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, July 27, 2012

Surprise salsa looks great on the table--and it does surprise!

It was a surprise, all right—cantaloupe, watermelon, mango, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, mint, and cucumber? All in one salsa?

I was enjoying Southern Living’s recent contest for readers to submit their very best summer side dishes. The contest included a “Best Surprise” category: something off-the-wall and unexpected that took the appraisers by storm.

The winning reader submitted her version of a “Sweet, Salty, and Spicy Watermelon Refresher”. She stated that the dish is a rehydrater on summer days and helps cleanse the palate from barbecue or other picnic fare. I had to try and see.  

We served this with grilled chicken at our July 4th luncheon. It made volumes and literally was as tasty a week later (having been refrigerated in an airtight container) as it was on firecracker day. I didn’t have the jicama called for but was able to locate everything else to toss into this colorful mix. And talk about a beautiful presentation on the table!

A winner by my estimation; I love surprises.

Sweet, Salty, and Spicy Watermelon Refresher

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 jalapeno or 2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 small seedless watermelon
1 small cantaloupe
2 English cucumbers
1 jicama
2 mangoes

Combine lime juice and next 5 ingredients. Place red onion, cilantro, and mint in a large bowl. Dice watermelon and cantaloupe into 1-inch pieces; add to bowl. Peel and dice cucumbers, jicama, and mangoes; add to bowl. Stir in lime juice mixture. Cover and chill 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 10 to 12 servings. (Source: June 2012 Southern Living)

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