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, June 4, 2012

Melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Pecan Waffles make a breakfast memorable

Pecans—love ’em and hate ’em. Love ’em right now because of the promise of many this fall. The past two years, our pecan crop (from our dozen trees) has been terrible. This year we are full of hope—mainly because everything else that grows on our property is doing so well. Lots of catkins (those stringy green/brown droppings that are part of the pecan’s growth cycle) have fallen everywhere around us. After reading lots of material on the Internet, I’m still unsure whether a ton of dropped catkins means pecans will be abundant of a particular tree, but I’m counting on a great harvest this fall to replenish our supply.

The downside is that when those trees shed in the spring, my eyes almost itch themselves out of their sockets. (That's the “hate ’em” part.) Usually my allergy to pecan sheddings puts me out of my contacts for weeks on end. I just stumbled onto some great over-the-counter anti-itch drops that have made a huge difference in this regard, but sometimes the physical price (itchy, weepy eyes) seems pretty high to pay to have those divine nutmeats just outside every door to our home in the fall. No true Texan would ever think such thoughts, but I understand why Hubby (sympathizing with my misery) sometimes entertains the idea of chopping them all down and replacing them with other fruit-producing trees.

So the nuts contained within this recipe still had to be storebought (for now), but these Chocolate Pecan Waffles reminded me of how lucky we were to once have bag on top of bag full of shelled pecans in our freezer.

Chocolate Pecan Waffles, which I made during Hubby’s recent birthday celebration, are just about the best waffles you’ll ever put in your mouth. Hubby thought this was a sufficient gift for him and that he needn’t receive another thing to have the best birthday on record.

The recipe hails from an old PTA cookbook that my mother was given shortly after she married and moved to Garland in 1941. Her down-the-block neighbor, Mrs. Bradfield, originated the recipe. Mrs. Bradfield was a mentor to my mother after she arrived in a new city. Mrs. B also was a great friend to me and always bought anything I had to sell (magazine subscriptions, band candy, etc.) as a school fund-raiser. Later on, Hubby and I purchased the old Bradfield home and kept it as rental property until we sold it some years later. I knew that this dish that brought us such a treat once had been prepared in that very kitchen that was our own for a time.

Later on, Chocolate Pecan Waffles was one of the featured recipes in my Way Back in the Country Garden cookbook—a great way to honor a former neighbor and to share a dessert that we were nuts, er pecans, over.

Chocolate Pecan Waffles

1 cup butter, melted
2 squares semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup milk (I use skim)
2 eggs, beaten (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1 cup sugar (I use sugar substitute)
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped (or broken) pecans

In medium pan melt butter and chocolate squares. Remove from burner and cool. Add milk and beaten eggs. Add sugar, flour, baking powder. Fold in pecans. Pour mixture onto prepared, hot waffle griddle. Makes 4 servings.

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