Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce

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Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce




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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 24, 2017

I am coming to you today from a place called Highland Rim Retreats near Fall Creek Falls in Tennessee!  Today, I thought it would be fun to do something a little different. We will talk about the five elements of homemade salad dressing.

Seasonal Eating and Tales From the Prepper Pantry

  • Quarterly freezer re-organization
  • Seasoning a pork belly for bacon: salt, rosemary, sage, turmeric, brown sugar
  • Garden kale and lettuces, pea shoots, hairy vetch, redbud, baby bamboo shoots, poke weed
  • The morels are out there my friends – IF you can find them

 What we are preserving this week

  • Drying for tea
    • Blackberry
    • Raspberry
    • Stinging nettle
    • Bee balm

 The Five Elements of Homemade Salad Dressing

  1. Sour: Vinegar, Lemon Juice, lime juice, pickle brine, caper juice
  2. Spicy: Mustard, hot pepper sauce, peppers, onions, garlic
  3. Creamy: Mayonnaise, sour cream, whipped cream cheese, cream
  4. Sweet: Honey, sugar, jams and jellies, sorghum, maple syrup
  5. Emulsifier: Olive Oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, any infused oils, oil, oil, oil. 

The process:

  1. Define salad’s core flavor
  2. Choose complimentary flavor elements from the five above
  3. Make your dressing recipe!

Example: Watercress, kale based salad.

  • Core flavor: spicy
  • What will complement that? Sweet and sour
  • Dressing recipe – Basic balsamic vinaigrette: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp fig infused balsamic, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp water, 1 tsp salt. 

Example: Spinach salad

  • Core flavor: nutty, flat
  • What goes with that? Almost anything - try spicy and sweet
  • Dressing Recipe – honey mustard: 1 tbsp, mustard, 2 tbsp mayo, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp water, salt, pepper and shake! (You can sneak in a tbsp. of balsamic on this one and it is really good)


Example: Peppers, tomatoes, kale leaves, a little corn, spinach

  • Core flavor: sweet and nutty
  • What goes with that? Lemon and spice and everything nice!
  • Dressing Recipe – basil lemon zest: 2 tbsp lemon, onions, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, sliced fresh basil, 2 tbsp water, shake and let sit overnight in the fridge. Remove from fridge 30 mins before using so that it reaches room temp.
  • A Hack: soak the onions in the lemon for 30 minutes, then mix all the other ingredients directly into the salad if you are in a rush.

Other recipe ideas from Zello:

  1. BDHutier: Oil, vinegar, favorite jelly
  2. Kirtus: Olive oil, anchovies - canned, Italian spice mix, leave for 24 hours in the fridge – likely added vinegar

Stories from the holler

  • Torrential downpours
  • Did a walk through of a friend’s new piece of land – and It has some interesting features, including a really cool run off area that many people would see as a problem but that we see as an asset – now it is just very important to properly identify zone one, which is an interesting amoeba shape because of how his outbuilding is situated.

We are setting up a page – soft launch – over at to share premium content to show supporters.

Cider Hollow Farms – He’s put the rest of his comfrey on sale at an extra $1.50 per plant for spring closeout and if you use the coupon code LFITN5 you will get an additional 5% of anything you order. Go to

This spring has been the usual whirlwind with lots of activity and shifting priorities, but things are going well because we have done a good job of always re-orienting toward our primary family goals of making time for recreation and fun, local stable income, and paying attention to our health.

Get out there and make it a great week!

Song: Sauce, The Flood

Apr 17, 2017

The past week has been full of strange misadventures. We’ve demo’d a new coffee bean for Holler Roast Coffee, run it by a friend, found someone willing to help me grow the business by loaning me a few extra roasters, opened the cabin rental for the season, out the newspaper to bed and even decided to put out tomatoes before May 1, my usual planting date. And it has made me think about how it is so easy to prepare for some things, but getting ahead in finances can be really tough. So today, I thought I would run through my thought process as I decide if I will grow the Holler Roast business beyond it’s extremely limited market.

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Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry
This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store.

  • Wild Mustard, watercress, hairy vetch, last of the dead nettle, arugula (story of the Easter Salad)
  • Crappie, fish stock
  • Hitting the canned peaches because it is about to be canned peaches time again!

Getting the Gardens Ready
Where we share what we are doing to get our food growing operation up and running.

  • Trimming and chipping the pathways
  • Planting the last of the fruit trees
  • Beating the wineberries BACK
  • Shade cloth is on the greenhouse and that made the tomatoes really happy

5 Questions to Ask When It's Time to Grow 

  1. Do I love this enough to really do it?
  2. How does it pencil as I grow? (time, extra licensing, etc.)
  3. How am I going to expand sales, is my market growing or am I planning to increase market share in my existing market?
  4. Why am I better than my competition? Why are they better than I am?
  5. What are the do or die items that if they are not in place, I will pull the plug?

Stories from the Holler

Make it a great week!

Song: Suicide, Sauce

Apr 10, 2017

The eight week time-pressure episode has arrived! That’s right, Center Hill Sun goes to press this week – though there is still time to place an ad if you want to reach 20,000 people who love the outdoors, rural living and country fun. 🙂

Today we have a chat with Dori Mulder, the person who was getting ready to close on land and has written in a few times. She bought a fantastic 40 acre place with a house built unto a CAVE right on a RIVER.

Middle TN Learning Opportunity: Mushroom Event April 22:

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry
This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us – and talk about ways to use what we store.
Light this week because I didn’t eat.

  • Wild Mustard, watercress, hairy vetch, pokeweed is poking up!
  • From the pantry: Sweet potato chili with wild garlic
  • Baby lettuce is here!
  • Asparagus

Getting the Gardens Ready
Where we share what we are doing to get our food growing operation up and running.

  • Late bed preparation – with advice from Karley
  • Potatoes up and a little burnt and some bugees are nibbling our radishes.

Garden Economics project: no additional moneys have been spent

New Land – New Adventure, and Interview with Dori Mulder
When you first get a piece of land, there is so much time to learn about your land. And Dori shares with us what her first days on her new property are like. She also takes some time to share her dreams for the property long term.

Stories from the Holler

  • The dying box elder tree by our guest cabin is no more
  • Friends saved the day this week

Support us while drinking a marvelous cup of hand-roasted coffee! Order here.

Make it a great week!

Song: Special, Sauce|

Apr 3, 2017

We’ve gotten lots of feedback n that episode from folks who wanted to go to that workshop and have never been able to. It got me to thinking. What if we do a homesteading workshop right here this coming September? In former years, we have had one or two orientations followed by lots of raucous camping fun, but wouldn’t it be fun to do something that allows us all to share best practices from Tennessee on what we are best at?

Deal: Cider Hollow wants to offer 5% off their bare root trees and comfrey. Get 'em while you still can!

Eating Seasonally and Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • This is where we share what we are eating as it comes to us - and talk about ways to use what we store
  • Wild Mustard, watercress, dandelion roots, hairy vetch
  • From the pantry: garlic and onions are gone so we are depending on wild garlic chives and early green onions from the garden
  • Watercress is almost done for the season, though we have another cold snap on the way which may give us a reset
  • The season of tea is almost here: Bee balm, blackberry leaves, mint

Getting the Gardens Ready

  • Where we share what we are doing to get our food growing operation up and running
  • Greenhouse tomatoes are growing strongly and will be for sale soon
  • Potatoes up and wood-chipping the walkways is in process

Selling watercress online this week

Wild Forage Nutrition in the Spring
Beta-carotene (Vitamin A pre-cursor), B vitamins (B1/Thiamin, B2/Riboflavin, B3/Niacin), Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Iron, vitamins, and fiber

Stinging Nettle:
Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron

Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Calcium

Observing your local forest
Right now as spring is springing - it is a great time to see what likes to grow in you area - and glean inspiration from it
Wild raspberry and blackberries
Hairy vetch and other vines
Poke weed

These all grow on the edges and also provide us food in my area
We also have
Walnut trees
Hickory nuts
Wild persimmons
Wild cherries

These varieties are already acclimated to our region - look at where they grow on their own

Stories from the Holler

  • Facelift for spring
  • Ducks are back in synch with us
  • Communities versus guilds

And with that, remember, if like the show you can support us while drinking a marvelous cup of hand-roasted coffee!

Make it a great week!

Song: Sauce - Wolf