Author Archives: Taylor-Made Homestead

About Taylor-Made Homestead

Taylor-Made Homestead is located in Northeast Texas. This blog reflects our desire to live gently on the land - gardening, home cooking, food preservation, solar cooking, saving money, etc.

Dealing With Discards: Exactly Where is ‘AWAY’?

by Tammy Taylor~

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Recently RancherMan & I were talking about things that have impacted us strongly over the years.  I recounted how an article I’d read decades ago kick-started my fledgling environmental bend into high gear.  Oh yes decades ago, way before worrying about the environment was the fashionable thing to do!

I’d read a story about how people throw things ‘away‘ never thinking about where AWAY actually was.  Yep, that broken whatzit is chunked into the trash as you tidily dust off your hands & walk off.  Then the trash bag is bundled up and placed on the curb.  A large garbage truck comes & takes it away.  Yep, it’s gone.  Taken care of.  Cleaned up.  It’s taken away.  But where is this mythical place of AWAY?

As I explained the premise of that article to RancherMan he shook his head enthusiastically and said that’s a viewpoint not often thought about. Everybody thinks they’ve taken care of a problem by throwing things away without really thinking about who really deals with the problem you’ve just passed on.  He begged me to write this post, so this is for him…

A garbage truck comes & hauls your discards away. Yep, it's gone. Taken care of. Cleaned up. But where is this mythical place of AWAY? #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Boule: A No-Knead Free Form Bread Recipe

by Tammy Taylor~

I’d been asked to bake a loaf of bread for our World Communion Sunday. We wanted to display different breads from different cultures so I decided to make Boule, a french free-form bread resembling a squashed ball.

I’ve never made it before but the first recipe I tried was a flop.  The bread never rose much and it was SO SALTY!  WHEW.  So I asked my beloved Facebook Followers and Cheryl came through for me by pointing me to King Arthur Flour site.  The bread baked up beautifully and the texture was delightfully chewy.

I made Boule, an easy no-knead and free-form bread recipe. It was easy & much less hands-on than other breads I've made. And it's delightfully chewy & delicious! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Fall-Back Friday: Shortcut For Pizza Night!

by Tammy Taylor~

Cooler weather is sneaking up on many areas of the US.  But it’s still  hot, humid & sticky here in NE Texas.  How’s the weather where you are – are y’all enjoying cooler weather yet??   And we finally made it to the weekend too – TGIF y’all!  To celebrate the day I’ll share a Fall-Back Friday post with ya.  I’ll fall back into the archives and bring back to the surface a post that’s proved very popular with our readers in the past.  Today’s post is aaaaaaall about PIZZA NIGHT!

RancherMan & I like homemade pizza of course.  But we also like it’s quicker pizza cousin – the tortilla pizza.  And what better shortcut than to have on hand dehydrated Italian-flavored tomato leather to speed up those pizzas?  Pull out tortilla, place tomato leather & just start piling on the toppings.  The tomato leather rehydrates while the pizza is cooking. Now that’s homemade convenience food at its finest! Come see how I made tomato leather from leftover pasta sauce.

I've dehydrated leftover pasta sauce into tortilla-sized tomato leathers.  This shortcut makes pizza night even better.  #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Fast Dessert: Strawberries & Homemade Whipped Cream

by Tammy Taylor~

Who doesn’t love dessert? We don’t have dessert every night of course but my handsome RancherMan does have a sweet tooth.  So it’s not unusual for me to have homemade brownies or even apple pie.  Or depending upon how hectic the day was I might take a shortcut and make something like homemade chocolate pudding.  A delicious dessert need not take lots of time or effort.  Heck one of our favorite desserts is strawberries & fresh whipped cream.  Dessert in a flash!

A delicious dessert needn't take lots of time, one of our favorite desserts is strawberries & fresh whipped cream. Dessert in a flash! #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Carrots

by Tammy Taylor~

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I was given a boatload of fresh carrots recently and I didn’t want them to go to waste.  Now I’ve written before about turning ugly carrots into beautiful carrots by chopping ugly carrots into uniform pieces.  But these carrots were already beautiful and there were WAY too many for us to eat fresh.  And I didn’t want to waste any of them so I decided to dehydrate them.

In past carrot dehydrating I’d steamed the carrots instead of blanching them.  Then I dehydrated them using my small household-sized dehydrator.  But now I have a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator.  I can really do some damage to that mountain of carrots now!  Come see what I did.

I was recently given way too many carrots to eat before they went bad. So I dehydrated them, now I have lots for winter enjoyment. #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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Hairstyle Simplicity On The Homestead & Lilla Rose GIVEAWAY!

by Tammy Taylor~

Several years ago I saw a one-piece infinity-shaped hair clip in my sister-in-law’s hair and I loved it. It was so pretty, so feminine.  I asked her where she got it but she said she couldn’t remember, that she’d had it for years.

Several weeks later I stumbled upon an image of Lilla Rose FlexiClips and excitedly realized that’s the type of clip my SIL had worn!  I bought a couple of those hair clips for myself. Even though I felt they were kinda pricey for a hair clip at about $11 – $15, I found that I loved them.  I ended up buying several more in a couple of different sizes. They’re so feminine and so easy to use – especially when I just wanna sweep my hair back without fussing too much. Y’all know I hate fuss!

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Twist Tie Storage – Tame Your Junk Drawer!

by Tammy Taylor~

I typically bake our bread here on the Homestead.  Especially since I’ve finally (FINALLY) found a delicious sandwich bread recipe that’s soft, fluffy and flavorful.  But during the summer months we buy our bread instead.  You see, RancherMan’s a die-hard bread eater but I hate to fire up the oven during those hot sticky summer months and add heat & humidity to our home.  So he & I struck a happy balance – during the more temperate months I’ll bake the bread he craves.  But I break from baking & buy his bread during the summer  months.

I hate all those plastic bread bags we bring home of course.  But at least I’ll repurpose them by dividing portion sizes within a freezer bag when I utilize my favored ‘Cook-Once, Eat-Twice’ method of cooking.  And of course I’ll reuse more of the bread bags when I resume baking our bread too.  I typically bake 3 loaves at a time and section off and freeze most of it.  That way I can bring it out fresh for RancherMan’s dining pleasure.

But what to do with all those plastic-coated bread ties?  I swear they multiply when you’re not looking!

Is your junk drawer cluttered? What to do with all those plastic-coated bread twist ties? Check out this easy storage solution #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Applesauce Is A Multi-Purpose Gem In Your Pantry

by Tammy Taylor~

WHEW!  I finally finished with all the fresh apples my aunt let us harvest from her tree & bring home.  Ten bushels worth!  TEN bushels.  T-E-N.  Wow.   I’ve made and canned Apple Pie Filling for quick homemade pies this winter.  And I dehydrated some of those delicious apples into crispy Cinnamon/Sugar Apple Chips for snacks.  But I love the Slow-Cooker Applesauce the most.  I’ve even taken some of the regular applesauce & flavored & canned it into Cinnamon-Vanilla Flavored Applesauce.  And of course the liquid released when I cooked down those apples into applesauce wasn’t wasted either.  I strained & canned it for apple cider.

All are delicious, but today I was thinking about that applesauce.  How versatile it is in my kitchen.  Not only do I enjoy eating it straight from the jar, but it replaces a cooking item I typically have to buy.

 

Not only do I enjoy eating homemade applesauce straight from the jar, but it replaces a cooking item I typically have to buy. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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5 Frugal Things This Week To Help Make This Life Possible

by Tammy Taylor~

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RancherMan & I love this life we live in our little piece of NE Texas paradise. Oh it’s true we work many more hours than we ever did when we were corporately employed, but our hours are  our own.  It’s our decision what to plant in the garden or when we will wean the calves.  It’s our decision whether to take up beekeeping or to plant winter pastures.  The success and failure of this life we love is determined by our hard work, the weather and sometimes sheer luck.  Being self employed is like that.   But being self employed also means we no longer have that cushy salary and basketful of benefits.  It’s a sacrifice we’re both more than happy to make.

One of the things that makes this life possible even with much less income is being very mindful of our expenses.  Oh I’m not saying we don’t spend money and that when we do we don’t strive to buy the best quality we can afford.  But small leaks sink great ships.  So I’m mindful of those small leaks.  Here are 5 frugal things we did this week.

Small leaks sink great ships. Come see the 5 Frugal Things we incorporated this week to make this life we love possible. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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