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, July 14, 2011

Thick, rich homemade tomato juice a fitting use for tomatoes by the bucketloads

Doesn’t the photo at left look like something you want to stand up and salute? No, this Tomato Mary wasn’t a part of our recent Fourth celebration, but it was made in anticipation of another great event—the planned arrival this afternoon of Hubby’s sister, Mary, and her husband, Richard. They’re traveling on motorbikes and riding from Oklahoma down to the Dallas area to see us. We’re rejoicing at that (and praying for their safety).

Tomato Mary is a recipe that hails from my cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden. Seems as though it would be the perfect pick-me-up to serve these loved ones after their arduous trip. Because we’re absolutely COVERED UP in tomatoes from our garden, I was thrilled that I can use up a passel of tomatoes at one time (Tomato Mary calls for 10).

You can’t beat the ease of this thing. First you core and dice the tomatoes and dump them into a large kettle. Then add the leaves from a couple of celery stalks (not the celery itself; just the leaves), onion slices, a bay leaf, vinegar, sugar, and salt. This simmers on the stove for 30 minutes. After it cools, pour the tomato mixture into a blender container. Pulse until the ingredients are pureed and the liquid thickens.

You’ll be staggered at the rich, thick juice—far more flavorful than anything canned you can purchase. This vibrant, nonalcoholic drink can be seasoned with a squeeze of lemon and a squirt of hot pepper sauce.

Tomato Mary

10 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 bay leaf
2 shoots celery leaves
2 slices sweet onion

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow mixture to cool. Pour into blender container; pulse for as long as necessary to make a puree of the vegetables. Seal in sterilized pint jars or refrigerate as long as 5 days. Serve in a tall glass; garnish with a celery stick or sprig of herbs.

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