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.

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Never-thought-I'd-like-it" Hubby surprised by delicious onion pie

"I never thought I’d be able to say I liked onion pie,” Hubby murmured approvingly as he scraped the casserole bowl for the last crisp of the dish we’d just polished off. For the past two nights we had been dining on Spring Onion Pie and marveling at how a concoction so simple could make such a dandy meal.

For several weeks the green tops from our ample onion crop have been standing in our garden as though they were bristles on a brush. From my office desk, looking out past our patio and into the garden expanse, I’ve been gazing on their little salutes as they soaked up the sun and got ready for the picking.

When the May 2012 issue of Southern Living featured Spring Onion Pie as a famous North Carolina chef’s pet recipe, I saw that it called for 10 thin spring onions and loved the idea of toting some straight from the garden and onto the chopping board in my kitchen. I can’t tell you how that fresh-straight-from the-garden-rows flavor lit up my world when I took my first bite of this pie, which was nothing more than a stirring-up of egg, milk flour, salt, baking powder, pepper, butter, and cheese.

The recipe called for cubed Gruyere cheese, which I didn’t have, but I did an Internet search to see what was the best kind of cheese to sub; it said to use Swiss. Hubby had a little tough time locating 10 garden onions that met the recipe’s “thin” qualification, as ours now are plumping up healthily, but once he did, they were the magic touch.

Yep, Hubby was able to say he liked onion pie. Adored it, in fact.

Spring Onion Pie

10 thin spring onions
4 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 1 cup egg substitute)
1 cup milk (I used skim)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I used salt substitute)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
5 ounces Gruyere cheese, cubed (I used Swiss)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in oven. (I used a casserole dish instead.) Trim roots from onions; discard roots. Chop half of onions. Whisk together eggs and milk. Sift together flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture. Whisk rapidly for 20 to 30 seconds or just until blended and smooth. (No lumps should appear.) Stir in chopped onions. Let stand 5 minutes. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven. Add butter; let stand until butter is melted. Place skillet over medium-high heat; pour batter into skillet. Arrange cheese and remaining whole onions over top of batter; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until edges begin to set. Transfer skillet to top oven rack; bake at 400 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. (Outside edges should be crispy; inside texture should resemble a custard popover. Pie will deflate quickly. Serve immediately.) Makes 6 servings.

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