Dietz: The Greatest Lantern Invented

For nearly 200 years, Dietz has been the standard bearer of lanterns.

Dietz quality – From the early days of R.E. Dietz to today, quality has been built into every Dietz lantern. In the 1800’s, Dietz was one of the first manufacturers in the USA to use steam machinery. Today, their highly automated plant is more modern than any other lantern company in China. They use heavier materials and build to closer tolerances than competing lanterns. R.E. Dietz produces consistent quality consistently.

Dietz safety – R.E. Dietz understands better than anyone the danger of combining open flame and flammable fluids. The Dietz tradition of safety goes back 170 years, and their lamps and lanterns are used safely every day in millions of homes and businesses all over the world.

Dietz durability – In today’s electrified world, most people never reach for a Dietz lantern unless they are in a dire situation. R.E. Dietz knows their lanterns have to perform every time, regardless of the situation. Whether you are in the African bush, Australian outback, facing down a Gulf hurricane or just dealing with another urban power failure, Dietz lanterns can light your world reliably and without fail. Continue reading

Absolutely Unbeatable Cast Iron (+ Recipes)

Every cook should have a least one cast-iron skillet. I know, a cast-iron skillet may seem like an old-fashioned choice for a modern kitchen, but it is a must.  This dependable cookware conducts heat beautifully, goes from stovetop to oven, and lasts for decades (or longer).  I love mine.  But cast-iron doesn’t stop there;  it also has nutritional benefits.

Cast iron is NATURALLY Non-Stick!
Replacing your nonstick pans with cast-iron helps you avoid the harmful chemicals that are found in the coating. Nonstick coating can contain PFCs (perfluorocarbons), a chemical that has been linked to liver damage, cancer, developmental problems, and possibly, early menopause.  These chemicals get released — and inhaled — when the pans are used on high heat.  We can also ingest these chemicals when the surface of the pan gets scratched. However, a well-seasoned cast iron pan is also virtually non-stick (but without all those chemicals).  Seasoning your pan is simple. Here’s how. Plus, that lovely sheen that develops over time allows you to use less oil when you’re frying crispy potatoes or searing chicken.  And that’s healthier, too. Care of your cast iron: Never use soap when you clean your cast iron pans.  Just simply scrub with a stiff brush and hot water and make sure you dry it completely.  (My mom always used to put it in the oven on low heat to dry it.)

Continue reading

Decking Your Halls and Greening Your Christmas

During the long dark winter months every culture prescribes a bit of a ‘blow out’ – a celebration of lights and abundance to get us through until spring.  Yet our own Christmas has become not so much a celebration of abundance as a consumer frenzy. For those of us concerned about spreading the abundance around to the billions of people who share this earth, the Christmas season prompts some careful and conscious decision making.

We can still have the fun and traditions. By supporting local and craft businesses and being aware of treading lightly on the earth’s resources, we can help achieve a fair distribution of gifts over the holiday season.

The Christmas tree was a much loved center of my own family’s celebrations.  Millions of pine, spruce and fir trees are cut down at this time of year.  Some local authorities run schemes at the end of the festive season where you can take your tree whittled down to wood chips that can be recycled. This is a responsible way of giving the trees a ‘second life’ as mulch. What came out of the ground goes back to the ground. Continue reading

The Giving of Thanks

Thanksgiving day – is it the kickoff to the “holiday season” – Christmas? It sure seems so, but Thanksgiving has been in the past, and still can be with a little thought, a special time all its own.

When I was a kid in school (long ago), the teacher would always have us write a list of things to be thankful for. I always wrote things like mom and dad and sister and the dog and the mouse that lived in my closet… she never appreciated the mouse the way I did.

That mouse comforted me as a child, because when I’d wake up and hear strange sounds, I knew it was the mouse. No problem, no question, no monster. Just the mouse.

I don’t know if remembering that task of listing things to be thankful for still inspires me after all these years, or if there really is something in the air. Maybe it’s just that I’m remembering all the wonderful Thanksgivings through the years.

Whatever it is, I seem to become aware of how much there is for which to be thankful, and so I start making a list in my head, and I start looking at things differently.

Most things that I’m thankful for don’t cost money and they don’t mean a thing to a materialistic world. No matter.

If you know what it’s like to breathe in the frosty air early in the morning, or to stand at a window watching the snow, knowing that there will be good sledding later… if you know what it’s like to find the first tiny violet blooming or the first tiny egg from the new pullets, then you know what I mean.

Those things don’t take money. They take an awareness of life around us, a love for God’s creation that can be so sharp it brings tears to your eyes.

I think that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.

Iced or Mulled, Apple Cider says “Autumn”

Stoneware Cider Jug from Lehman's

Stoneware Cider Jug

Webster’s dictionary defines cider as: “the expressed juice of fruit (as apples) used as a beverage.”  Cider makes me think of fall and riding up into the mountain orchards of Virginia for baskets of apples and cider. The crisp air was full of the wonderful aroma of fresh-pressed apples.

When the children were small, they would stand and watch the men and women work the apple presses in awe.  Baskets full of apples turned into a sweet, pulpy beverage.  We would bring it home and it would keep wonderfully. Usually it was consumed alone, with soda or blended with other juices and spices. Cider can also be used in place of water in tea recipes both hot and cold.

Lined Oak Beverage Keg from Lehman's

Lined Oak Beverage Keg

Fizzy Apple Soda
4 ounces apple cider
2 ounces clear lemon lime soda

Blend cider and soda together and serve over ice.

Classic Mulled Apple Cider
One cinnamon stick
Zest of one orange
6 Whole cloves
1 quart apple cider
1/3 cup brown sugar

Place cinnamon, zest, and cloves in a muslin spice bag and set aside. Heat cider in saucepan with brown sugar until sugar is melted. Add spice bag to hot cider and steep on low until cider begins to steam, turn off heat and cover. Check the mulled cider for sweetness – remove spice bag and serve in heated mugs.

Cider book from Lehman's

Making, Using, and Enjoying Sweet and Hard Cider book

* Heated mugs – fill mugs with hot tap water and set aside- empty when ready to fill with cider

If you ever plan to make your own cider I strongly recommend:
Cider: Making, Using and Enjoying Sweet and Hard Cider Book – by Proulx and Nichols – this guidebook is designed for the beginner or the novice.

Enjoy Autumn in a glass of crisp, cold cider or heat up a mug to watch a crisp sunset. Plus…you know what goes just great with cider? POPCORN. But that’s another article

Handmade Cheese: An Easy, Delicious Holiday Gift

The hottest new trend in our neck of the woods is gathering a group to learn cheesemaking. In the past year I’ve taught

Karen's Soft Herb Cheese (see below for recipe!)

cheese classes in places like Lehman’s retail store, a local foods market, an upscale kitchen store, a 4-H group, church groups and even as a surprise birthday party for an Amish friend.

The marvel of how milk magically cultures and ferments into yogurt, kefir and cheese is catching the fancy of farmers and foodies alike. Many classes I teach have at least a few folks with cows or goats who are wanting to learn how to make wise use of that milk. In fact, a plentiful supply of milk from our family Jersey cow and handful of goats plunged us into the art of cheese-making.

If you don’t have goats or a cow, don’t worry. Recently, I taught 14 folks who didn’t own any milk-producing stock how to use good quality store-bought milk to produce a wide array of cheeses. The resident goat or cow (or water buffalo) is purely optional. Continue reading

Stop the Holiday Insanity

Too often, the holidays become a time of extreme stress and difficulty.  Women, especially, tend to think that they are supposed to provide a magical family festival, keeping every tradition and even adding more each year. Men feel either left out or “bossed around,” while children are alternately over-excited or rushed from activity to activity in a hectic schedule that leaves little time for enjoying special family moments.

Now is the time to sit down with your family and decide, “What kind of holiday season do we want?” A little time spent planning and prioritizing can go a long way toward creating a celebration that will result in happy memories.

Discuss expectations. Write down the activities, events, decorations and even foods that have been part of your family’s tradition in the past. How important are these to each member of your family?  You may discover that some things you have always done are not so necessary after all, and can be eliminated from your holiday chores.  Continue reading

Home Venison Processing: Economical, Healthy and Satisfying

It’s a process I’ve repeated hundreds of times in my 46 years. Rinse and pat dry a dozen or more small steaks one last time. Dip each piece in a wash of egg and milk, then roll in a dry mix of flour, cornmeal, mashed potato flakes and seasonings. Repeat the wash and dredge a second time. Then ease the pieces into a skillet of warm cooking oil. A couple minutes on each side and the venison tenderloin steaks come out irresistible mouth-watering wild game goodness.

Late fall and early winter means more than harvesting crops, readying equipment for winter and topping off the woodpile. It’s the most active time of the year for hunters. Hunting wild game using good sportsmanship and integrity takes a lot of effort and attention to detail. But getting an animal is only the start of the journey. Harvesting the meat and preparing it in a pleasing and tasty manner for your family or friends is a skill all its own. Fortunately the techniques used in butchering wild game are the same used in processing farm animals for meat. All it takes is a basic understanding of meat cuts and a few inexpensive tools. Continue reading

Fun Side Dishes for Your Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving side dishes can be from all parts of the country and world.  Some are served with the meal, and some before.  While my children were growing up, I would fix a variety of nibbles for the children and adults to snack on while I finished fixing the feast. Side dishes can be fun as well good for you.  These ideas will also give you a healthy helping of veggies.

Olive and Pickles Tray
Shop for a variety of whole black olives, marinated olives, green stuffed olives and different varieties of pickles – even hot and spicy! Arrange on a tray or divided platter and set out for nibbling.

Fried Okra
Come on Northerners, you know you want to try it.

10 pods okra, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cornmeal Continue reading

Annual Christmas Open House: 12/1-12/3!

Candlelight Concert 2010

Our Christmas 2010 Candlelighting Ceremony

Celebrate the season Thursday, December 1 to Saturday, December 3 at our annual Christmas Open House at our retail store in Kidron, Ohio! Choose from practical and perfect gifts–and enjoy local entertainment and activities. Don’t miss seeing our 45,000 square foot retail store decorated to the rafters!

Central Christian Varsity Singers

Central Christian Varsity Singers at our 2010 Open House

Thursday at 7 p.m., join a meaningful outdoor candlelighting ceremonywith Central Christian School’s Varsity Singers.

Saturday’s activities include performances from Wooster’s Ohio Light Opera and local band Honeytown. Facepainters, craft activities, and an ornament giveaway will run throughout the day.

Our giant Christmas tree welcomes you into the retail store's lobby.

Take a free ride on the Holiday Horsepower Express Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open house visitors can help themselves to free cookies and cocoa from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. all weekend long.

Visit the Lego® Loft, the Soda Pop Shop (with 300 varieties of glass bottled sodas) and Lehman’s Candy Land, packed with the traditional treats you remember. Shop our selection of high-quality, unique USA-made toys and gifts: giant checkers, marbles, pottery, linens, tools, and even a composting worm farm. Try finding that at the mall.

Lehman’s Retail Store
Kidron, Ohio
Ph: 888-438-5346
Mapping Address Retail Store:
4779 Kidron Rd, Dalton, OH 44618
Mon – Sat 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays