Everyone who works with me here at Lehman’s knows that my absolute, hands-down favorite thing we sell is the Amish Buggy Robe. They’ve heard me sing its praises, rave over it and talk it up for a long, long time. They are all very much aware that I. LOVE. MY. BUGGY. ROBE. Continue reading
I bake a great deal. So when Lehman’s asked me to name my top 10 baking supplies, I jumped at the chance. No matter what you hear about kitchen tools, there’s one thing that holds true: if you pay for quality, it will last ages. These are pieces that will last you for years. You’ll find yourself using many of them for everyday cooking chores, too. Continue reading
If you live in the country, you probably get your water from a drilled well in your basement or backyard. In most cases, the “well” looks like a steel or plastic pipe about 4″ to 5″ diameter that projects a few inches above ground and has a steel cap on it.
Depending on the depth of the well, there’s either an above-ground pump (often called a jet pump) or “deep well” submersible electric pump hidden in the well.
Either way, a power failure can leave you high and dry. Because well pump systems incorporate a storage tank (sometimes called a pressure tank), you may have a access to 20-30 gallons even without electricity. But, it’s astonishing how fast it runs out. And, how much you miss access to fresh water after it’s gone!
It’s doubly frustrating, because in many cases you can actually see the water in the bottom of the well. It’s just too far away to reach! Fortunately, we have two ways to solve the problem. Continue reading
Many people know Lehman’s is located in “the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country,” home to hundreds of Amish and Mennonite families. But as those families grow, their small farms are in danger of being replaced by highly mechanized agriculture. In fact, in the 1980s about 90 percent of Amish families made a living from their farms.Today, less than 10 percent are full-time farmers.
They’re also running out of land, fast. Think about it: Amish families tend to be large, and traditionally a farmer would divide his farmland among a few of his sons when they started their own households. It’s not hard to see why more and more Amish are forced to work “off the farm” or move away with their families in search of their livelihood.
But a local organic Amish co-op sees change on the horizon – great change. Continue reading
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
My Amish furrowing hoe arrived in the mail the day before a big planting event in a community garden just down the hill from my house in the country. I woke up that morning, did my rabbit and sheep chores, made my breakfast of greens and a couple fried eggs, and brought my breakfast, a fork, some seeds, and the hoe down to the bottom of the road. I sat on a gravel pile and ate my breakfast while I waited for the rest of the crew to arrive. Conor showed up before the others; the first words out of his mouth were “You look like Walt Whitman.” The second statement was, “That hoe is calling out to me.” Continue reading
From all of us at Lehman’s, our very best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.
Did your holiday gifts include a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven? Even if it’s pre-seasoned, it’s still good for you to know exactly what to do to take care of the finish, and how to renew it…just in case.
Here at Lehman’s we’re proud to sell USA-made Lodge Logic® cast-iron cookware. It’s hugely popular because it’s pre-seasoned. This means a vegetable oil coating is applied at the factory, and baked into the cookware. Cast iron, like any iron, has small pores, and the vegetable oil keeps the iron safe from rust. With a light rinse in the sink in hot water, a towel dry and an thin coat of oil rubbed in, this pre-seasoned cookware is ready to use right out of the box. Read more here.
Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware
Always hand wash your cast iron cookware. Never put it in the dishwasher.
Usually, hot water and a clean dishcloth is all you need to clean a cast iron pan.
Use hot water and a tool like our Skrapr® to remove any cooked-on food. The Skrapr® is strong enough to get the gunk off, but is kind to the seasoned finish.
Dry your cast iron thoroughly, inside and out, with a fresh, dry towel if at all possible.
Then, put a small amount of vegetable oil on a paper towel, and rub into the pan. You want enough oil to bring back the pan’s shine without being sticky.
On the inside of the pan, this will keep the seasoning in good shape, and on the outside of the pan, it’ll keep rust away.
If you need to stack your pans, do it carefully, so the layered pans don’t chip into each other’s seasoning. You can put a paper towel or paper basket-style coffee filter in between for protection. Dishtowels will soak up any oil that’s present, and that may damage the seasoning. The paper items can be reused.
What happens if the seasoning breaks?
Sure, it can happen. And it’s easy to fix. First, wash the piece you want to re-season with hot, soapy water, and stiff brush so it’s completely clean. You may hit bare iron, so be prepared. Because you’re going to rework the piece, using soap is OK–even our friends at Lodge agree. Don’t have a stiff brush? Get medieval on that pan: try our new Chain Mail Scrubber and hot water to get the pan spanking clean.
Using a fresh, dry dishtowel, make sure that the pan is completely dry. Then, apply vegetable oil. You want the oil layer to be very thin and even, because you’re going to bake it in.
Line lowest rack of the oven: Lodge recommends using aluminum foil; you can use a non-stick mat like ours too, but you’ll need to clean any oily drips off it when you’re done.
Once the oven’s lined, Lodge recommends baking the cookware bottom side up (in other words, with the cooking surface facing the oven rack) in a 350° to 400° oven. Minimum recommended baking time is an hour, but leaving it in longer won’t hurt anything. Old-timers insist you should “cook” your cast iron up to four hours, or even overnight.
Once your baking time is finished, turn the oven off, and don’t open the oven door! Leave the cookware in the oven to cool naturally.
If the cookware isn’t quite as seasoned as you’d like, you can repeat the oiling and baking until you’re happy with the new finish.
Here, you can see our country living expert Karen Gieser use a Skrapr® on a cast-iron pan. See how easy it is to use.
From our friends at Lodge, a good way way to clean cast iron: