Tag Archives: Food Preservation

Texas Heat Superstar: Growing Malabar Spinach

by Tammy Taylor~

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I love fresh spinach & I’m sure to plant it every year in my edible landscape garden.  It’s beautiful, leafy-green and makes a lovely border.  Oh, and you can EAT it!  What’s not to love??!  But in our part of NE Texas the window of opportunity in enjoying fresh spinach is short.  In no time our spinach bolts and becomes bitter.  But I’ve recently been introduced to a completely different kind of spinach.  One that grows vigorously in a vine.  In the heat! Malabar spinach!

Malabar Spinach - Texas Heat-Loving Superstar! Dark-green heart-shaped leaves that grow in a vine even in the Texas summer heat. Beauty, edibility and heat-loving staying power. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Make Pear Sauce With Fresh Pears

by Tammy Taylor~

A sweet neighbor offered to let RancherMan & me come harvest from their huge pear tree.  We took a ladder but only had to pick the sweet pears within our reach to bring  back about 75 lbs of fresh pears!  I’ve heard of people making something similar to applesauce but using pears instead – Pear Sauce!  I love applesauce so I figured I should give it a try.  Using my slow cooker it was super easy too, the procedure is the same as when I made applesauce.  Check it out!

Pear Sauce is much like applesauce but made with pears. After being given a supply of pears I gave pear sauce a try. Check it out! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Tortilla-Sized Pizza Leather Made With Pasta Sauce

 by Tammy Taylor~

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When our garden is producing extremely well I like to preserve as much as I can from it.  Oftentimes our tomatoes are producing like GANGBUSTERS and I’m making Tomato Sauce and Pasta Sauce from it, as well as dehydrating it into Tomato Powder or just Dried Diced Tomatoes to drop into my wintertime simmering soups.  But one of my favorite ways to preserve tomatoes is by dehydrating it into tomato leather so I can roll it out directly on top of my pizza crust & just start piling on the toppings – the cooking process and the moisture in the toppings rehydrates the leather for me.

But I didn’t get many tomatoes this year so I find myself purchasing pasta sauce until I can make it myself again.  (sigh…) But recently I had leftover pasta sauce and wondered what to do with it.  Since we’ve recently discovered tortilla pizzas I decided to make some tortilla-sized tomato leather!

Recently I had leftover pasta sauce so I decided to make some tortilla-sized pizza leather. I'll use them on our tortilla pizzas! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Crazy Canning Lady: Canning Successes & Failures

by Tammy Taylor~

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I’ve canned food almost all my life – I actually enjoy it.  Recently I was gifted many fresh pears that I didn’t want to go to waste.  And THEN we took a long weekend to go visit my favorite aunt & uncle in west Texas.  My aunt sent me home with about 20 lbs of fresh apples PLUS a huge cooler packed with frozen cut/sugared apple slices & pureed apples.  OMGoodness there’s NO room in my freezer or fridge – that means more food to process!  That can mean only one thing: Go into power-canning mode for several days trying to FINALLY get done with the fresh produce that needed to be dealt with.  Although I ended up with many jars of delectable treats, getting there was a comedy of errors!  C’mon in & see.

Crazy Canning Lady had a Canning Marathon trying to FINALLY deal with all the fresh produce. Lots of canned goodies but getting there was a comedy of errors! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Pear Relish Recipe – Sweet & Savory Come Together Beautifully!

by Tammy Taylor~

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I’ve heard that pear relish is delicious but… I dunno. I mean sweet pears coupled with savory onions & bell peppers? And jalapenos? And MUSTARD? Blech! I’ve never been a fan of sweet & savory tastes together. But RancherMan asked me to get the recipe from a friend so I did. The instructions she sent were kind of vague and the recipe seemed to make quite a lot . What if all that food & work were wasted because, well… (see pears vs peppers & onions argument above!) So I made a small batch just to check it out. After sampling the results we found it delicious!  RancherMan has already asked me to make it again, this time a full batch #ifyouplease!

I'm not typically a fan of Sweet & Savory combinations but when you combine pears with onions, peppers and mustard? MAGIC! Check out my Pear Relish Recipe. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Cherry-Flavored Gummy Chews Made From Excess Garden Squash

by Tammy Taylor~

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Squash is a prolific veggie.  Summer gardens are often so overloaded with zucchini & summer squash that although you anxiously enjoy it the moment it’s harvestable in the spring, soon your family tires of squash every night.  You then attempt to preserve  some for winter months but still that squash harvest keeps coming Every.  Single. Day.  Finally in a futile attempt to dodge being consumed by the giant growing mountain of squash you start giving it away to grateful friends and family… for a while.  Soon even they run when they see you coming toward them with yet another squash harvest in hand.  You can’t stand to see that beautiful garden produce go to waste but “What’s a girl to do?” you wonder to yourself as you slowly disappear beneath the growing squash harvest pile…  Recently I was skimming my ~TMH~ Facebook newsfeed and I saw someone post about making a sweet chewy treat from overgrown excess garden squash.  Whaaaaaa….???  I’m intrigued!

What can you do with all that garden squash? Make sweet cherry-flavored gummy snacks for your family with overgrown zucchini or squash! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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One Quart At A Time: Refrigerator Sweet Pickles

by Tammy Taylor~

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I planted pickler cucumbers in my garden this year and they’ve been producing well.  But I only planted one vine since there are only two of us at the house now & I didn’t want it to produce more than RancherMan & I could consume.  So each morning I go out to the garden and pick a few 3″ – 4″ pickling-sized cucumbers and set them in the fridge until I figure I have enough to make refrigerator pickles.  It doesn’t take long since I’m making them 1 quart jar at a time this year.

One Quart Refrigerator Sweet Pickle Recipe. Lightly sweet and crisp, this recipe is good for a single quart jar at a time! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Food Safety: Keeping Cold Food COLD

~by Tammy Taylor~

 

When the weather turns warm there are often many opportunities to get together.  And, you know, gatherings  often involve bringing your favorite dish to share with friends & family.  Picnics and cookouts – swim parties and birthday gatherings, BBQ’s and family reunions.  How fun!  I’ve written before about food safety and keeping your hot dish hot until it’s time to eat, but today I’m tackling the issue from the other side of the coin – keeping your cold dishes safely COLD!

Keeping cold food cold - Let's talk food safety: Cheap, effective ways of keeping your cold dishes safely COLD! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Dehydrating Fresh Spinach To Enjoy All Year Long!

by Tammy Taylor~

I love fresh spinach, and I love that during early spring it produces so prolifically.  We like to eat as much spinach as we can while it’s fresh and crisp but I also want to preserve that delicious, healthy spinach to enjoy later in the season – way after the plants have bolted and are gone.  I experimented with dehydrating fresh spinach this year and I loved the results.  I wrote this piece for one of my favorite publications, Mother Earth News. C’mon y’all – check it out!

Mother Earth News Post - Dehydrated Spinach. I dehydrated fresh spinach to enjoy later in the season - I loved the results! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Mother Earth News: Dehydrating Cubed Potatoes

by Tammy Taylor

D’ya ever eyeball that big honkin’ bag of potatoes, compare the price to that small overly-expensive bag of potatoes and have a hard time making the economics make sense?  Me too!! As empty nesters there are only 2 of us here at the Taylor Household these days, but dang it just doesn’t make sense to pay more per pound for a small bag of potatoes.  So I’ve been buying that big bag & dehydrating the excess potatoes for pantry storage.  I’ve shredded them for dehydrated hash browns and we love them this way, but now I want to cube them up like I’d use in a stew and although there’s one simple important thing you must do before successfully dehydrating them – it’s super easy to do!  I recently wrote about it for Mother Earth News, check it out.

Dehydrating cubed potatoes for the pantry, an easy way to preserve the excess! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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