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.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baked Potato Soup--love it for winter evenings

What could be more cozy than a steaming dish of Baked Potato Soup? I had some soon-to-be-over-the-hill white potatoes in my veggie bin and a Southern Living November 2011 recipe for this comfort-food classic. It was a no-brainer for a winter evening meal.

This recipe called for a 24-ounce package of frozen steam-and-mash potatoes, but I simply peeled, boiled, and mashed four medium-to-large white potatoes and measured out 24 ounces of them once they were mashed. (OK, Hubby did the peeling and mashing. I need to be truthful here, because he proofreads my blog and will certainly call this omission to my attention.)

Nothing to the prep time: cooking the onion and garlic in melted butter, stirring in flour, the bouillon cube, and 3 cups water and cooking for 10 minutes; and then stirring in potatoes, milk, and pepper to simmer for about 10 more minutes. Done!

Of course the toppings are what turn this dish into a soup-like baked potato. I piled on turkey bacon bits, shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, and chives. It was a winner of a dinner!

Baked Potato Soup

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large chicken bouillon cube (can use the lower-sodium variety)
3 cups water
1 (24-ounce) package frozen steam-and-mash potatoes (I used regular potatoes that had been
peeled, and mashed, and measured out to equal 24 ounces)
2 cups milk (I used skim)
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, 5 to 10 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle onion mixture with flour and stir until coated. Stir in bouillon cube and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat; stir often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Meanwhile microwave potatoes according to package directions. (Do not add butter or milk.) Stir potatoes, milk, and pepper into onion mixture. Cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally, 10 minutes, or until mixture is thickened. Serve with desired toppings, such as bacon, shredded cheese, sliced green onions, and/or chives. Makes 8 cups.

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