A Century Old Tradition: Knives by Franz Güde

A Güde craftsman works diligently to craft some of the finest knives.

When you look at your kitchen knives, what do you see? A work of art? A reliable tool that you’ll always have? What about a tradition that began over a century ago?

When we look at the knives by Franz Güde, we see something more. Beyond some of the finest craftsmanship is a story that is rich and full of hard work, a lasting tradition, and most important of all, family.

The Güde family’s story began over 100 years ago in Solingen, Germany. While Germany alone is known for high-quality cutlery, the town of Solingen specifically has a long history of exceptional knife making. In fact, it has been nicknamed “the City of Blades” for all the knives, swords and other blades it’s known for producing. In 1910, it was here that a man named Karl Güde opened a small cutlery workshop, a fitting start for a company who’d eventually be known for their knives. Continue reading

Book Review: Apples, Apples Everywhere

It’s the best apple harvest in years, so we hear. And that’s welcome news after last year’s spring freeze, which really hurt Ohio apple growers.

In stock now--order for apple harvest season now!

In stock at Lehman.com or Lehman’s in Kidron now–order for apple harvest season now!

So, since apples are coming in by the bushel, what should you do? You should take advice from the experts–and that includes Hillcrest Orchard in Walnut Creek, Bauman Orchards in Rittman. These two local orchards and orchards across the country contributed their best recipes for apple dishes to Lee Jackson’s Apples, Apples Everywhere: Favorite Recipes from America’s Orchards. Continue reading

Fall Foraging Yields Tasty, Juicy Results

Our Harvest Apron makes it easy to pick fall fruit! In stock now at Lehmans.com or Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio.

Our Harvest Apron makes it easy to pick fall fruit! In stock now at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Fall in New England has a multitude of treasures available nowhere else. The air is clear and the sky a cerulean blue. The first hints of orange, red and yellow show on the maple leaves and a faint smell of apple and wood smoke remind of the season to come. It’s the season of foraging. The woods are full of mushrooms. Hunting for Chanterelles, Chicken of the Woods, fall Oysters and Black Trumpets is more fun than panning for gold and you’re far more likely to be successful. The nuts are dropping but beating the squirrels to them is no easy feat.

My favorite foraging trips involve grapes. Fox grapes are easy to spot. The deep purple globes stand out amidst the large green leaves. They tend to grow in accessible spots too. Along stone walls is a likely location. The stored up heat helps the grapes ripen, I suppose. Continue reading

Reduce, Reuse…Recharge?

After dumping my cell phone onto a hard wood floor one too many times I started looking around for an alternative to leaving it on the window sill while charging overnight.

There just isn’t any room for a table in the bedroom, even a small one. Besides, a table would just give the cat a more secure footing from which to knock the already battered cell onto the floor. I needed a wall dock.

I’d seen a number of fancy, probably pricey, wall docks online but nowhere local seemed to have them. Loathe to spend real money on something so simple and superfluous, I set the thought aside. Then suddenly I was seeing homemade versions everywhere. Continue reading

Behind The Scenes At Lehman’s: The Cover Cookie Recipe

Pearl Taylor

Pearl Taylor

Recently, Lehman’s sent out a fall catalog with our Steel Nutcracker on the cover. Sharing space with it was a plate of cookies. And it appears that people went (pardon the pun) nuts for them: we got requests from all over about the cookies!

Below, you’ll find a Lehman family cookie recipe that will give you cookies very like those shown on our catalog cover. A big thank-you to Pearl Taylor, sister of our founder, Jay Lehman, for sharing the recipe. Enjoy!

Don't have your fall catalog yet? Click the photo for a link to get it!

Don’t have your fall catalog yet? Click the photo for a link to get it!

Swiss Cookies or Swiss Bon Bons
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. powered sugar
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. soda
1 t. cream of tartar
Nuts or maraschino cherries for the tops

Cream butter and powered sugar. Add remaining ingredients and beat thoroughly. Chill dough 1 hours. Make soft balls, flatten slightly.  Top with nuts or cherry halves. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen.

Pumpkin Canning Band Craft Big Hit!

Recently, we posted a photo on our Facebook page from Renee, a fan from Arkansas. She’d purchased a sleeve of our canning jar rings, and whipped them up into a fabulous fall craft:

Renee used Bulk Canning Bands 1213830 (regular mouth) to make her pumpkin centerpiece. Want some bulk bands? They're in stock now at Lehmans.com and Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio.

Renee used Bulk Canning Bands 1213830 (regular mouth) to make her pumpkin centerpiece. Want some bulk bands? They’re in stock now at Lehmans.com and Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Many of you asked for directions for this craft–boy, there are so many choices out there! It was tough, narrowimg it down to these two favorites at the following sites. Just click on the link and craft away!

Pinterest: There are hundreds of jar ring pumpkins! Plain, rusty, painted, paper covered, leaves, no leaves, cinnamon stick stems, no stems, no cinnamon sticks, but stems…Ready? Go!
http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=canning%20jar%20ring%20pumpkin&rs=ac&len=16

If you’re not a Pinterest fan (we know, some of you aren’t), take a look here for a great photo and some description and basic how-to:
http://www.learntopreserve.com/the-art-of-preserving/2012/10/17/adorable-autumn-diy-project-canning-jar-ring-pumpkin.html

Renee, thanks again for letting us use your wonderful picture. And everyone else out there: if you have an innovative (and safe) use for a Lehman’s product, take a photo, drop us a note here at Country Life, and tell us which product, and how you make it work. You may see it appear here!

Figs Are Rich and Tasty Fall Fruit Experience

Tucked among the rich green leaves are tasty figs!

Tucked among the rich green leaves are tasty figs!

On a dewy morning in early spring some while back, we purchased a small fig tree in a gallon pot at our farmer’s market.

That tree is now soaring over seven feet tall and rewards us with an abundance of sweet chewy figs. The more we pick them the more the tree produces.

Figs continue ripening from early fall to a hard frost. Here in North Carolina that can be the beginning of October.  Our tree has gone through early light frost with only the outer figs being damaged, the fruit in the center toward the trunk were fine.

Continue reading

My Kitchen Is Alive!

There’s something to be said for a quick and easy meal, that can make a hurried, hungry person happy in a matter of minutes.  A fried egg, for example, or a peanut butter sandwich, or a handful of cherry tomatoes fresh from the vine.  But there’s something very different and just as beautiful to be said for foods that take a long time to create.

My countertop fermenation farm:

My countertop fermenation farm: sour pickles, red cabbage kraut, kefir, the pizza dough and apple cider.

Fermentation is a hobby of mine, I have to say—I get more excited about creating vast quantities of sauerkraut than consuming it, as delicious as it may be.

When, the other night, I looked at my counter and saw a total of 5 different cultured foods fermenting away (fyi: sour pickles, red cabbage kraut, kefir, sourdough pizza dough, and apple cider), I decided I had to write about it. Continue reading

Pumpkin Surprise At Barefoot Farm

It’s been a tough year at Barefoot Farm for all things in the squash family. But things are starting to look up. Who knew gardening could be this much fun?

We'll wait and see how well this little guy does!

We’ll wait and see how well this little guy does!

Apparently, when I added some compost in the herb garden this summer, I included a pumpkin seed. I discovered this one tiny pumpkin, hiding in the herbs. It’s small and, as I have no way of knowing what the variety is or whether it’s the result of random fertilization, I don’t know what to expect as far as edibility goes. It looks good and I’m assuming the best so now I need to decide what to do with it. Continue reading

Pumpkins Are A Frugal Food

The best pumpkin bread recipe is on page 55. Cookbook available now at Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio, or Lehmans.com.

The best pumpkin bread recipe is on page 55. Cookbook available now at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or Lehmans.com.

Pumpkins say “autumn” louder than just about anything you can think of, with the possible exception of corn shocks (how many of you shock corn any more?). Something about a pumpkin excites the imagination of just about everyone. You’re surely into growing the biggest pumpkin, or you have plans for pumpkin bread, or you love to decorate your yard and home with them.

Almost everyone who doesn’t grow their own has to buy at least one – and often, several. They’re cheap enough to indulge in and many think they’re cheap enough to waste by throwing them out or letting them rot when the fun is over. Please don’t do that… you can buy just one or two and you’re stocked up with the makings of many good foods, with recipes ranging from snacks to soups, from bread to custard and more. Continue reading