Miss Pearl’s Gloxinia

Miss Pearl's purple gloxinia

This gorgeous gloxinia at our warehouse reception desk belongs to Pearl Taylor. If you’ve ever phoned in to talk to someone about shipping on a oversized purchase, like a woodstove or a gas-powered freezer, you’ve most likely spoken to Pearl, sister of our founder, Jay Lehman.

Pearl was gracious enough to share her enthusiasm for these beautiful potted plants. “My mother had one, and I had taken starts from it, and it lasted for years. But then one spring, it just didn’t come back. My daughter found this one recently, and bought it for me. I’ve never seen one with so many buds! I expect it will bloom for quite a while.” The plant sits on lovely hand-crocheted doily.

After the plant finishes blooming, Pearl cuts it back, and puts it in a very dark, cool area of her basement. She waters it once a month until springtime, when she brings it back upstairs, and puts it in a warm, sunny window.

Pep Up Picnics With Six Gourmet Burger Recipes

Does the thought of hosting another backyard barbeque with the same old boring hamburger make you cringe?  It doesn’t have to. Nothing quite says summer like a hot grill, and some innovative additions to sizzling patties keeps things lively. Try some of these recipes to punch up to your next cook-out or family dinner.  They will not only make you say “yum” but all are waistline friendly and many have added health benefits. Continue reading

Mark His Words: Our President Has A Secret

I like to read State Historical Markers. There, I said it…I’ve admitted to my little addiction.

For those of you that understand this addiction, welcome to my world! For those of you that just think I’m weird, welcome to my wife’s world. (Let’s just say that I am glad my wife is a forgiving person!)

Recently, I stopped to read a state historical marker that just left me feeling depressed. Continue reading

Family Camping Makes Great Memories (And Meals!)

Now 16, and still a camping fan, the author’s daughter relaxes during a recent family camping trip 

Our daughter took her first steps at a campsite deep in the Appalachian Mountains shortly after her first birthday. She was standing on the rug outside the door of our family tent when she took two steps and quickly wobbled to a stop.

Perhaps that’s why she loves to hike and camp even today, some 16 years later.

My wife and I both grew up in the country. I camped as a Boy Scout, and eventually honed my skills as a hunter and angler. She spent a stint in the Army. From the start we used family camping as an inexpensive way share quality time outdoors with our children. Nearly two decades later we’re still getting away for the same reasons.

Everything about camping appeals to me. I like meals prepared and taken outdoors. I love water and we often choose to camp near rivers or lakes. I can sit for hours and stare into a campfire. I like sleeping in cool weather, and not having a cellphone buzzing or beeping provides a much-needed break. I like the smell of the lantern burning, the look of my old enameled coffee pot steaming over the fire, and the night sounds as they envelope the day’s activities and flush the stress away. Continue reading

Tasty Vegetarian Dishes For Summer Cookout Parties

Conscientious and thoughtful hosts and hostesses like to cater for the variety of gastronomic requirements of our guests.  We don’t shove sugar at diabetics.  We thoughtfully keep the fat content down as our the guest demographic ages.  But I’ve known many party planners to Continue reading

Scratch Cake Is Extra Yummy Made In Cast Iron Pan

Earlier this week, one of our many Facebook friends mentioned she would really appreciate a scratch cake recipe to make in her cast iron cookware. Here it is! Hope you all enjoy it too. It’s on page 241 of our new cookbook Sizzle: Customer Favorites for Cast Iron Cookery. All the recipes in the book were contributed by our loyal customers, and it’s available online now. (The cookbook is in our Kidron store too: get one at a special discount during our Dutch Oven Gathering on Saturday, May 25!) Continue reading

A heapin’ skilletfull of RECIPES (warning – very long but super-tantalizing post)

Please join us at our Kidron store Saturday, May 25, 2013 for our Dutch Oven Gathering (on our Events calendar at www.lehmans.com). Or click here for details. In the meantime, we’re sharing this treasure trove of cast iron goodness from 2010!  –Editor

Here they are: the remaining 50 (or so) recipes from February 2010’s Cast Iron Skillet Recipe Contest. Some might call them The Recipes That Didn’t Win. We call them … The Delicious Runners Up!
Continue reading

Fifth Annual Dutch Oven Gathering May 26, 2012

Sizzle! Customer Favorites for Cast Iron Cookery Cookbook

Sizzle! Customer Favorites for Cast Iron Cookery Cookbook

We’re pleased to host the fifth annual Dutch Oven Gathering on May 26 at our retail store in Kidron. If you’re a fan of cast iron cooking, and you’d like to join in, there’s still time! For more information or to sign-up, please call or email: Matt Buser – (330) 603-7266 or mebuser@neo.rr.com. You can click here for details too! We’re also featuring our brand-new cast iron cookbook that very same day. There are 550 recipes in Sizzle: Customer Favorites for Cast Iron Cookery, and each one was submitted by Lehman’s customers. Stop in the store between 9am and 6pm Saturday, and pick one up before they’re gone!

The Dutch Oven Gathering opens at 10am Saturday, running until 4 pm. Beginning cast iron cooks should be sure to catch the demos, classes and seminars planned just for them. Many of the Gathering participants will have small tasting samples available throughout the day, and are happy to discuss their techniques for cooking in Dutch ovens over open fires, grills and more.

One visitor from St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Mifflin, Ohio put together a YouTube video of last year’s Dutch Oven Gathering (called a DOG by those in the hobby). Search it out and take a look–it’ll give you a real feel for  how things go. It’s a relaxed, casual, family-friendly atmosphere.

3 Legged Cast Iron Kettles

3 Legged Cast Iron Kettles

One of the DOG participants interviewed in the video, a cook that calls himself Dutch Oven Dave (dutchovendave.com) says the event is better than ever since moving to the grounds of Lehman’s in Kidron. “Lehman’s has been so great, they’ve been very, very good to us. Jay Lehman himself came out the first year we were here, talked to everyone. They really believe in supporting us and the cooking.”

Speaking of the cooking, Dave also has a fix when you don’t have a tripod or a three-legged Dutch oven, but it’s not a solution for everyone: “I had some big old barn nails, and I’d pound them into the ground, put the charcoal around the nails, put the oven on top of that. But you burn the grass up doing that. If you’re in a park, people don’t like that.” You can see the twinkle in his eye!

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Seven Cheers for Cast Iron Cookware!

Our Annual Dutch Oven Gathering is coming up fast, and cast iron cookware is on everyone’s mind. Here’s a small list of reasons to choose cast iron cookware.  Share your reasons with us at countrylife@lehmans.com.

  1. Lodge Logic Cast Iron Skillet

    Lodge Logic Cast Iron Skillet

    If you season your cast iron properly, it’s nearly non-stick. Who needs those pans with chemically formulated non-stick coatings? You don’t, if you use cast iron.

  2. If you tend to be low on iron, cooking in a cast-iron pot or skillet will add trace amounts of iron into your food as you cook. Nearly all cooking vessels (except enamel coated ones) leach in some manner, transferring to the cooking food. Use cast iron, and get what’s good for you!
  3. Cast iron cookware goes anywhere: range top, oven, even over the family campfire. You can’t put a plastic-handled pan in your oven to finish a chicken breast after you’ve browned it, and that lightweight aluminum pan is risky over the fire. The high heat will warp it in no time. Not so with cast iron. It’s sturdy and versatile.
  4. Lodge Logic Cast Iron Dutch Oven

    Cast iron cookware has the highest heat retention and most even heat distribution of any cookware. It does take a little longer to heat up, but that’s just the heavyweight pan working for you, spreading the heat evenly through the vessel, and using the greater thermal mass to heat more efficently in the long run, unlike many modern cookware pieces.

  5. Cast iron grill pans, skillets or Dutch ovens make it easy to brown beef, chicken, fish–any meat protein. The even heat gives quicker caramelization, a consistent level of browning, and the properly seasoned pan means no matter what you cook, it won’t stick.
  6. The nubbed pan lids of a cast iron Dutch oven recycles steam back into the pan, keeping food moist and tasty. This is especially important when cooking with lean meats or less tender cuts of meat. The very design of the Dutch oven will help tenderize your food.
  7. The cast iron skillet is the perfect pan for making cornbread. If you haven’t tried cornbread in a cast-iron skillet, please do! You’ll never go back to your old way of making it after you sample the perfect crust and tender, moist interior of a cornbread batch made in a cast iron skillet.