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, November 2, 2012

A reset on Sweet Potato Fries—with a great outcome!

Thousands of ideas abound on the best recipe for Sweet Potato Fries. In this blog I’ve already tried out one of them. But the quest continued. From our most recent farm-stand visit I had brought home some absolutely lovely, enormous sweet potatoes. Although I they could have ended up in a huge variety of dishes, giving Sweet Potato Fries another stab kept calling to me.

What did the cooking queen, Paula Deen, have to say about the matter? I had never looked up her Baked Sweet Potato Fries recipe before, but you can bet she had some good advice. The photo at left was the result. Two secrets: her House Seasoning mixture, which can be used on many food items, and baking the fries on a parchment-lined cookie sheet to prevent burning. I also experimented with my crinkle-cutter to give a uniform look.

The cut strips of sweet potato are tossed in olive oil; then a tablespoon of the House Seasoning recipe, along with 1/2 teaspoon paprika, is sprinkled over them for tossing again. Into the oven they go for 20 minutes, to be turned after the first 10 minutes. The result was a set of perfectly browned and delightfully seasoned Sweet Potato Fries. I think they were my best yet. I tried a little bit later and left off the parchment paper on the cookie sheet. Bad idea—too-brown and occasionally burnt potatoes resulted. Don’t skip the parchment!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

olive oil, for tossing
5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-long slices, then 1/4-inch-wide strips, 
using a crinkle-cutter
1 tablespoon House Seasoning (recipe follows)
1/2 teaspoon paprika

House seasoning:
1 cup salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Mix House Seasoning ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Take 1 tablespoon of the House Seasoning and use it to sprinkle onto the potatoes. Add paprika. Toss. Spread sweet potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Be sure not to overcrowd potatoes. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes (I turned after 10 minutes). Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before you serve. Makes 3 to 5 servings of potatoes. (Source: www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/baked-sweet-potato-fries-recipe)

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