Carrot Bread

3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped fresh, ripe peaches
3/4 cup freshly grated carrots
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup skim milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow pan bake pecans in a single layer for 8 to 10 minutes or until nuts are toasted and fragrant. Halfway through stir nuts. Cool 15 minutes. In a large bowl stir together flour and next 6 ingredients; add peaches, next 4 ingredients, and toasted pecans. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into a lightly greased and floured 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan (or in a pan containing spaces for 8 mini loaves). If baking large loaf bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center emerges clean. If baking mini-loaves bake 30 minutes or until pick emerges clean. Cool in pan(s) on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove bread from pan(s) to wire rack; cool completely (about 1 hour).

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