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, July 19, 2011

Pears in a pear tree (minus the partridge) stir up into a memorable breakfast muffin

I’m just not believin’ these delicious pears are really ours—well, not exactly ours, but God’s. He loans us our garden to tend and cultivate. But we sure are having a good time tending and cultivating. And to look at our pear tree, only in its second season, and see all those gorgeous pears dangling from its limbs as though they were Christmas ornaments—well, it just takes my breath away.

I’ve got just the recipe in which to use them, too—Pear Pecan Muffins, clipped from a 2002 Taste of Home magazine that featured every kind of muffin under the sun. Any time I have some pears on hand, I whip these up. The pear chunks merged with our homegrown pecans stir into what becomes a marvelous breakfast treat—terrific with a glass of cold milk or a steaming cup of coffee or tea.

When you first mix up the batter, you may wonder why it doesn’t seem more moist. The batter doesn’t pour into the greased muffin cups. You kinda have to massage it in, just as you might spoon cookie dough onto a cookie sheet and sorta shape it as you go. What happens is that as the muffins bake, the juice from the pears oozes into the batter. This actually produces a very moist muffin. If it’s somewhat on the crumbly side, don’t despair. The muffin itself is like an all-over streusel topping that has baked around the pears.

I used this as a Saturday morning treat to jumpstart a busy weekend with kinfolk visiting. I wanted to share with them some of our backyard garden’s finest.

Pear Pecan Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups chopped peeled ripe pears (about 6 medium)
1 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl combine the eggs, oil, and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the pears and pecans. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick emerges clean. Cool for 5 minutes before you remove muffins from pans to wire racks. Makes about 2 dozen.

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