Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce

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Living Free in Tennessee - Nicole Sauce










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Dec 26, 2016

Today we will talk about how we did with our family strategic plan this year, begin diving into a book I’ve been reading about home-scale permaculture, and talk a bit about where I hope to see this show go in the coming months.

Big news my friends - we have made it to Stitcher! We are on iTunes too!

Today is Monday, December 26, 2016 and this is episode 17 of Living Free in Tennessee. We are on a week off here at the Holler Homestead. For years, the week between Christmas and New Year’s has been our time to rest up, think about the past, plan for the future, clean out and reset ourselves.

What mother nature is providing

  • Mushrooms
  • Fingers crossed: Stinging Nettle
  • Watercress

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • The weekly squash - week 3: Butternut Squash Soup
  • Apples are getting soft - so it is time to make applesauce - and begin to eat the canned fruits.
  • Incoming cow means reorganizing the Pantry because of how the onions are stored.

Lessons learned from Toby Hemenway

Gaia's Garden:

  • Are you interested in joining me in this journey? Well, get yourself a copy of his book and we will read a section per week and talk about what we learned. Check your library, friends houses, or buy it on Amazon (above).
  • First up - P1-20
  • Next week: P 21-35

What next year may bring

  • A marketing cleanup - sis you know I am a marketing expert? How would you? This show is a mess!
  • Monetizing strategy - we need one
    • Focus on building the audience first
    • Find ways to add value for listeners so that we can cover our own costs
  • Build in the Holler Homestead project - more on that in the future
  • Our first youtube video series: Learn to can food at home in 5, 6, 8 videos (Outline is not done so I am not sure how many)
  • Seasonal eating in Tennessee book

Want to ask a question or give me feedback on the show? I would love to hear from you! Email or leave a comment over at the website at And if you are an iTunes listener…..

The week between Christmas and New Years is a great time to reassess if you are lucky enough to be able to make some time. Freedom ain't hard - and our little adventure into producing more for ourselves from what we have here as been a freeing time - giving us a bit of flexibility, and the ability to help those around us. So go out there, and make it a great week!


Dec 23, 2016

Listed to a reading of The Night Before Christmas - both the traditional version and one from down under.


Merry Christmas all!


Dec 19, 2016

Today is Monday, December 19, 2016 and this is episode 16 of Living Free in Tennessee.

12/20 Update: re-recorded the first 5 minutes due to unpleasant audio.

What mother nature is providing

  • Cabbage
  • Persimmons
  • Mo’ Mushrooms
  • The watercress is still here!

Using the Prepper Pantry

Stories from the Holler

  • A postoffice story
  • Neighborhood Break In
  • Maybe a new neighbor?
  • Kittens

Interview with Samantha Comfort

  • First steps to getting your finances ready to save more money
  • Three tips to save money now: Store Rewards Programs, Get smart on using credit card rewards programs, Find ways to get cash back.
  • Ibotta
  • Zello Channel...

Christmas Dinner from the pantry

  • Roemertopf
  • Chestnut Dressing
  • Potato pancakes
  • Cabbage salad with Watercress
  • Persimmon Chutney
  • Home baked rolls
  • Green bean casserole with wild mushroom sauce and homemade “funions”
  • Holler roast coffee
  • Christmas Cookies and goodies for dessert

Which reminds me of my grandma’s story from the depression (Pig heart).

On Dec 24, we will have the reading of the Night Before Christmas for anyone interested!

Dec 12, 2016

Winter is coming and so are the holidays this week at the Holler Homestead.  Today we will go over this week’s pantry tip, talk about winterizing the homestead and I’ll share 5 country gift ideas.

What mother nature is providing

  • Cabbage
  • Venison - bacon wrapped loin
  • Mushrooms

Using the Prepper Pantry

  • Why is it called the prepper pantry?
  • Potato soup (Bacon)
  • Protection from freezing
  • Honey Extraction
  • The weekly squash - week 1: Roasted butternut squash
    • Tip on how to cube it without losing a finger tip

Winter is coming

  • Cabin draining
  • Duck water
  • Pump house
  • Attic
  • Root Cellar
  • Bad Windows
  • Screened in porch

Five Country Gift Ideas: Look around - what do you have or what can you make that would be special?

1.Chestnuts with a pretty instructions sheet

2. Fancied up preserves, canned goods, or other homemade items like vanilla extract

3. Sachets
Lavendar on Amazon....

4. Repurposed country items: horse hames, horseshoes, etched bottles

5. Meal in a jar (Take any recipe, put the dried parts in the jar. Write fancy instructions to make the meal by adding the non-dry items.

Lentil soup example...


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (NO)
  • 2 cups chopped onions (YES)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (YES)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (YES)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (YES)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander ((YES)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (YES)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (YES)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (YES)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth (NO)
  • 2 cups water (NO)
  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 medium) (NO)
  • 1 3/4 cups lentils (YES)
  • 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (NO)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (YES)
  • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one (YES)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (YES)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (NO)

Cook on low until done - salt to taste.

Pro-prepper resource for this:

Song: Grandpa's Song by Sauce

Dec 5, 2016

Holler Homestead living is the topic of the day. Today is Monday, December 5, 2016 and this is episode 14 of Living Free in Tennessee. With the production of the Center Hill Sun absorbing the whole weekend, I thought it would be a good day to talk about what day to day life is looking like in December.

Show Sponsor: The Genesis House

What mother nature is providing

  • Watercress
  • Mushrooms
  • The super kale plant

Stories from the prepper pantry

  • Easy pantry management - load from the back, take from the front!
  • The Survival Podcast Recommended Episode:, FOOD STORAGE FOR MODERN SURVIVALISM
  • First thing’s first: Soft potatoes, potatoes with eyes, squash that looks at me wrong, soft onions
  • The last week of Watercress -time to freeze it for winter stews
  • Using up the canned goods from 2015 - by pulling them out

Stories from the Holler

  • The fires in the Smokies - 13 people dead so far
  • New Chestnut Recipe
  • Tennessee Food Summit - Joel Salatin and Jeff Poppin
  • Update on the new duck and chicken hoop coop

TN Food Summit --- Joel Salatin
Inform better
Create Loyalty
Become storytellers and teachers: Or food coaches

Three things you can do to start taking control of your food

  1. Establish a regular family meal 
  2. Build your pantry
  3. Find risk points: In the next two months, are there times that will be very busy? Where are they, how can you prepare something now to deal with that.

Yes winter is nigh,  go out and make it a great week!

Nov 28, 2016

Today we will talk about how to tap into one of the easiest foods to grow on your land in our area: Chestnuts! Specifically how to harvest, store, grow and prepare them.

What mother nature is providing

  • Drought -  That means all the usual mushrooms that we harvest at this time of year are not blooming. The good side of this is that firewood has seasoned on the forest floor over the summer and is dry and easy to burn -
  • Creek mint
  • Venison

What we are preserving this week

  • Stocks and stews
  • The final set of frozen summer tomatoes
  • Before the freeze: harvested comfrey and other herbs and they are hanging to dry in the kitchen

Preparing Chestnuts (Look you can buy them on Amazon!)

  • Scoring: I like to use this tool. It operates like a stamp and makes me fear less for my fingers!
  • Roasting
  • Boiling
  • The open fire method

Three ways to eat chestnuts

  1. Roasted
  2. Added to stuff: Casseroles (like the dressing, tuna, etc), breads you are baking, dressing
  3. Chestnut griddle cakes: 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 4 cups chestnuts (in shell)
Nov 6, 2016

Today, we will have a Holler Homestead update. I want to share with you some of the stories from our part of the country that have happened in the last few weeks, take a look at where our focus is as we seek to increase the food we produce on site and talk about what we are focusing on moving into the new year.

What we are preserving this week...

  • Apple cider - the final round
  • Apple sauce
  • Drying herbs: Basil, comfrey, peppermint
  • Sauerkraut

What mother nature is providing...

  • Watercress!
  • Oyster mushrooms!
  • Tomatoes
  • Chilies
  • A cabbage update - we have some :-) and carrots too!
Stories from the Holler
  • A deer from the neighbor
  • Holy Helicopter Batman
  • Sweet potatoes successful for the first time
  • Firewood - ho!
  • The great cleanup of 2016

Advice on my cookbook: 365 pages, one recipe each? 12 months? A weekly recipe?

Song: Thanks Dave, by Kirk VanDerveer

Oct 30, 2016

Today, we talk a bit about the importance of community, explore five ways to prepare hatch chilies, and discuss how to preserve the chilies for winter.

Highlight Recipe: Southwestern Broccoli Casserole

Ingredients: 4 heads broccoli. Steam, chop, drain 1c celery, chopped 1/2 c onion, chopped 16 oz can green chiles, chopped (or similar volume fresh or roasted) 1 c sour cream 1 c Cheddar, shredded 1/2 c almonds, chopped or slivered

Combine in 1.5 qt casserole dish: broccoli, celery, onion, green chiles, sour cream Top w/ cheese. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle w/ almonds. Serve.

Song: Tripped Out by Sauce

Oct 14, 2016

After a personal break, we are back at it and today I chat about a few health care options and our experience with health insurance and healthshares. 

Also today, a bit of a homestead update.

Jul 23, 2016

Squash, Squash, Squash! The many ways to eat squash is the name of the game in this 8th episode of Living Free in Tennessee. Today we will take a look at four ways to use squash that you may not have thought of and that can be used as a basis for many fantastic dishes as you work through your summer squash. We will also talk a little bit about elderberries and I will share a tip with you about canning tomato sauce when you don’t have enough tomatoes to process at one time.

Evo Sprayer I love more than the Misto one - and yes this is an affiliate link.

Song of the show: Learning What Leaving Is by Sauce

Jul 10, 2016

Untested (by me) poke remedy to poison ivy:



Wild things we are eating this week:

  1. Blackberries
  2. Daylilies
  3. Gathering lots of leaves for teas: sasafrass, mint, bee balm, blackberry leaves

What we are preserving this week:

  1. Corn
  2. Jams
  3. Beans

A word on managing canned goods: Audit your stock and organize it.

Fermenting Garden Excess

What you need

  1. Vegetables
  2. Salt
  3. Vessel: Jar, crock, anything really just no metal or plastic
  4. Wood spoon or other tool to help you push it down
  5. A way to weigh the veggies below the liquid (NWEdibleLife)
  6. Cool dark place


  • White scum
  • Black scum
  • Off smells - fermentation smell or baby poo?


Song of the Episode: Suicide by Sauce

Jul 1, 2016

Want to see a balanced documentary on how animals are raised for food in the US? Check out At the Fork,! Today I am joined by John Papola, producer of this film to talk about what motivated him to trust in human nature and produce a film that is balanced and educational rather than preachy.

Get tickets TODAY at

Also covered on this episode:

  1. Quick shortbread recipe
  2. What is seasonal this week in Tennessee
Jun 18, 2016

Several of our friends have passed away in the last week and it reminds me that you need to live for the now as much as you can, while laying the foundation for a good future for yourself -- or for your loved ones. While thinking about this, I found a nice tribute to our friend who passed away on Monday from Garth Brooks:

What we are eating and preserving this week:

  • From that garden and local markets: beets, spinach, yellow squash, cabbage, potatoes, peppers and a surprise kale plant, wild raspberries and blackberries, peaches
  • From the larder: sweet potatoes, frozen blueberries, venison, bacon
  • Preserving: A do-over on pickled beets (when in doubt throw it out), It’s time to make pickles but we will talk about that next week with our special guest...

Three time-saving ideas for the homesteader who also works a full time job

Listen to Remy's Reaction to the Florida Shooting: How to react to tragedy:

Jun 12, 2016

One of the best ways to eat well on a budget is to buy produce when it is in season and preserve it for the whole winter. Last week, I spent $20 on 1/2 bushel of beets, an additional $5-10 on other ingredients, and ended up with fourteen jars of pickled beets. Had I preserved all the beets, I would have had 21 jars, making the cost to me a little over $1 per jar. Go try to get such a premium product for that price at the grocer. You can get crummy ones in the $1.30 range, but premium ones are $3-6 per jar.

This episode of Living Free in Tennessee walks through the process of water bath canning and shares my personal pickled beet recipe along with the recipe I inherited from my Great Aunt Helen.

Jun 3, 2016

What we are eating this week

  • Berries!
  • Elderflower Fritters: a recipe - do not use olive oil
  • Items from the root cellar: Spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes
  • Still getting lettuce galore but that is about to change

What we are preserving this week - and how

  • Peppermint
  • Bee balm - finally about to bloom
  • Sour Cherry Jam
  • Blackberry leaves
  • Pickled Beets - Recipe coming soon!

Garden/pest update

About the Root Cellar and Canned Food Storage

Final song: Every Way written by Nicole Sauce, performed by Sauce

May 28, 2016

What we are eating this week

  • Coleslaw recipe & freshness strategy
    • 2 TBSP mayonnaise, 2 TBSP vinegar, 1/3 cup milk, 1 TBSP honey, 1 tsp freshly ground pepper, 1 tsp salt. Shake like mad! Pour over your cut up cabbage, carrots and onions.
  • Chard, radishes, spinach, lettuces, canned corn (must. finish. last. year's. corn.), strawberries, sweet potatoes
  • Poke weed w/ video on how to prepare it:
  • Sassafras root - video on how to harvest:

What we are preserving this week - and how

  • Peppermint
  • Bee balm
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberry leaves

Time to test your pressure canner gauge - a not from the entension office --

How the Holler Homestead started

An interview with Michelle Shelley of Full Circle Heritage Farms
From Michelle: "You might want to change the title to "woman running a farm into the ground, into a wall, through a gate (farm truck with no brakes), or just a woman breaking stuff- that's what I'm really running!

The mineral feeder she made:


The manure spreader:


Holler Update

  • The ducks got a pool!
  • Tomatoes looking great and a shout out to Nick Ferguson of Homegrown Liberty
  • The importance of relationships: Truck in the shop

Outro: Grandpa's Song, by Sauce

May 21, 2016

Nine years ago, we started on an adventure in the country. What began as a weekend getaway quickly changed into a small homestead with chickens, gardens, laughter, neighbors, and sometimes the opposite of laughter.

The Holler Homestead is known in our area for our home roasted coffee (it takes less time to roast your own than drive to the store), elephant garlic, stone ground flour and hand rolled oats. We also help people learn how to preserve food and are keenly interested in self sufficient living.

In this first episode we cover:

1) What we're eating this week from the land

2) The independence fund

3) Managing an overwhelming list of homestead duties

4) Tea

5) My new daily planner (read about that here:

Let me know what you want to hear about next...

~Nicole Sauce

Apr 29, 2016

While I was taking a shower, my phone rang three times:

1) Dad

2) Ex husband

3) Uncle Steve in New York

The last one was the first message I heard on September 11, 2001. Uncle Steve, unable to reach anyone locally decided to call me and let me know that he was OK, but that he'd appreciate it if I got the message out to everyone else in the family. What followed was a very long day for many Americans ending in some mourning lost family members.

At the time, I was in charge of training executives from Europe who ended up stranded in the states, was an ESL teacher for interns from Germany, and had family in both DC and New York. Many frantic calls were made that day to find housing for those stuck in the states, make sure everyone was OK in the family, and to cope with the feelings of anger that arise from terror attacks.

And it was quiet. SOOOO quiet. You don't realize how much sound comes to a city from the air until the planes are gone.

Kirk said at the next Sauce practice, "They awoke the hidden dragon."

I never could come up with words to communicate all the emotions of this time, but I did write a song - my only instrumental. I hope you enjoy it. 

Apr 9, 2016

A recording of Sauce - the best drama rock band from Portland, Oregon! Music and words my Nicole Sauce. Performed by Sauce the band.

I wrote it about our last days together with my grandfather after we found out he was terminally ill. It was a beautiful time where we were visited by family from all over, where Grandma told stories about the past we had never heard before, and when my grandfather taught me one last lesson: death is natural and beautiful, not scary. And he loved my grandma so much that the last word we heard from him was her name.

Grandpa's Song by Nicole Sauce Williams

(Copyright 2004)

Light Love Life Hope

Light in darkness -love eternal
Life you showed us - hope - it's hopeless

Look into your eyes, now there's nothing left to say
Feeling of your hand holding on to mine today

Inside Out Bound

In the final hours together
Longed to show you - you remember

Fire in your eyes looked across the room to her
Feeling in the air taking you forever

Showed us how to right through small deeds
Speak with silence, love in all things

Look into your eyes, now there's nothing left to say
Feeling of you hand holding on for one last day