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Hello Dear Reader! 

I am Melynda E. Brown the cook, recipe developer and writer behind Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household. Here at home, I keep a well-stocked pantry (most of the time!), practice frugality, and cook with what I have on hand (again, most of the time.). In fact, I have been cooking and keeping a home for more years than I care to say, having started in my own childhood family home as one of the oldest, looking out after some of the youngest! 

Between then and now, I married, raised a family, and became employed caring for others and working my way up to the position of Administrator in an Assisted Living Facility. Ironically being an Administrator is much like being a mom (but with a whole lot more "kids", and taking care of a much bigger house!) with meals to cook, a house to keep clean, and making sure everyone is happy and healthy. Fortunately, I had staff to help me get it all done! During those years I lived in the state of Washington.
The decision was made to move a couple states away, and we now live in Montana Wyoming Texas! Yes, since the original About page was written we have moved three times. Here in Texas we have just under six acres of overgrown land, and lots of dreams to fulfill! Just like in Montana we have a five-year plan to build and get up and running a woodworking shop, a blacksmith shed, a raised bed garden system, a chicken run, and a berry patch. And because of so much brush that grows everywhere, a couple of goats to help us clear the land. We are currently working to get the overgrown land cleaned up after years of neglect and little maintenance. Our weather here in Texas is much different, which will offer a longer growing season. We are surrounded by the Piney Woods so loved in this part of Texas. We are quite rural, and when hunting season presents itself, we know by the shotgun noises near by. 

You may (or may not...) be wondering why the many moves. It is simple really, comfort. When you have comfort in your home including the land, the investment of time and energy to bring it to fruition is not work as much as a labor of love. When there is a work to be done, you absolutely need to be, where you want to be! So many moves along with a winter of volunteerism that the daughter and son-in-law took part in was a superior learning experience. We had time to think about our shared future, decide about where we really wanted to be, and journey forward to make it all happen. And of course our precious grandson was along for the ride. That young man did travel and explorations in his first two years of life, than many do in a lifetime! And we are just getting started here in East Texas, with so much to do, see and enjoy!

I appreciate your visits here, we have some delicious recipes, household ideas and more than anything else, an abundance of hope to apply to all the things we wish to complete. My goal is that you will find something here to inspire you or better yet, answer a question you might have about how to cook something or make your own home just a little more comfortable. We are hard core do it yourself-ers and speaking from my heart, it is how I was raised and hope to continue for as long as I am able. 

From our Montana Root Cellar. 

A little something about me, I love kitchens, especially big kitchens filled with every appliance and cook's toy available. But you might be surprised to find that I actually had a tiny kitchen in Montana. Tiny enough, that I had no stove and needed to share the oven in my daughter's kitchen when I baked bread or made granola. And I would be remiss if I did not confess that I will forever miss the Montana root cellar! But no matter the size of my kitchen or the state I live in, my kitchen forevermore will be a busy one! 

Love this Wonder Mill for grinding my own flour.

Just like in Montana and Wyoming we share this land with our Daughter and Son in Law and young Grandson. We have been sharing this dream for a sustainable life for a few years now, and along the way, we were gifted with the joy of another grandchild. Life is just brighter when discovering the world all over again through the eyes of a child. We cook and bake from scratch, eating most of our meals at home. I still grind my own flour and bake our bread. We share not only the property (and the work!) but also the dream of a more self-sufficient lifestyle. My kitchen here in Texas is in our 40ft fifth wheel that we have turned into a very comfortable Tiny Home. The kitchen is quite large giving me more kitchen than I had in Montana, but less than what was all mine in Wyoming! We recently put the finishing touches on a rebuilt metal shop building that now holds my washer and dryer along with a propane stove for canning.  

Whole Wheat and Honey Bread, our daily bread. 

I have always been a lifelong learner. I enjoy learning new ways to improve or make easier, just about each and every task that needs to be done. And I have taken on the responsibility to learn and succeed in tasks I have previously avoided, out of fear. Such as pressure canning. During our time in Montana I took a seasonal job as a Food Preservation Specialist. My tasks included canning the harvest from the farm for the family and production canning for the small farm store. And, it was a match made in heaven! 

I was given the opportunity to learn and succeed in some of those skills not attempted before, such as using multiple canners processing at the same time, how to convert cup and spoon measurements into kilogram and gram weights for consistency in the finished product, as well as (please don’t laugh!) using a candy thermometer. In addition I was tasked with recipe development for new products for the farm store. Many of which were instant successes!

It was gratifying to find new ways to do old things and to be more efficient in the kitchen. But there was also a fun part… My employer, ABC Acres had partnered with the production company (Fire and Ice Productions) for Yellowstone, the television show to create a hot sauce modeled after one of the characters in the show. I made that hot sauce, and I made a lot if it! In addition a couple of my created products for the Farm Store were enjoyed by the production staff. All of whom love good food.

And while I did not get to meet Mr. Costner or any of the acting staff, I did get to meet some of the support staff and the catering crew for the show. And yes I cooked gallons and gallons of RIP’S HUCKLEBERRY HEAT, hot sauce! You can view the photo layout from ABC Acres here. Yes, that is me, hair in a bun, cooking up another batch of RIP’S HUCKLEBERRY HEAT, hot sauce! Funny it wasn't until we moved away from Montana that I started watching the show, and all in all, I would say that RIP'S HUCKLEBERRY HEAT, does in fact match the character it is named after. #yellowstonetvshow
In past years my husband and I have enjoy volunteering in our own community and for the National Parks System. We have also held long-term camp hosting positions in many parks. We do enjoy being of service while staying in the parks to explore, relax and meet new friends. We have had the privilege of volunteering at Fort Vancouver National Historic Reserve in Vancouver WA, Organ Pipe Cactus Nation Monument outside of Ajo, AZ, on the International border with Mexico, and Three Frogs Campground at Lake Como in Darby Montana. Once we get a bit more settled here in Texas, we plan on exploring our new state as well as a few train trips across the USA. 

Here on the blog you will find a variety of delicious whole food recipes to enjoy. All of the recipes shared on Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household, have been made and enjoyed in our home. Many are routine favorites, and we look forward to enjoying them time and time again. I invite you to look through the files and enjoy what we offer, adding variety and something new to your own meals. If you have a question or a request, please feel free to drop me a line. Because…
At Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household we have a simple philosophy, which is, offer creative, practical recipes for delicious yet easy to prepare meals using whole food ingredients from a well-stocked pantry. While providing enthusiasm and suggestions for you the reader to have fun and become comfortable with your own creative skills. After all, it’s your kitchen, and you should feel right at home there!

Just a few notes on our whole food pantry. We use organic food whenever possible. Including organic cane sugar crystals, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, and avocado oil. We cook and eat whole grain foods most of the time along with lots of fresh vegetables, and fruits from our own garden, local growers, and through a CSA share whenever possible. Because we all need to eat more vegetables!

About page for Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household.

Thank you for visiting! And again, welcome to Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade household. We are glad you stopped for a visit.