Sizzling August Events at Our Store

August 5 – Fermented Favorites Class– $15 • 2PM-3:30PM Local organic gardener and simple living expert, Karen Geiser, will discuss how to select produce and equipment, how the fermenting process works, and the health benefits of these “good for the gut” foods. Register here.

August 10-19 – Lehman’s Really Big Summer Sale Visit the store August 10th through the 19th for incredible discounts. Don’t miss out on this enormous sale!

August 11-12 – Amish Buggy Rides – $5 for Adults $3 for Kids Take a ride in an authentic Amish Buggy. Meet Roman and his horse Judy, as they take you around the grounds!

August 12 – Basic Water Bath Canning: Applesauce Start to Finish– $10 • 2PM – 3:30PM Join veteran canner Amy Murray on a homemade applesauce journey! Amy will start with raw apples and demonstrate step by step how to prepare, cook, process them. Plus learn to choose the correct jars and lids and finally how to can the applesauce in a water bath canner. There’s nothing like home-canned applesauce – come learn just how easy it is!

August 15 – The Art of Cold Framing – $10 • 2PM-3:00PM Come learn from local organic gardener and simple living expert, Karen Geiser, as she teaches how to get the greatest nutritional value out of the food you grow under a cold frame all winter long. Learn to grow salad greens into the winter months, even here in Ohio.

Is Your Canner Safe? Free Canner Testing August 16 – Canner Lid Testing, Mt Hope August 17 – Canner Lid Testing, Lehman’s A representative from Ohio State University’s Extension Office will be at Lehman’s and Mount Hope Hardware to test your dial gauge canner. You only need to bring the lid for testing, not the whole canner.

August 26 – Delicious DIY, Pie Baking 101 Class – $15 • 2PM Learn to create blue-ribbon-worthy, Grandma-would-be-proud homemade pies! From the perfect crust to the delicious end result, you’ll learn about the best pans to use, how to make beautiful crusts and tops, and you’ll go home with several recipes.

August 26 – Country Living Workshop $60 DAY PASS $15 FOR KIDS • $20 ONE CLASS ONLY Come all day or for just one class. Learn from trusted and knowledgeable homesteaders on topics ranging from beekeeping to raising chickens! Take home tips to get you started or further your homesteading journey.

Check out our events page on Facebook for a full listing of fun things to do. Visit lehmans.com/classes and lehmans.com/events to register. And remember, we are always just a phone call (1-800-438-5346) or email (info@lehmans.com) away!

Real Food, Real Life: City Girl Churns Butter

Alison and her husband Jacob.

Alison and her husband Jacob.

This might be the coolest blog post I’ve written in a long time, if not ever. It’s all about the magical, real essence of butter. Continue reading

Are You Ready? September is National Preparedness Month!

A potential lifesaver in emergencies, and a helpful light on countless other occasions. This bright LED flashlight never needs batteries, so it's always ready to use. A best-seller at Lehmans.com.

A potential lifesaver in emergencies, and a helpful light on countless other occasions. This bright LED flashlight never needs batteries, so it’s always ready to use. A best-seller at Lehmans.com.

Are you ready? We’re in the thick of seasonal change, with summer sliding into fall. Hurricane season still has a month to go. Although many weather sites say tornado season ‘ends’ in July, folks in the Plains states may beg to differ. And in the upper northwest and the mountains, there could already be some snow.

Throughout the month, we will feature preparedness articles so that you and your family can stay safe. We’ll take a look at Lehman’s best preparedness products too–the ones my fellow employees and I have in our own homes.

And don’t forget: the National Weather Service, the American Red Cross, and Ready.gov are all available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The advice on these sites is time-tested and reliable. Let’s all do something to be better prepared for emergencies this month! Stay tuned.

 

 

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.

 

Simple Tricks to Keep Apples and Pears Fresh In Freezer!

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Canning apples is wonderful, but sometimes you just have too many apples to get processed before they start to go bad. That’s when the freezer comes in awfully handy!

Step by Step Guide on How to Freeze Apples

  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water
  2. Sprinkle enough table salt in the water to cover the bottom of the bowl (this is done to keep the apples from turning brown while you are cutting the remainder of the apple)
  3. As you cut the apples or pears, drop them into the bowl of salt water
  4. Once bowl is full, strain fruit and drain water out of bowl. 
  5. Place fruit into Ziploc bags or freezer safe containers
  6. Place fruit into freezer

How I learned how to Freeze Apples

One of the great things about freezing apples is that you can thaw them for a pie, toss them with sugar and cinnamon for baked apples, or even save them to can when it’s more convenient.

There’s a trick to freezing apples, though. Do it wrong, and they’ll turn a completely unappetizing shade of brown.

In the past, I’ve tried following the recommendation of soaking apples in a bowl with lemon juice added to prevent the slices from turning brown as I processed them. But that never did really work well for me. They always seemed to turn brown no matter what I did.

Adding citric acid, or Fruit Fresh, can also prevent your chopped fruit from turning.

Ball Fruit Fresh

Fruit Fresh is another thing you can use to keep preserved fruit looking good. At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or at Lehmans.com.

But I just hate to have to stop and run out to get just one thing.

I’d finally given up on trying to freeze fresh apples and pears, until one day when I happened to meet a woman who taught me her secret. My family had taken a day trip to the mountains, and we stopped at a quaint little Mom & Pop Diner for lunch. As I got my four children seated in the little booth, I smiled at the sweet elderly couple who sat at the table adjacent from us.

My husband was up at the front placing our order when the nice lady leaned over and said, “What beautiful children you have!” I thanked her, of course, and the ice was broken for a conversation to ensue.

I told her we were looking at some property for sale in the area, and she began telling me all about how much she loved the area and about her own home there. She shared that she had fruit trees…My ears perked up when she mentioned her trees, and I asked her if she canned her apples and pears.

She shook her head. “Oh no, I don’t do much canning anymore. I just freeze my fruit now. It’s much easier.” Curious, I asked how she managed to keep her fruit looking nice in the freezer. And to my delight, she shared the trick she’d learned from her mother growing up.

Ball Preserving and Pickling Salt

You can use Ball’s Preserving or Pickling Salt too! Rinse well. At Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Before she starts cutting up her fruit, she gets a large bowl and fills it with ice cold water. Then, she sprinkles enough table salt in the bowl to cover the bottom (she doesn’t ever use any measurements).

As she cuts her apples or pears, she drops the slices into the bowl of salt water to keep them fresh as they wait for the rest of the batch to join them.

When the bowl is full, she strains off the fruit, rinses and drains it well, then packs it into Ziploc bags or freezer-safe containers to be stored in the freezer. I asked her if the fruit ever tastes salty, and she said it never did, you just have to rinse it well.

As I eagerly listened to her explaining her method, I could hardly wait to give it a try myself. Before we headed back home, I found some locally grown apples and pears, and determined to freeze them using her instructions.

And guess what? It worked beautifully!!

Freezer bag of frozen apples

My apples, frozen and gorgeous! It just takes table salt and a good rinse.

I couldn’t have been more excited. My fruit looked just as white and crisp as it did the moment I cut it. And it stayed that way for months, until I was ready to whip up my favorite fruit crisps.

If you’ve ever wondered how to freeze apples and pears… now you know! Like I said, canning fruit is a lovely thing to be able to do, and I highly recommend that everyone learn how.  But when you need a little change of pace, freezing is the way to go!

Editor’s Note: This post was first published in November 2013.

Water Bath or Pressure Canners: What Works for You?

Ball Blue Book Food Canning Guide

Ideal for beginning or experienced home canners–The Ball Blue Book has the best and most up-to-date home food preserving information. Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

When folks new to canning start out, one of biggest questions asked is this one: which kind of canner should I use? And the answer most often heard is this one: “Well, it depends. What are you canning?”

As frustrating as that might be, that fuzzy answer isn’t out of line.

It really is important to know what you’ll be canning. Depending on the acidity level of the food, different processes and methods are used. Continue reading

Six Simple Tips for an Allergy-Free Picnic

A picnic should be a fun gathering of family and friends where everyone can relax

Our reusable melamine picnic plates and cups are super sturdy and dishwasher safe. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Our reusable melamine picnic plates and cups are super sturdy and dishwasher safe. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

and have a nice time together. However, for many people attending a picnic can cause stress and panic. No, I am not talking about the dreaded conversation with your awkward uncle or the pressure from grandma to find that special someone. I’m talking about coping with the spread of dishes put out for meals.

For many, the serving table full of its tasty fare, chock-full of traditional picnic dishes can cause stress. In a time when there are so many fad diets, intolerances and medical needs involving food, there are many people that can’t just eat what everyone else is eating. At our typical family gatherings there are folks with food allergies, diabetics and vegans all needing to eat. So here are six simple steps we always use to help everyone have a nicer mealtime. Continue reading

How to Get Your Goat(s)

DerekGoat

Goats are quite affectionate and make great livestock to raise around children.

Thinking about getting your first goat? This is a great time of year to consider it. Goats make excellent pets, and are a wonderful way for children and their parents to enter the world of animal husbandry on a small parcel of land.

When I was a child, we had a small farm where we raised chickens, sheep, two Jersey cows for family milk, and a couple of beef steers. Goats weren’t even on the radar.
That all changed when I got married, and wanted to have my own mini-farm. With only one acre of land, we did not have enough room to repeat everything from my childhood.

Still, I was determined to do something. Rabbits came first. Then chickens. We had meat and eggs now, but no milk. If only space would allow a Jersey cow. Was there an alternative? Perhaps a goat or two? Yes, we would have a dairy goat. We would drink the milk, use it for homemade ice cream, cheese, and if there was enough to spare, we’d try making soap. Continue reading

Dill Pickles, Potatoes Combine for Unforgettable Soup

Back in January 2011, we ran this recipe along with a couple of others to wind up National Soup Month that year. Now, due to popular demand, here it is again, but this time, we’re just starting the month!

Kathi, one of our Customer Service Representatives contributed this lip-smacking soup. And although it may sound a little odd, the combination of the potato and the tangy pickle really do balance each other well, underpinned by the rich chicken stock. Continue reading

Quick Cheater Chicken Broth

You want to make your own homemade soup, but you just feel like you don’t have the time to make your own chicken stock. Is that what’s troubling you, Bunky?

Fuss no more. This “cheater” chicken broth is simple, quick and is great for the busiest households. Next time you buy (or defrost) uncooked chicken for a meal, snag an extra 4 to 6 bone-in breast pieces, or 2 to 3 whole breast portions with the bones. Skin chicken if you want a lower-fat, clearer broth. I always skin my chicken and trim the fat off the meat when I make this broth. Continue reading