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, August 11, 2011

A fresh idea for this green wonder veggie: Zucchini and Salmon Planks

“At least our garden had zucchini this year.” This is not a claim I can make for myself, but I’ve heard several people brag on their zucchini crop this summer even while bemoaning that most everything else—even okra!—didn’t make. Now that’s a bad year, when someone’s (indomitable) okra doesn’t perform. But those who had okra crop failure still seemed to have zucchini. Go figure. We’ve planted zucchini for several summers and haven’t seen, as my mother would have said, “hide nor hair of it”.

Never fear, however. Farmers’ markets and grocery stores seem to have plentiful supplies of this summer veggie. Zucchini, which contains lutein, is worth the effort to get on the table. Lutein is good for the eyes and is known to help ward off cataracts and macular degeneration. Having seen my mom’s vision decline drastically because of macular degeneration, I want to keep that depriving condition at bay in my own life, for sure. I’d be willing to eat zucchini every day if that would happen.

Prevention magazine’s August 2011 installment featured zucchini as its pet veggie for the month and offered seven “fast and fresh ideas”, as Prevention described them, for cooking it. The recipe I tried was called “Zucchini-Wrapped Salmon”, but my zucchini must have not been sliced thinly enough to do the wrap number, so I made it into “Zucchini and Salmon Planks”—same great flavor and same pairing of zucchini with salmon, the wonder fish. The health properties of cholesterol-lowering salmon know no bounds. Everywhere one reads, some new benefit of salmon is being touted.

A simple sprinkle of thyme and a spraying with cooking oil gives this tender, light summer meal all the seasoning it needs to be delicious.

Will we try with zucchini again next season? Probably. Congrats to all gardeners who had a positive outcome in this challenging summer.

Zucchini and Salmon Planks

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1 large zucchini cut into thin lengthwise slices
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray cooking oil onto baking sheet. Cut fillets into plank-like portions (basically strips that are about 4-inches long and 2-inches wide). Lay one or two zucchini strips atop salmon planks (or wrap the zucchini around the salmon fillets, if your zucchini strips are thin and malleable enough). Spray fish and zucchini combinations very lightly with cooking spray. Bake until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

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