“Medicinal Grade” Hot and Sour Soup May Beat Winter Colds!

Our canned chicken broth has only 65 milligrams of sodium per serving. At Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

french onion soup bowls

My friend Ginny is quite the cook, and is passionately interested in historical recipes, particularly those from China. Lately, she was kind enough to share her recipe for Hot and Sour Soup with our mutual circle of friends.

She swears that it’ll cure any winter cold–and the spicier it is, the faster it’ll work. Your experiences may vary. I can testify that it’s a great recipe, ranking up as good as or better than many I’ve had in restaurants. Continue reading

Think Outside the Gift Box This Christmas

Well, folks, we’re in the homestretch. It’s now less than 30 days until Christmas. What have you…done this season to help those less fortunate?

That’s right. I’m not asking if you’ve gotten all your shopping done, or have the tree up, or the baking finished–which are all things that can bog us down. I’m asking you to look outside your front door, and see if there are those you can help this season. Continue reading

Lasagna Is Perfect for Holiday Potluck Parties

Keep your family recipes safe! Click on the photo and check out My Mother’s Recipe Box, available at Lehman’s in Kidron or Lehmans.com.

I have a theory that the more stained and beat-up the recipe card or cookbook page, the better the recipe must be. This is certainly the case with the card I wrote my mother’s lasagna recipe on. This lasagna has been a family favorite for years and is one of my go-to recipes whenever we have company or need to take a meal to someone. Continue reading

Hey, Baby! (The Case For Cloth Diapers)

Bummis organic cotton cloth diapers mean comfort for baby! Easy to use, prefolded. Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

I have seven children, six of whom could be classified as young adults. They all have lots of friends and some days I feel as though I live in baby central. Somebody is always expecting a little one and I really enjoy picking out the perfect baby present. While my presents may seem a bit, well, bland compared to lacy layettes and electronic gizmos that do everything but burp your young one, I can always be counted on for being practical. I can also guarantee that anything I give will have a shelf life that is longer than five minutes.  I am fond of books as gifts. Grandchildren can count on a boxed set of Little House books before their first birthday and wooden toys are also in the running. But after reading about the impact of disposable diapers on our landfills and on our water system, my new favorite gift is a starter package of cloth diapers. Continue reading

Yummy Ginger Snap Cookies

If you like gingerbread, you’ll enjoy this holiday cookie recipe. It’s a favorite in my family, one that my grandmother has perfected through the years. It’s simple to make too.

Find an assortment of cookie sheets, like the Magnum Cookie Sheet, at lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, OH.

My recommendation: Eat one while it’s still warm with a cold glass of milk.

Ginger Snaps

This recipe comes from my grandmother, who has been making these cookies for years. The original source is unknown.

  • 2 c sugar
  • ¾ c Crisco
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup dark molasses (mild flavor)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 T vinegar
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • a few cloves

In a large mixing bowl, cream Crisco—add eggs, sugar, molasses and vinegar. Mix well.

Add dry ingredients to mixture and mix.

Roll dough in your hand to form individual balls. If you desire, fill a small bowl with sugar and roll the ball into the bowl until it has a slight covering of sugar. (To top it off, my grandmother always takes a drinking glass and covers the bottom with Crisco. She then puts sugar onto the bottom of the glass and presses it onto the ball, so the sugar is pressed into the top of the cookie.)

Place onto ungreased cookie sheet, about an inch apart.

Bake at 375ºF for approximately 10-12 minutes. (Baking time depends on your oven. You’ll want to watch the cookies carefully to make sure they don’t over bake and get too hard. It is normal for the cookies to crack slightly on top.)


Celebrate An Old-Fashioned Christmas with Us on December 8!

Before the season gets too crazy, mark your calendar now for The Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration at Lehman’s in Kidron, 10 a.m to 3 p.m. on December 8. It’s a day full of vintage family fun–and a chance to shop for traditional and innovative non-electric gifts.

Wayne County’s own Honeytown will be playing holiday favorites in the Cast Iron Cafe throughout the day, and while the tunes ring the rafters, enjoy toy demonstrations, our roaming juggler and a face-painting station and free make-it-take-it crafts for children. Munch on free food samples from local vendors as you wander our rural Winter Wonderland. Our partner shops, Amish Country Gifts and Lehman’s Outlet will also offer some great deals. Be sure you pop over to see them–it’s a short walk from our West Lobby door.

Don’t miss the gift wrapping station in our lobby–after all, making your gifts pretty is almost as much fun as selecting them for loved ones!

Everything She Wants (When She’s Bone-Deep Country)

A woman doesn’t have to live in the country to be country–and we understand that. We also understand that sometimes, it’s hard to find the perfect gift for that woman! Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Click on the photos to learn about each product. Looking for more ideas? Click here and see our For Her Holiday Gift Category.

Our Cypress Potting Table will last for generations. Available at Lehman’s in Kidron and Lehmans.com.

Compact and practical, this sharpener handles all kinds of jobs: knives, blades, hoes, shovels. A must! Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Practical, pretty, and only at Lehman’s! Heirloom Pedestal Lamps add light and style to any home. Available at Lehman’s in Kidron or Lehmans.com.

Easy to use, easy on the environment, easy on clothing, USA made! An all-around win. Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Our own all natural soaps are made from extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, essential oils and botanicals. That’s it. Really. Ideal for sensitive skin. At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or Lehmans.com

Ideal for the cook who’s ready for a new challenge, the Common Cheeses Kit has everything to start making great milk cheeses at home. At Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Preserves, pickles, sauces: ideal for the beginning canner, and great fresh start for the experienced one. At Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

A sweet way to show your girl you care! For under $20, give her all three flavors. Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

A thoughtful gift for the serious gardener and outdoorswoman. All three styles block harmful UVA/UVB rays. Available at Lehman’s in Kidron and Lehmans.com.

With this great starter book, it doesn’t matter which comes first–research or her own flock. Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Be Thankful For Family (and Family Meals!)

Melinda Hill, OSU/Wayne Extension Family and Consumer Sciences educator joins us again today with reflections on giving thanks, the importance of family and family meals, and how all those things work together. (Plus a few more great Turkey Day tips.) She shared the basis of her column in the November 21,2012 Wooster Daily Record for this article.

It is Thanksgiving…..what are you thankful for?  During the past month I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many and ask this question.  While we all have difficulties that we may be faced with, ultimately there are many things in life to be grateful for.  I hope that you can focus on the positive things in life and enjoy the holiday with your family and friends.

What’s on your table?  This week’s meal may look a little different than what’s usually on the table at mealtime, but this question was raised at a committee meeting I was at.  The evidence is overwhelming concerning the benefits of eating together as a family.  Not only are we creating memories for a lifetime by feeding the soul, we find more nutritious food served when we eat at home which includes more fruits and vegetables, low-fat protein and dairy.  If eating at the table is not a habit in your home, I hope that you might consider making that change for your family.  It’s a great way to strengthen your family!

National Family Week
The week of November 18 has been designated as National Family Week.  You can check out lots of details on line, but one specific item I’d like to encourage you to read is found at http://www.fstribune.com/story/1883877.html  It’s entitled The Family Dinner Table and shares in detail the life of a dinner table and the role in one person’s life.  As I read it with reflection I realized that while dinner time is not always an easy time of day, the contributions it has made in my life are immeasurable.  I must remember to thank my mother for always insisting that we enjoy the meal at the table, the food and the memories are on my list to be grateful for!

Families, Start Your Turkeys!
Now, down to the details of the meal of the hour, here are some final tips for your turkey.  If you need more details, check out The Ohio State University/Wayne website (http://wayne.osu.edu) for an easy to use fact sheet titled “Let’s Talk Turkey!”

At this point, you should be ready to roast your fresh or thawed, formerly frozen turkey. When roasting:
Using a food thermometer is the only safe way to check to see if a turkey is done. Check the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. It must reach 165°F. , and it is most desirable if cooked to 175 to 180°F. For best results, allow the bird to stand for 15 to 20 minutes to let the juices set before carving.

Set the oven to 325°F. Place turkey (breast side up) on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for the approximate times listed below. For additional times please check fact sheet.

8 to 12 pounds . . . . . . . . . . . . 2¾ to 3 hours

12 to 14 pounds . . . . . . . . . . . 3 to 3¾ hours

14 to 18 pounds . . . . . . . . . . 3¾ to 4¼ hours

How long can I keep the leftovers?
If you are careful and don’t leave the food sitting out for more than 2 hours, the leftovers can be stored and enjoyed later.  The fact sheet has specific timelines for your favorite foods.

If you need additional resources, please check out:

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline; 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)
10 to 4 Mon. thru Fri.

  • For automated responses via the internet 24 hours a day go to www.AskKaren.gov
  • Send email questions to MPHotline.fsis@usda.gov

Butterball Turkey Talk-Line call 1-800-BUTTERBALL
(no product endorsement is made or implied.)

Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.

Wayne County Extension embraces human diversity and is committed to ensuring that all research and related educational programs are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. This statement is in accordance with United States Civil Rights Laws and the USDA.

Tips for a Safe, Healthy Thanksgiving (and Great Leftovers)

The holidays are here and with them come wonderful family recipes, many that have been handed down from generation to generation.  The aromas and flavors that tantalize our senses bring us together to celebrate the good things in life.  Best wishes to each of you as you enjoy your family’s traditions.

While counting your blessings, here are a few tips to make sure that you keep your food safe so you can enjoy the leftovers :

STUFFING. If you choose to stuff your turkey, do so immediately prior to roasting.  Do not stuff the turkey the night before as the stuffing will absorb the juices and possibly harbor bacterial growth before it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees.   A turkey needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees at the thickest part of the breast and leg to be done and the juices should run clear.

ROASTING. Do not roast the turkey in a slow oven overnight.  The internal temperature needs to reach 140 degrees quickly to prevent bacterial growth.

HOT AND COLD. Remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold during preparation and serving.  Hot foods need to be above 140 degrees and cold foods below 40 degrees.  You can use crock pots and warming trays or chafing dishes to keep foods hot especially if your meal is served buffet-style.  Cold foods are easily iced down by placing a smaller bowl on ice in a larger bowl or by using smaller serving dishes to limit the quantity on the buffet for any length of time. Continue reading

Hearty Warm Meals In One Dish!

Tote a ton of firewood with our Firewood/Pellet Bag Hauler.

On our small family farm work never ends – we go straight from hay season into firewood season. We work together and eat together. Most of the family heats with wood so getting the woodpile stocked is an important part of our lives. It’s also hard work! The onset of cooler weather makes rich and hearty dishes a must.  These recipes make good building blocks for a wonderful comfort meal. Continue reading