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.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Awesome veggie dish worth a sweaty, sticky garden trip to procure okra

I never thought I’d see the day: me—Kay—racing outdoors, snippers in hand, to stand in the punishing sun and prowl around among the sticky-leaved okra plants—hoping against hope that enough baby okra had matured overnight so I could clip a few morsels for a dinner entrée. Normally the bane of any gardener’s existence this time of year (too much okra—more than anyone knows what to do with), I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum: too many good okra recipes and okra not surfacing quickly enough to get them all prepared.

The enticing recipe this time was a recipe called Okra-and-Corn Maque Choux. That one sent me scurrying to do a little research. The dish sounded divine, but what was a Maque Choux? Had I spelled it wrong? Good ole Wikipedia told me it was a traditional southern Louisiana dish—the name pronounced to sound like the words “mock shoe”. Actually it’s a combination of cajun and American Indian cultural influence (I suspected some Native American might be lurking in there somewhere, since it bore such an unusual mixture of veggies).

Wikipedia states that besides the ingredients in this recipe, some Maque Choux combos include celery; others add a bit of sugar and a dash of hot sauce (I actually added a few hot sauce dots myself); others, instead of sausage, will contain bite-sized portions of chicken or crawfish or even will have shrimp dumped in at the final stage. Interesting ways to try it another time, but for this first adventure I stuck with the Okra-and-Corn Maque Choux recipe I found on www.myrecipes.com.

All I can say is, this divine ole Mock Shoe was worth sweating in the okra patch with its resultant stickiness to bring in enough baby okra for this delicious recipe. The turkey sausage gave it just that added touch. We wolfed it down quickly and were wanting more. From the looks of the baby okra still to be harvested outdoors, we should have plenty of opportunity.

Okra-and-Corn Maque Choux

1/4 pound turkey sausage, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups fresh corn kernels, removed from cob
1 cup sliced fresh okra
1 cup peeled, seeded, and dice tomato
salt (or salt substitute) and black pepper to taste

Sauté sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until browned. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add corn, okra, and tomato; cook, stirring often, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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