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 15, 2011

Sweet summer corn and potatoes join forces for a celebratory soup

An increasingly fewer 50th anniversaries of anything are observed any more, since so much is transitory. Recently a friend from my early teens and I gathered to celebrate the fact that 50 years ago this fall we first became acquainted (how can that be since we’re both only 29 right now?) We mused about the fact that when we first met during junior high, the hot topics of our discussions centered around the next new shade of lipstick we’d purchase. Now we compare notes on grandkids when we and our spouses plan retirements. What a life!

At our ladies’ lunch that I prepared for our observance, we began with a first course of Summer Corn Soup, with the recipe springing from the latest (September 2011) issue of Prevention magazine. One often doesn’t think soup in the middle of the tormenting summer heat, but my friend, Mary Ann, and I agreed that we’re up for soup most any time of the year. This recipe was special because it used some of that great sweet corn that’s overflowing in our supermarkets’ produce areas right now.

The prep time on the stove is brief, to avoid heating up the kitchen with an overly warm stovetop—only 20 minutes to simmer in the first stage (note: the recipe calls for leaving the corn cobs in the boiling broth to make the stock more flavorful) and 15 minutes after the potatoes and corn kernels are added. One seeded and chopped jalapeno added just the right amount of sizzle to the recipe.

The corn was sweet and tender and the potatoes mellow for this dish that also could be a main course—Hubby and I certainly enjoyed it as a stand-alone when we consumed leftovers that evening after the lunch.

My friend and I don’t look or feel as though we’ve (or our friendship has) been around a half-century, but the Summer Corn Soup to kick off our celebration helped frame the half-century part in a cheerful perspective!

Summer Corn Soup

6 ears fresh corn
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 large fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
3/4 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup half-and-half (could use skim milk)
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Cut corn kernels from cobs. Reserve cobs. In large pot melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Add broth, 3 cups water, jalapeno, and reserved corn cobs. Simmer 20 minutes. Remove cobs and discard. Add potatoes and corn kernels. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in half-and-half; season to taste. Ladle soup into bowls; top with green onions. Makes 6 servings.

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