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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

No partridge, but Pear Cake with its chunks of fresh pears is super-yummy

Our pears are emerging by the basketfuls now. When we go out to pick them, we no longer bring in just a handful, but our little straw basket (that once sat on my mother’s hearth to contain her sewing projects and now is our gathering basket as we approach our garden) brims when we return. Usually, at that point, the pears are too hard to carve into, so for several days we house them in a plain brown paper bag until they ripen.

In my cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, I included a Pear Cake recipe that always has been a favorite. A neighbor’s gift of a sack of fresh pears from his farm once inspired me to find this recipe for this cake, which freezes extremely well. Now having pears from our own garden, I baked two loaves: one to serve recently when my brother- and sister-in-law visited and another to take with me as a hostess gift on our recent trip to Colorado.

The cake, with its 3 cups chopped pears, is hugely moist. The cinnamon, cloves, and allspice make it spicy and good. After I took the baked cake from its loaf pan, I poured an optional Brown-Sugar Pear Glaze atop it. The pear syrup for which the glaze recipe specifies I obtained by mashing a small amount of reserved pear slices until 2 tablespoons of pear puree formed. The cake is moist enough without the glaze, but I'll have to say that the glaze as a topping is a pure delight.

No partridge, but a wonderful pear tree that is giving us its beautiful gifts to enjoy ourselves and to share with others.

Pear Cake

3 cups chopped pears
2 cups sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 cup canola oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 cup pecans, chopped

Mix first three ingredients; let stand for one hour. Beat eggs and add them to pear mixture. Sift all dry ingredients together and add to pear mixture. Add chopped pecans. Pour into greased and floured tube pan or two loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. If desired prepare Brown-Sugar Pear Glaze (below) and pour on top of the loaves.

Brown-Sugar Pear Glaze

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons pear syrup (can be obtained by mashing up a few pear slices until it forms a liquid puree)
1/4 cup brown sugar (or 1/8 cup brown-sugar substitute)
1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar

Melt butter; stir in pear syrup and brown sugar. Bring just to a boil. Stir in powdered sugar. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over Pear Cake loaves that have been removed from their baking pans and cooled.

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