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, July 11, 2012

Layers of colorful sweetness: berry delicious

The moment I saw it on the magazine cover, I knew that it HAD to be my dessert for the recent holiday. Red berries, blue berries, white ice cream, and red velvet cake with berries baked into the batter. How could I lose? I didn’t have to put a single decoration (although I did) on my table and this sweet concoction would have been accessory enough.

Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler was served in clear, deep goblets so the colors would shine through. The magazine included a cake recipe, which I’ll print below, but I confess that I used a store-bought cake mix that I happened to have in the pantry. However, that didn’t stop me from including the berries with the batter as the recipe said to do.

The magazine also added a recipe for Cream Cheese Ice Cream (since red velvet layer cake almost always features Cream Cheese Icing). The recipe made only a quart, but we put it in our big electric freezer (countertop freezers are available for sure, but we don't own one) and churned it just like it was a gallon of traditional homemade vanilla.

You save a few berries of each color (I used raspberries and blueberries and avoided strawberries because of Hubby’s aforementioned challenge with strawberry seeds) to layer in-between the cake and ice cream segments.

This was dessert perfection at its finest. Missed it for July 4th? This combo will add festivity to any meal in the good ole summertime.

Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided (or sugar substitute)
6 cups assorted fresh berries (can choose from among blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
2 tablespoons red liquid food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together cornstarch and 1/2 cup sugar. Toss berries with cornstarch mixture. Spoon into a lightly greased 11-inch-by-7-inch baking dish. Use an electric mixer at medium speed to beat butter until fluffy; gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time. After each addition beat until just blended. Stir in red food coloring and vanilla until blended. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir together buttermilk, vinegar, and baking soda in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. (Mixture will bubble.) Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture. Begin and end with flour mixture. After each addition beat at low speed until blended. Spoon batter over berry mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of cake topping emerges clean. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Layer scoops of Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler, ice cream, and fresh berries in glasses. Top with sprigs of fresh mint; I topped mine with sprinkles. (Source: Southern Living July 2012)

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