Tag Archives: Summer

How To Make A Quick-n-EASY Ice Cream Cake

by Tammy Taylor~

My son and his family recently stopped by for a visit and it was very close to his birthday.  Now when he was little he always wanted to have an ‘unusual’ cake, especially since his birthday was during the heat of summer.  One year I decorated a halved watermelon for him – he loved it!  But often he asked for an ice cream cake.  I mean c’mon, what’s better in the heat of a NE Texas summer than ice cream cake?  Back in ‘the day’ I would plunk down an unreasonable amount of money to buy a dinky little ice cream cake at the store.  But I soon learned how to make it myself both quickly as well as inexpensively. C’mon I’ll show you how!

I make a quick Ice Cream Cake using Ice Cream Sandwiches for a deliciously cold sweet summertime treat. C'mon I'll show you how! #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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Environmental Awareness On The Homestead: No-Spill Fuel Can Eliminates Spilled Fuel

by Tammy Taylor~

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Living and working on a NE Texas ranch means RancherMan & I spend lots of time on our tractors.  He has a heavy-duty red beast and I have a smaller one that we affectionately call ‘Ole Blue’ – a very reliable older-model Ford tractor.  When I became a breast cancer survivor, RancherMan painted the wheels of Ole Blue bright pink in celebration!  (How much do I love him??) 

Aaaaanyway he often prepares for the day’s tasks by fueling both tractors.  As much as I love ‘Ole Blue’ it always made my crunchy-green heart CRINGE when RancherMan would put fuel in her and it would spill all along the top, drip down the sides and onto the grass. Of course I’d never say anything, he knows how I hate it and he tries his best to deliver the fuel without spilling but…  With the design of the typical 5-gallon fuel can it was always hard to get the fuel from the can to my tractor’s fuel tank without splashing corrosive diesel on my tractor and even spilling some onto the pasture grass.  OOHHHH, my heart!  There had to be a better way!

Hard as he may try, RancherMan would always splash fuel when filling my tractor's tank.  Let's try this No-Spill can & see how it works! Pink Wheels On Ford Tractor #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Make A Frozen Watermelon Smoothie (or Daiquiri!)

by Tammy Taylor~

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Several weeks ago I got a seedless watermelon.  Now I love fresh watermelon but RancherMan only enjoys it in moderation.  I ate it fresh for a few days but wondered if I’d be able to eat it all before it went bad.   A friend of mine suggested cutting it into chunks and freezing it.  She said I could blend it up into a cool daiquiri on a hot summer day.  (of course you could leave out the alcohol and make it a slushie instead – a sweet treat for the whole family!)  I was intrigued and decided to give it a shot.  HA!! ‘give it a shot’!  See what I did there??!

Watermelon Smoothie - Cold, sweet refreshment on a hot summer's day that the whole family can enjoy! . Or add rum for a Frozen Daiquiri #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Vegetable Garden Update: August

by Tammy Taylor~

Usually by August the vegetable garden is burned up & gone.  I’m typically all too happy to let it go instead of fighting and still losing the fight. But although it’s been hot & dry here in NE Texas, between me breaking my “no potable water on the ground” rule because of the cistern mishap this year (our hose split & emptied all the irrigation rainwater from our 18′ deep cistern), plus the fact that there have been just enough sporadic short showers to keep everything limping by, I’m still harvesting heavily every day.

Usually by August our NE Texas vegetable garden is burned up & gone.but this year I'm still harvesting heavily every day. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Sun Protection: How To Protect Your Skin Without Sunscreen

by Tammy Taylor~

Working on a ranch means that RancherMan & I are outside day in & day out each & every day working on fences, immunizing calves, mowing the pastures, gardening and more!  Since our jobs require us to be outside all day long we take sun protection very seriously.  Sunscreen is touted to be a safe and effective way to protect your skin from the sun but I don’t like the feel of it on my skin, I don’t like the cost of it and since we’d have to use it so often I don’t like the trash that constantly buying sunscreen would create. (And to be perfectly honest I don’t know how I feel about slathering chemicals on my skin each and every day)  Although sunscreen still has its place in my sun protection arsenal, I recently wrote a piece for Mother Earth News outlining the 7 easy ways that we protect our skin without resorting to sunblock.

Sun Protection: A Mother Earth News article outlining the 7 easy ways to protect your skin from the sun without resorting to sunblock. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Repurposed Plastic Jar For Deep-Soak Watering

by Tammy Taylor~

Summer is hot & humid in our part of NE Texas – I’m doing all I can to keep my plants watered.  A cistern mishap involving a split hose drained all the rainwater from my 18′ deep cistern so I’m trying to conserve water as much as possible.  I came across a large-mouth bottle with a built-in grip on the handle and a metal-center lid and the thought occurred to me – maybe I can use this to keep my container garden of spinach watered.  You remember my battle cry, “Use WhatCha Got!”.  Check out this homestead hack.

I've used a wide-mouth plastic jar and repurposed it into a way to easily deeply water my potted plants. Check out this homestead hack! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Vegetable Garden Update: July

by Tammy Taylor~

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WHEW – the temps have really heated UP here in NE Texas!  As it typically does during our summer months, the forecast has lots of 3-digit temps promised and no rain for weeks on end.  I’m doing what I can to keep everything watered, I’m using a *terra cotta stake using a repurposed water bottle to keep the porch planters watered, my rain barrel is so far keeping the back yard trees watered, but a mishap involving my cistern hose splitting and draining the entire rainwater content of our 18-ft underground cistern means I may have to amend my strict ‘no potable water on the ground’ rule.  So far other than the whole rainwater thing, the garden’s growing GREAT – come check it out!

My Veggie Garden Is Growing GREAT - I'm harvesting fresh produce each & every day! Come stroll through my garden with me. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Repurposed Water Bottle Plant Watering System

by Tammy Taylor~

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WHEW! It’s summer in Texas, and as it typically does it’s turned hot and DRY!  I’m doing everything I can to keep my outside plants watered –  I have an 18-ft deep underground cistern that stores the rainwater that falls on our roof and I use it for watering our vegetable garden.  I also have a 55-gallon rain barrel that attaches to another gutter down spout for hand-watering potted plants and such.

But there are a few footed concrete planters that I have on my porch holding things such as chocolate mint, spearmint and my favorite herb Thyme!  Now the mints do pretty well in their planters because, well you know, MINT!  But I struggle to keep the Thyme healthy & watered and I’ve lost the plant and had to repurchase and replant thyme repeatedly in this cement planter over the years!  Thankfully the Plant Nanny folks agreed to send me one of their terracotta plant stakes to try.

Plant Nanny Watering System uses a porous Terracotta stake & a repurposed water bottle. Take the hassle out of keeping plants watered! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Vegetable Garden Update: June

by Tammy Taylor~

The garden got off to a slow start this year due to family illness and changes in the garden area itself.  We ripped up the raised beds and built a fence separating the garden into 2 parts – one part for a more-efficiently laid out garden and the other part for the chicken run.  I’m loving the symbiotic relationship between chickens & garden and so far it’s working great!  But now it’s June and the garden is really ramping up for the year.  C’mon through my garden gate and see what’s going on…

Veggie Garden Update JUNE - It's June and our Texas vegetable garden is really ramping up for the year. C'mon through my garden gate and see what's going on... #TaylorMadeHomestead Continue reading