How Homemade Is It?

by  Texas Homesteader 

I like to cook from scratch whenever possible, and sometimes I have a little game I play that I’ll call “How Homemade IS It??” Is it homemade in that I assembled the ingredients myself? That I grew the ingredients myself? That I even made the condiments myself?

Now let me make myself perfectly clear here lest some of you get the very mistaken idea that I’m a Kitchen Wonder Woman who only uses her own home-churned butter & homemade bread. Although I enjoy growing or making from scratch as much of our food as I can, it’s not like I always prepare a completely from-scratch meal. And there are certainly convenience foods that play a part in my kitchen because for me it’s all about moderation. But every now & then it’s fun to play this game.

So pull up a chair & let’s play the latest edition of the Texas Homesteader game: HOW HOMEMADE IS IT??

Join me in this fun game I play in my kitchen to lower my grocery budget: 'Homemade Cooking: How Homemade *IS* It??' #TexasHomesteader
Turkey Salad Meat Was Almost FREE!

Today’s contestant is a favorite sandwich spread for RancherMan – turkey salad. (applause…)

The base ingredient of course is turkey, which for today’s contestant is the turkey meat that was remaining after a recent turkey dinner when the remaining carcass was boiled for my homemade broth. I’m always amazed at the amount of meat that is found after the broth is made. RancherMan & I are pretty ruthless in cutting away and freezing as much usable meat as we can from the bones before the carcass is relegated to the stock pot.

But each time I strain out the broth & begin to examine the remaining stockpot contents I’m surprised to see that after the bones, skin, etc are removed, there’s still quite a bit of meat remaining. Enough today to make a hearty amount of turkey salad spread. So I chop the meat & place it in my container.

Homemade or Home Grown Ingredients

I add some chopped purple onions from the freezer. These are onions that I harvested from my garden earlier in the year. I had an amazing harvest of onions and I dehydrated several pounds of them as well.

I cook from scratch whenever possible. Sometimes I have a little game I play with myself that I'll call: "How Homemade IS It??" #TexasHomesteader

Now I bring out the sweet pickle relish. This jar was made from the cucumbers in last year’s garden. RancherMan isn’t a big fan of raw cucumbers but he loves sweet pickle relish to be added in his sandwich spreads. Cucumbers grow well here so I include them in my garden specifically for this use. (I’ve also discovered pear relish and RancherMan loves that even more!)

I also bring out my homemade dill pickles. These cucumbers were shared with me from a sweet friend’s garden but they were not the special variety cucumbers for pickling so when I canned them the pickles came out a little soft. But soft pickles are perfectly fine when chopping finely to include in a sandwich spread.

Homemade Condiments Too

And finally I bring out my homemade mayonnaise. Sometimes I flavor my mayo with things from my garden such as garlic or herbs like thyme or rosemary. But today’s mayonnaise is plain.

I cook from scratch whenever possible. Sometimes I have a little game I play with myself that I'll call: "How Homemade IS It??" #TexasHomesteaderIt’s such a snap to make that I usually only make enough fresh to use in the spread and maybe a little leftover in the jar in case RancherMan wants a turkey-slice sandwich instead.

(UPDATE:  Here’s the sandwich spread game-changer, y’all…  Baconnaise!)

After spreading the turkey salad onto RancherMan’s favorite KitchenAid Sandwich Bread, I top it off with chopped chives from my kitchen windowsill and fresh greens from my edible landscape just outside the front door. I love that this delicious sandwich spread is for the most part VERY local & creates precious little landfill trash too.

So there ya go – the conclusion of today’s episode of ‘How Homemade IS It??’ (applause…)

Do you ever play such games when preparing your family’s meals?


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31 thoughts on “How Homemade Is It?

  1. Carol

    Most of us are not growing all the food or animals needed to be “perfectly homemade”. I just try to cook using whole foods and not pre-made products. Loved your post!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Agreed Carol. I typically end up far from completely homemade, but it is a fun game for me to play to see how close I can get. Guess it’s just a fun game for me to play to push myself further. ~TxH~


    Tammy, I enjoyed your post which I found through This is How We Roll. I live in Dallas near all the things you moved away from! My secret wish is to live on a farm, but that will never happen, so I have to live vicariously through you. As a chef and cooking instructor, I can tell you that your turkey sandwich is definitely homemade. I’d love for you to join Your Inspired Design Link Party every Thursday.

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  4. Abbi

    I love to play this game too. Sometimes we do well and other times not but it is fun to think about. By the way your lunch looks quite yummy!

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  6. Cynthia

    You definitely win the Homemade game. I’m impressed! Thank you for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next week.

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  10. Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon

    I did manage to make my own worcestershire sauce. Bloggers thought I was crazy, but since I am soy-sensitive I was thrilled to get the recipe. It is so easy and when you smell it well it just smells like the real thing. I got it from Rattlebridge Farm’s son.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      You made your own Worcestershire sauce? That’s awesome & exactly what I’m talking about when I say I try to stop & think about whether or not I can make something myself instead of buying. With so much information at our fingertips these days it just takes a mental shift to look before going out to buy. Thanks for sharing. ~TxH~

  11. Kyle @ Aspired Living

    I’m not sure I play that game but anytime I manage to make a meal that I have ‘completely’ produced. Such as eggs, potatoes and greens I feel like I’ve really accomplished something! Of course I serve it with mint tea (since we grow mint!) . I also appreciate that due to my life I cannot COMPLETELY make every meal but as much as possible we eat from the garden, yard eggs and basic ingredients. When you cannot afford organic I feel like at least I’m knocking out a lot of preservatives & fillers. BTW that sandwich looks amazing and the next time we make broth, I’m collecting the leftover meat from it! 😉 Blessings my frugal friend! Kyle

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      It makes you feel so accomplished when you provide food for yourself like that, doesn’t it Kyle?? Love, Love, LOVE IT! Plus like you say, it knocks out preservatives & fillers & you’re eating wholesome healthy food. Thanks for sharing. ~TxH~

  12. Bev @ The Make Your Own Zone

    You’re definitely doing a good job at that game! I remember reading a blog post on this subject a while back after someone had been to a party and a person brought “homemade” brownies from a mix and truly felt that if you made it in your oven, it was homemade even if you used a mix. I realized then that people have very different ideas of what it means to be homemade.

  13. Joyce @ It's Your Life

    I’m sure it is alot of work canning, but very self satisfying. I have never made turkey salad, next Thanksgiving I will need to that sandwich looks so good. Thanks for once again sharing on Real Food Fridays.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Joyce, RancherMan & I enjoy sandwiches for quick lunches but I’ve been shying away from prepackaged lunch meats. Chicken is a good option but it’s pretty pricy. But buying Turkey on sale around the holidays keeps us not only in delicious Turkey meals and an abundance of lunch meat but also the opportunity to make lots of broth for my endless soup that I use to make homemade soup lunches that last us about a week. That’s a lot of mileage from one bird! ~TxH~

  14. Marla

    I applaud you for make all your food homemade. It certainly is so much healthy and no hidden ingredient to worry about. I love the idea of the homemade ranch dressing. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Happiness is Homemade Link Party Have a wonderful healthy day!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL – I don’t always win the game either, like I said – I use my fair share of convenience foods. I used them even more heavily when I had little ones at home with all the activities they were involved in. But now that it’s just RancherMan & me I’m able to focus more on making my own convenience foods, and this little game has been lots of fun for me to play. ~TxH~

  15. Anna@stuffedveggies

    Wow- I’m in awe! Does it count if I drove it home from Kroger all by myself? ; )

    I’m pretty urban – I make some of my own spice blends & condiments – and bread – but I don’t grow my own wheat or ferment my own soy sauce!

    It sure makes me appreciate the supply chain that keeps us city folk taken care of!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL Anna. Like I’ve mentioned in previous comments, it’s only been since my kids have grown up & moved on to begin their own lives that I’ve been able to focus on making more of my own ‘convenience foods’ right here at home. Prior periods in my life have had my focus elsewhere – I think each of us have different time restraints and are in different walks of life. But I’ll admit, this game I play is lots of fun & gives me some pride when I can say it’s homemade. ~TxH~

  16. Vickie

    That sandwich sounds amazing! Fresh and frugal, and you knew where most ingredient came from! You didn’t say that you made your bread also, but it looks homemade also! Fun game!

  17. lee Traister

    I do that too! I usually “play” the game with salads and soups since we don’t grow meat animals or keep a cow or goats for milk. I also try to remember what I had to buy that I can grow and than incorporate it in my garden the next year.


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