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, August 10, 2012

Sweet Potato Cornbread—just thinking about it spices up the day

The okra is in. If anyone can bear the heat to undertake it, snipping some of the baby okra outcroppings is a ready task out there among the okra rows. We just had to dine on fried okra for dinner to celebrate a few (a very few. No one wanted to linger in the 109 degrees.) of the new arrivals.

For more than half the year I had been saving a recipe for the perfect accompaniment to fried okra: Sweet Potato Cornbread. With two cups of cooked mashed potatoes and pumpkin-pie spice, this bread just had to be delightful. I had imagined all the spicy goodness emerging from the oven as it baked and the aroma infiltrated every corner of the house.

The addition of self-rising cornmeal, eggs, sour cream, and butter guaranteed that the bread would be moist and not have the dryness that sometimes is a turnoff with cornbread. A dash of sugar substitute would deliver just a touch of sweetness. The recipe said hands-on time was 15 minutes—an easy food item to prepare, compared to the end-result enjoyment.

A new season of okra never went on the table amid such fanfare. Sweet Potato Cornbread and fried okra made for a Southern summer dinner experience; we just loved the flavor and moistness of this substantial bread.

Sweet Potato Cornbread

2 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
5 large eggs
2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pound sweet potatoes)
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl stir together first 3 ingredients; make a well in the center of mixture. Whisk together eggs and next 3 ingredients; add to cornmeal mixture. Stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 6 servings. (Source: Southern Living January 2012)

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