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, August 20, 2012

Rethinking the BLT: never better than in this salad

Who doesn’t love a BLT sandwich? On Sunday nights during my growing-up days, Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato on toasted bread with mayonnaise slathered on was a staple. Years had elapsed since I’d had one of these productions. So a sweet reminder of that childhood icon surfaced recently in a magazine article on options for the summer’s tomato crop—BLT Salad!

O, was this reinvented BLT sandwich ever yummy! The only change I made from the magazine recommendation was that I diced the bread into chunks to use as croutons in the salad instead of serving it as wedges on the side. The dressing of mayo/lemon juice/garlic tossed around the greens, tomatoes, and bacon slices was the tangy crowning touch.

Before long we’ll be missing those tomatoes of summer (although Hubby plans a fall crop just as soon as this summer’s broil gives way to more garden-worthy days). How great to have this BLT Salad as a remembrance of summer’s last tomato gasp.

BLT Salad

6 artisan bread slices, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided (I used salt substitute)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
6 thick applewood-smoked bacon slices, chopped (I used turkey bacon) 
1 sweet onion, halved and sliced
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound assorted heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 (5-ounce) package arugula (I used spinach)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle bread slices with oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoons each kosher salt and pepper. Bake bread in a single layer in a jelly-roll pan 12 minutes or until golden. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels; reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in a skillet. Sauté onion in hot drippings over medium-low heat 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Smash garlic to make a paste. Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic paste, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. (If you want the dressing a tad thinner, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water.) In a large bowl toss together tomatoes, arugula, bacon, onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour mayonnaise mixture over tomato mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately with toasted bread. Makes 4 servings. (Source: Southern Living July 2012)

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