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, September 5, 2011

Homemade applesauce—you’ll think you’re hearing the crunch of fall leaves

Bring-on-Fall Attempt #4—and boy, the aroma that filled every molecule of space in my home couldda convinced anyone that we were smack-dab in the middle of November. What’s more, you would have thought that what was brewing in the kettle was filled with spices.

Not so (on either account). November is still two months away (sigh); the thermometer still reads way up there (groan). And nothing spiced up the kettle except 12 chopped apples, sugar substitute, and lemon juice. Amazing that the air hung so heavy with what seemed like cinnamon-y goodness.

Hubby suggested this happened because I used several variety of apples in the applesauce. The merger of Gala, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious brought out the best in each one. (The recipe, a part of Southern Living’s applefest in its September 2011 issue, suggested using a mixture of apple types for the best taste and texture.)

Only tough thing about this whole endeavor was the peeling and chopping and coring of 12 apples. Hubby, who often takes on this assignment, was involved in other pursuits. Once this onorous task was done, in the kettle I brought the apples, lemon juice, and sugar to a boil (no water added), let them simmer about 25 minutes until tender, then poured into jars. This fresh concoction should last in the fridge about two weeks.

Nothing like it atop hot biscuits—a treat I learned from Hubby’s family. Biscuits with warm applesauce greeted me when I made my first “meet-the-fam” visit to his house before we were engaged. After we married, Hubby and I appended it to fare served in our own nuclear family. Even it had taste like dirt, Hubby probably would have liked this Fresh Applesauce over biscuits, because for him it was a walk down memory lane. However, I knew that his exultations as he dove into this dish were absolutely sincere. It indeed was terrific.

Fresh Applesauce

12 large apples, peeled and coarsely chopped (6 1/2 pounds)
1 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/2 lemon, sliced

In a Dutch oven over medium heat bring all ingredients to a light boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer (stir often) for 25 to 30 minutes or until apples are tender and juices thicken. Remove and discard lemon slices. Serve warm or let cool to room temperature (about 2 hours). Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

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