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 13, 2012

Tomato parfaits? Last of the garden yield hops right into these treats

The last few tomatoes of summer just had to have a worthy adios. I had pledged to save this recipe for the next time I needed an inventive New Year’s Day black-eyed pea recipe, but the tomato topping just begged for this to be a summer recipe. Just before the last of our tomato vines were pulled up, we found a few remainders of the red fruit. Into this recipe for Hoppin’ John Parfaits they went.

How cute! Layers of black-eyed peas, rice, a tomato-green onion-celery salsa mix, turkey bacon bits, and pepper Jack cheese all stacked up in a parfait glass. This parfait wasn’t a dessert at all but was a lively entree, although it just as easily could have been a salad or a side.

So long, tomatoes (although we well may plant a fall installment after the drought leaves us). High produce prices spawned by the national weather nightmare may drive a lot more folks to grow their own this fall. Hoppin’ John Parfaits helped create a noteworthy parting for our summer crop.

Hoppin’ John Parfaits

1 cup uncooked basmati rice
3 bacon slices (I used turkey bacon)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 (15.8-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup water
1 large tomato, finely chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded pepper Jack cheese

Prepare rice according to package directions. Meanwhile cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon and drain it on paper towels. In skillet reserve 1 tablespoon drippings. Crumble bacon. Sauté onion and jalapeno pepper in hot drippings for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned; stir in black-eyed peas and 1 cup water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer; stir occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes, or until liquid has almost completely evaporated. 
In a small bowl stir together tomato and next 5 ingredients. Layer black-eyed pea mixture, hot cooked rice, and tomato mixture in 12 (7-ounce) glasses. Top with cheese and crumbled bacon. (Source: Southern Living April 2012)

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