Making It Yourself: Why Bother?

Kathy's homemade soap. Find the supplies you need to make yours at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Kathy’s homemade soap. Find the supplies you need to make yours at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

I recently taught a workshop on soapmaking at our local folk school. I was telling a friend about it and she asked a pretty profound question: Why do you bother? Continue reading

6 Fast Jar Gifts + Printable Gift Tags

5-Minute Jar Gift - Hot Cocoa

Feeling a tad busy this season? Join the club. But in spite of our harried schedules, we can all still give heartfelt, homemade gifts the recipients will love. Continue reading

Homemade Holiday Gifts to Start Making Now

making breadHoliday gifts that are handmade hold a special meaning beyond what can be had by store. Though the thought of making them now, in the height of harvesting, canning and, storing may seem misplaced, it is actually the perfect time to make them. Continue reading

Living a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

compostingHas anyone ever measured the garbage output of the average Amish family? There’s no need. They already create far less trash than the average American family.

Why? Because the Amish lifestyle is the ultimate in low-impact zero-waste living. Continue reading

A Seed Saving Story: Grandmother’s Long-Lost Lettuce

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in March 2017.

This is a story of the importance of seed saving, and how a simple kindness from a fellow gardener helped me reconnect with my grandmother’s garden. Continue reading

Roast Beef and Barley Build the Best Cold Weather Soup

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2015. Since most of us have been experiencing bitter cold temperatures lately, we thought a good, hot soup is just what we need. Enjoy!

After a frantic few weeks of holiday cooking, you’re probably ready to put together some meals that are nearly heat and eat. Beef Barley Soup can do that for you, putting roast beef leftovers to good use, and adding barley for more protein and staying power. We usually plan for a chuck or arm roast that will allow us to have a pound or so of meat left, and we usually freeze a fourth to a half batch of the beef and barley soup made from the leftover beef. Continue reading

10 Vital Tips for Maple Syrup Rookies

maple sugaring starter kitEditor’s Note: The following article was originally published in February 2015. It came to us from Scott Ervin, husband of Glenda Lehman Ervin (Lehman’s VP of Marketing) and son-in-law of Jay Lehman (Lehman’s founder). An avid outdoorsman, Scott tried his hand at maple syrup making and learned many valuable lessons in the process. Enjoy! Continue reading

3 Reasons YOU Should Can Tomato Juice

A few nights ago, we canned our own tomato juice. We found out that it is very efficient and easy! Discover the three reasons why you should can tomato juice every year.
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DIY: How To Make Cold Process Soap, Step By Step

finished soap

Homemade soap. It’s something that’s always been on my radar, but nothing I ever thought I’d try myself. My grandmother and at least two great-grandmothers made their own soap (one of their handwritten recipes is now a family heirloom) using three simple ingredients: rainwater, lard and lye.

But me? I live in the 21st century. I have the means to go to the store and buy whatever kind of soap I want, even a case of it. Why would I want to make it at home? Continue reading

Recipe for Small Batch Refrigerator Dill Pickles

dill pickles kathy harrisonWith such a large family, I got used to cooking everything in army-sized batches. Now, with only one child still at home, I don’t need to do that anymore. But getting used to smaller batch cooking has been a challenge for me. This morning I got out all the equipment to make dill pickles when it occurred to me that I wasn’t likely to need three gallons this week. One will be plenty, and will probably leave enough left over to bring to my neighbor.

I will can larger batches for our pantry later but this early in the season I tend to make refrigerator dills a lot. They are crispy, tart, make use of the garlic that is just ready to harvest, and the dill which is producing large, fragrant heads. My own garden up here in the hills is not giving us any cukes yet, but the valley cukes are very good. They are all but giving them away down at the farmer’s market. I bought a pound yesterday and the pickles I made are chilling now. Here is the refrigerator dill pickle recipe I used.
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