Decking the Halls …

I love Christmas. It takes all my willpower to wait until the Thanksgiving dinner has been put away to get ornaments and lights out of storage. I have a staging area where I have all the gifts bought, wrapped, tagged and bowed, ready to be placed under the tree. To me, Christmas is not a day, it is the entire month of December. The music, the baking, the decorating, even the clothes (women, you know what I am talking about — the red sweaters and the sparkly accessories) — it all brings back wonderful memories of a special time of year.

For the first time, the Kidron store has been decorated with a number of Christmas trees. We have one in each major department, and most are decorated with products from our store. Continue reading

A Very GREEN Christmas in Rockefeller Center

Snow or no snow, this Christmas in NYC will be decidedly green. Tonight marks the 75th annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree – often called the world’s most famous tree, and the same one cut down a few weeks ago in Connecticut using one of Lehman’s two-man crosscut saws (see my post on this event). The event is televised on NBC, starting at 8pm (check your local listings) and will feature a star-studded musical lineup and several celebrity appearances.

This year’s tree cutting was virtually carbon-neutral (thanks to the old-fashioned saw), and the space it inhabited will be “re-greened.” The majestic, 84-foot tree will be festooned with over 30,000 energy-efficient LED lights, powered by “a ground breaking permanent array of photovoltaic panels” installed on the roof of 45 Rockefeller Center. (After the holidays, the panels will continue to help power the center.)

And, this is very cool: after the tree’s taken down (about Jan. 8, 2008), it will be milled and returned to Rockefeller Center as green lumber. There, volunteers will build door frames that will be used by Habitat For Humanity in building projects in NYC, the Gulf Coast, Brazil and India.

Read more about this year’s “greener than ever” tree here, and enjoy the lighting ceremony tonight!

The Akron-Beacon Journal Recently ran an article about Lehman’s involvement in this event

A Farm Truck on the Back Forty

photo by sue steiner

Nearly everyone with a farm has a Farm Truck. A farm truck is a vital piece of farm equipment. It is often a rusted out, banged up, run until it drops, off road vehicle used for farm work. Our farm truck for years was an old rust-orange-red truck with torn hard vinyl seats, stuck windows and a muffler problem that was not road worthy but was great to have to do all the odd, dirty jobs needed on the farm.

One of the activities my kids and I particularly enjoyed with the farm truck was to take supplies, equipment, feed or tools to the back forty when the guys were doing the various duties needed to care for the livestock on our grass based farm. Our livestock looked a bit on the exotic side since they consisted of Scottish Highlander cattle with long shaggy coats and long horns with several varieties of colored sheep, goats and free range layers rotated thru the pastures.

To get to the back forty Continue reading

Auntie Flo’s Pumpkin Cookies

Recently I was going through my cupboard of cookbooks looking for a certain recipe when I came across an old recipe booklet. This booklet was dated 1975 and was actually done on a mimeograph machine (remember those? -really makes you appreciate your computer, huh?) Well, I found a recipe with my cousin’s name on it but I’m sure it is from her mother, my Auntie Flo.

My Auntie Flo was a good cook and she was known for it in the community where I grew up. She actually was like a grandma to me, because my grandmothers both died when I was young and I really don’t remember them – plus, Auntie Flo lived right next door to us.  Her door was always open to my four brothers and me. If my aunt and uncle were eating when we decided to “pop in,” we were always offered a taste of their meal. We loved our Auntie Flo and Uncle Merl and the feeling was mutual. Continue reading

Fire!

The view from our back porch Monday, December 11, 2006Barn Fire

On a Monday night almost exactly a year ago, we were drawn outside to balmy (at least for Ohio in December) 50 degree Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) weather and a beautiful sunset.But, the sky was soon clouded by a huge pillar of smoke. Our neighbor’s barn had caught fire and within minutes was fully involved. As it burned, their 13-year-old girl ran in to rescue their three dogs (which were thankfully the only occupants at the time). In less than an hour, something that had stood for 120 years was virtually gone. Continue reading

Holiday Food: Planning for a Crowd

Holiday Food for a Crowd Don’t be caught with way too much, or (heaven forbid) not enough pumpkin pie this year. Plan for your holiday gathering by buying and preparing the right amount of food for the number attending.

Please note: These quantities are for 24-25 people. Multiply or divide as needed.

Beverages

  • Coffee Servings: 25 Serving Size: 3/4 cup Amount Needed: 1/2 to 3/4 pound, ground
  • Milk Servings: 24 Serving Size: 1 cup Amount Needed: 1 1/2 gallons
  • Soft Drinks Servings: 24 Serving Size: 1 cup Amount Needed: three 2-liter bottles
  • Tea, hot Servings: 25 Serving Size: 3/4 cup Amount needed: 5 quarts (20-25 tea bags)
  • Tea, iced Servings: 25 Serving Size: 1 cup Amount Needed: 1 1/2 gallons (24-30 tea bags)
  • Orange Juice Servings: 32 Serving Size: 1/2 cup Amount Needed: 1 gallon
  • Lemonade Servings: 32 Serving Size: 1 cup Amount Needed: 2 gallons Continue reading

The Market Gardener’s Journal

End of the Garden – For This Year

By Kevin Wright

The sun is just creeping over the horizon as I step outside. Steam rises from the hot cup of coffee in my hand. I slowly make my way to the garden. Underfoot, the grass gives a gentle “crunch” with each step. There is frost on the ground this morning. I sip my coffee and realize that the summer is indeed coming to an end. The full, lush garden has dwindled slowly over the last few weeks, and this morning’s frost will make it seem even emptier. Despite the lonely feeling that the growing season is almost over, I am happy with this year’s harvest. It has been a good season here in central Illinois. Continue reading

The Cows Are OUT!!!!

Kidron Road Barn Watercolor

There are a few words that are sure to bring on an intense response on the farm.  ‘Fire’ is one.  The report of rain when you have a whole field of hay down ready to be baled is another.  Right up there next to ‘Fire’ is the phrase I yelled to my husband after working all night and just getting into a deep sleep.  ‘Cows are OUT!!!!’  He jumped out of bed, dazed but ready for action when I had to tell him, oops, my mistake.  They just LOOKED like they were out!  Sorry honey.

To this false alarm we had our share of real bovine on the loose escapades!  A very memorable one is the time the cows got out just after an electrical storm – the boogers knew the electric fence was out.  I was in the barn feeding my horses when I saw out of the corner of my eye a flash of shaggy brown fur.  That could be a moose on the loose but unlikely since we are in Ohio.  Continue reading

Snowy White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake

We’ve gotten some recent requests for the following recipe, a holiday tradition in my house since I found it several years ago. For cheesecake novices: this is a very easy and truly mah-velous one to make. Rich, creamy white chocolate cheesecake is studded with crunchy bits of peppermint candy and capped with a bit o’ whipped topping – simply sublime.

Ingredients:

1 c. graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. melted butter
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 8-oz pkg. cream cheese
3 eggs Continue reading

This is pretty cool…

A past tree at Rockefeller Center

Yesterday we discovered that one of our two-man crosscut saws (#3355) had been ordered last Friday and was en route to its destination somewhere in New England.

Nothing unusual about that – we ship orders all over the world every day. However, due to a minor routing problem with the delivery, the customer informed us that this saw is intended for a very unique and honorable purpose: cutting down the 84-foot Norway Spruce destined to be this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree!

Now, if you’re not familiar with this American tradition, here are a few fast facts, courtesy of the Rockefeller Center website: Continue reading