Lehman’s Flood: One year later

One year ago today (Feb. 28, 2011) a devastating flash flood rushed through our store in Kidron, Ohio. With the help of gracious volunteers and our tireless employees, we were open again the very next day! Thanks to ALL who were involved in our cleanup efforts. Here’s a video of the flood footage (and the results of the cleanup).

Lehman’s Flood: One year later

Comfort Food: Old-Fashioned Banana Puddin’

The fun-shaped, sunny-colored banana is a wonderful fruit in its own jacket.  High in fiber, potassium and flavor, bananas make the “super food” list easily. Need a comforting, pick-me-up dish for the lingering cold days? An old-time banana pudding fits the bill!

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding – from my cookbook, “From My Family Recipe Box”
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
2 bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
3/4 cups white sugar
1/3 cup self rising flour
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Meringue:
2 egg whites
1/4 cup white sugar
½ Tablespoon cream of tartar Continue reading

The Free Chicken Escapade

618578_90430074The other day I came across a Craigslist ad:

“Free chickens. You catch!”

Free chickens? Oh, yeah! So I called the lady right away and got directions.

She lived on a farm, and was due to have knee surgery in about a week. She was tired of the chickens getting under her feet when she fed her horses, and just wanted them gone.

The problem? They were everywhere! Her free range hens had quickly multiplied, and were roosting in the woods, in the barn, and anywhere else they found a place to park for the night.

Armed with a huge fishing net and several crates to hold our captives, we pulled our van up to the barn gate and surveyed the battlefield. There in front of us was a huge pasture with horses, donkeys and pecking chickens everywhere!

Couldn’t be too hard, right? We set right to work. Continue reading

Snuggling Up

Classic Hot Water Bottle from Lehman's

Classic Hot Water Bottle

Last year when I was drawing up a list of recommendations for packing when on tour in Ireland I included hot water bottles.  A flurry of emails came back to say that these were rarer than hen’s teeth to find in the States these days.

Which I find profoundly shocking.  Of course, once on this side of the Atlantic I gave up on electric heating pads because hot water bottles are ubiquitous.  Everyone has them.  And once I had been embraced by my Beloved’s family I found out that if they could design the family coat of arms, there would be a mutt on the left and a hot water bottle on the right.

Indeed, Granny Cuckson (as Beloved’s mother was universally referred to) stoutly declared that she would pack her ‘jars’ (as they are called in Northern Ireland – referring to the earthenware hot water bottles that predated the rubber ones we know today) even if she was in the Sahara desert.  In her dotage she took five to bed with her each night – one for each foot, one at each side and one to cuddle. Continue reading

Foods to Fight the Winter Blahs

When the days draw a grey picture and the cold bites to the bone, the chance of depression setting in becomes greater.  This sounds as heavy as it feels. If you feel this way just around wintertime, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Foods rich in tryptophan help to raise our serotonin levels (serotonin is your body’s natural “feel good” chemical).  The good news also is that many of these foods are also rich in Omega-3, a  “good” fat that helps to keep our brains healthy.

There are a few things you can try if you’ve got a case of the “winter blues”: a full-spectrum light box, omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils), exercise, counseling, and revamping your diet. Try to create structure to your day by scheduling your exercise. Get out of bed, have breakfast, and force yourself to go for a walk. When the weather permits, going for walks outdoors can refresh you.  Even mall or gym walking can help raise your mood. Continue reading

“Who Knew You Could Freeze Baby Carrots?”

“Who knew you could freeze baby carrots?” And that’s a quote. Heard it with my own ears. But first, a little background to get you to that quote.

I’ve had to leave my modernized Amish farmhouse and move into a 1970s raised ranch in a development with a name. My husband Mike got a great new job, and so we’ve moved to Fayetteville, NC. For someone born and raised in Ohio, the whole sun in the winter thing is completely different. And since I’ve not lived in suburbia for quite some time, lots of other things are different too.

It doesn’t look like any of my neighbors have gardens–although I’ve heard it’s difficult to grow here due to the clay subsoil. There are lots and lots of lovely green shrubs too–with leaves, even, not just piney evergreen types. And who knew that magnolias would still be in leaf here? (I can hear our readers in temperate climates howling with laughter right now!) Continue reading

Cast Iron Recipe Drawing WINNERS!

A huge thank-you to everyone who submitted recipes for our Cast Iron Recipe Drawing! We received over 500 mouthwatering recipes from all over the United States, and we’re hoping to turn this amazing collection into an exclusive cookbook very soon (watch this blog and our Facebook page for more info – we’ll keep you posted)!

Without further ado, the winners* in our four categories, and their respective recipes, are:

Lodge Cast Iron Breakfast Griddle

Lodge Cast Iron Breakfast Griddle

BREAKFAST:
Smoked Bacon and Eggs
Pan used: Cast Iron Griddle
Abigail from Boyertown, PA

Ingredients:
1 Package Bacon
2-3 Eggs per person

Instructions: Make a fire and get a few nice coals heated up. Place your cast iron griddle on top and give it a couple of minutes to heat up. Put bacon on and cook it to your liking. Once it is cooked remove the bacon and crack eggs on to the griddle. The eggs will get a wonderful bacon grease taste, while the bacon will cook perfectly and have an incredible open fire/smoked flavor to it. Continue reading

Cold Framing With The Expert

Karen Geiser’s cold framing DVD is available at Lehmans.com and Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

It’s that time of year–when we’re not quite ready to give up our garden bounty, but Mother Nature has other ideas. How to bridge the gap? Cold frames! Lehman’s organic gardener, Karen Geiser, uses them at both ends of the growing season, and gets great crops of hardy things like peas, lettuces, beets, carrots, kale, spinach and Swiss chard. Continue reading

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Late Winter Pick-Me-Ups in the Kitchen

We’ve had a mild, more traditional winter this year in Ireland.  Up until January I could still pick kale growing outdoors.  Whereas last year the Brussell sprouts were frozen solid to the stalk, this year we’ve nearly eaten them all. What a blessing to have fresh, homegrown vegetables well into the “winter.”

However, there is the rub.  You can get very weary some of the same old, same old in the vegetable line and it can be a struggle to get your five portions a day of fruit and vegetables that they recommend we eat for our nutritional health.  Some days I think if I see another orange root vegetable on the plate I’ll lose my reason.  And I like carrots. I truly do.  They are right up there with broccoli and kale and tomatoes and a host of other vegetables.  But I never really grew out of being picky about fruit.

If you try to eat seasonally according to your home zone, the pickings can get sparse.  I generally try to use that as a rule with an exception for bananas, which is really the only fruit that I will gladly eat.  But I also lighten up on this rule at this time of year,  because even though vegetables and fruit grown in other parts of the world may have a heavier carbon footprint, they can be real cheering pick-me-ups while we wait for springtime to arrive. Continue reading

Prepping: Hype or Common Sense?

The recent launch of the National Geographic channel’s new series, “Doomsday Preppers,” has created quite a stir in the break room conversations here. Maybe that’s also happening where you work. The general thought is that although there are some extremes in any case, there are certain things we all can do to make sure we’re ready if there’s an emergency.

So, if you have a plan, are you confident that it’s the best for you and your family?

4-Day, 4-Person Emergency Backpack

4-Day, 4-Person Emergency Backpack

There are many resources out there that you can use to review your emergency preparedness kit and plans, and possibly refine what you already have in place. A great place to start online is www.ready.gov, a multifaceted preparedness site. Here, preparedness novices can find out what to put in a preparedness kit.  Local Red Cross offices or redcross.org are excellent starting points — they even offer customized plans for hurricanes, snowstorms and other emergencies. Folks more familiar can use these websites to check things like storage dates, and glean ideas to fine-tune their preparedness kits. Continue reading

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