4 Resolutions We Can All Make Happen

Happy (almost) New Year! January 1st traditionally equals gut-check time. So let’s all delve in together, shall we? Here are four basic ways we can all be healthier and better prepared in 2016. Is it time for you to take one or more of these steps?

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Start this year! Our raised bed gardening set is a smart choice for both beginners and gardeners who want to expand garden space quickly and easily. No tools or digging required.

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A New Year’s Checklist for the Rural Homestead

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The beginning of a new year is all about both traditions and new beginnings. One tradition I’ve found helpful is to revisit my “monthly checklist” of things that need addressing around the home and property during the coming year. Continue reading

Christmas Greetings from Lehman’s

Teach us to value most eternal things,
To find the happiness that giving brings,
To know the peace of misty, distant hills,
To know the joy that giving self fulfils,
To realize anew this Christmas Day,
The things we keep are those we give away.
                    ~ Marvin Davis Winsett

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Merry Christmas, from all of us at Lehman’s.

 

Christmas Eve on the Ranch

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Christmas Eve on the Ranch 
-Anonymous

‘Twas the night before Christmas and out on the ranch
The pond was froze over and so was the branch.
The snow was piled up belly-deep to a mule.
The kids were all home on vacation from school.
And happier young folks you never did see
Just all sprawled around a-watchin’ TV. Continue reading

The ‘Guest’ You DON’T Want for Christmas Dinner

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Many times we only think of food-borne illnesses as a threat in warm summer weather. That is a perfect environment for food-borne illness — but it’s not the only one. Prevent food-borne illness and food poisoning this season with these simple tips for travelling with and serving holiday foods: Continue reading

Recipes for Your Christmas Morning

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Whether you’re waking up to already-made goodies or engaging the whole family in making a lavish brunch, enjoy these favorite Christmas morning recipes from Lehman’s staff! Continue reading

Christmas with The Plain Folk

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“What do the Amish do for Christmas?” “How do Mennonites celebrate Christmas?” This is a question we hear over and over again at our Kidron store and often, on our phone lines. You may be surprised to discover that, at the heart of it, the Amish and Mennonites celebrate just like the rest of us – but maybe a little more quietly.

 

Celesta, one of our telephone customer service representatives since 2009, shared some details about her family’s Christmas celebrations. In fact, this Christmas is a special one for her, as she and her husband Henry were married in October, and will be celebrating their first Christmas together. “This year, we decorated my first Christmas tree. It was very fun!” she said. A member of the Mennonite Church, Celesta describes her more traditional upbringing and her family’s Christmas activities.

snow buggy“We’re just like everyone else, we like to get to get together, visit, and eat,” she says, laughing. “Our families may be a bit bigger, but we do many of the same things. We go to church, we send Christmas letters and cards to family and friends far away.” Although her parents were raised Amish, they were a bit more liberal than the parents of many of her friends, and so Christmas at their home included Christmas card-making parties, where many of her female relatives would make beautiful cards. “When I was as young as 7, my parents had me start sending Christmas letters to my cousins and far-away family. It’s a way to keep in touch. We did a lot of letter writing, but the Christmas letter was special.”

Although there were no gift exchanges when she was young, all the family that could gathered for Christmas dinner. “We could have 100 to 125 people for Christmas dinner. And we have adult tables and children’s tables, like everyone does.”

Her immediate family had their specific Christmas traditions. “My father would read the Christmas story to us on Christmas morning, every Christmas. We were always together for that.”

Christmas BarnThis Christmas, celebrating with her new in-laws, means that Celesta is part of Christmas tradition that is common to many large families: the name draw! “There could be 25 to 50 of us, and that’s just so many. We all choose one name and find a small gift for the exchange. Some are handmade, and some are purchased.”

“There is one thing I would like people to know,” she said. “Instead of gifts, Christmas is more about family in our homes. If you ask any Amish person what is important, it is about getting together, being with family.”

Originally published on December 18, 2012.

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There’s Still Time!

Relax – you still have time to order those gifts! Our UPS Ground cutoff date is Thursday, December 17. Click the link below for all our holiday shipping information. Give us a call at 800-438-5346 – we’ll do our best to get it there on time!

Lehman’s Shipping Information

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Pfeffernusse: Tiny, Spicy Bites of Christmas Tradition

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We all love the soft, fluffy, iced and decorated sugar cut-out cookies – and it wouldn’t be Christmas without those, am I right? But, if you’re looking to add something a little different to your baking this year, step back in time and make some peppernuts!

The history of these tiny, spicy, crunchy cookies is varied and vast – and most of the modern recipes contain neither pepper nor nuts. But it appears peppernuts are a centuries-old Christmas tradition in several European countries. 

In the Netherlands, the cookies (called pepernoten) are linked to the feast of St. Nicholas (December 6), when children receive treats in their shoes left out overnight. In Germany, pfeffernusse are more closely tied to Christmas itself.  Continue reading

How To Make Homemade Apple Butter

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When I was a boy we would occasionally make a meal out of apple butter on bread, doused with fresh, rich, Jersey milk. Not just a little bit of apple butter either. The bread was placed in a dish, and a big dollop of apple butter was spread on it, followed by the milk. It was quick and easy, and delicious too. Our apple butter was always store-bought though, and I wasn’t even aware that some people made their own.

That changed when we moved to Wayne County, and we learned that one of the families in our church made their own apple butter in a large copper kettle over a wood fire, and they shared some with us. For them, it was a tradition passed down from previous generations. Continue reading