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, November 3, 2011

Apple Muffins—savor now or save for Thanksgiving week

For me, a new cookbook with untried recipes inside operates as though it were a giant magnet pulling me into its pages. I start purposing to try out each suggestion and to write my comments in the margins after the item is prepared. The fresh-produce recipe book from the Southwest Chili Peppers Nutrition Task Force (mentioned last week) is one such lure. The highly basic nature of the recipes—designed to help people learn to cook produce in the most elemental manner—appeals to me.

I wanted to try its recipe for Pear Muffins but had only apples (of course!) and not pears in my produce bin. So I merely subbed 1 cup diced apples (about 2 medium ones) for the 1 cup diced pears it called for; for a little spiced-up flavor I also added 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. The zest of 1/2 orange (you also could use the zest of 1 lemon or 1/2 grapefruit, the recipe says) plus 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans) are nice additions. I think its flexibility is the thing I like most about the recipe—it allows for various adaptations. If you don’t have a particular ingredient on hand, try similar one that is available to you.

Tempting to devour all of these now, but they were soon spirited away to the deep freeze to save for Thanksgiving week. Apple-y and spice-y, they represented an easy way to put a little fall away for some family time later.

Apple Muffins (adapted from the recipe for Pear Muffins)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 egg beaten (I used egg substitute)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
zest of 1 lemon, 1/2 orange, or 1/2 grapefruit
1 cup diced apples (about 2 medium apples, peeled)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat together milk, beaten egg, oil, and zest of lemon (or orange or grapefruit). Mix apples and nuts into flour mixture. Gently stir milk mixture into dry ingredients. Batter should be lumpy and not smooth. Do not over mix. Spray muffin pans with nonstick spray. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until tops are browned. Remove from pan immediately; serve warm. Makes 12-14 muffins.

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