Our Kitchen Manager’s Top Picks!

We Lehman’s employees all have our “favorites” – favorite products, that is. And sometimes, they are the least fancy, least attractive things – items that, if you saw them on the shelf of our store, you might just walk on by. But wait! Don’t do that! Here’s why…

She cans and freezes garden produce. She cooks from scratch. She bakes. And oh, yeah: she’s our Kitchen Category Manager (a huge job in and of itself)! In her own words, here are Amy Murray’s top picks and favorite Lehman’s products (and some cool stories about them, too):

Cast Iron Skillet and Chain Mail Scrubber

My husband has low iron. Many don’t realize that cooking in cast iron actually ADDS iron to your food. I always feel like I am helping my husband’s health when I cook with cast iron. Typically I use my larger cast iron skillet for my stir fry. My smaller cast iron skillet is used to make omelets. When the children were younger and living at home I would stand at the kitchen stove and as they would come “spilling down the steps” on a Saturday morning, I would offer to make them an omelet. I don’t make them fast, but I really enjoyed perfecting “omelet-making.”

If any food is “stuck” on my skillet I use water and the Stainless Steel Chain Mail Scrubber and clean the skillet (no soap). Then I oil the skillet using vegetable oil and a paper towel. My two cast iron skillets are becoming more and more seasoned. I have had my Chain Mail Scrubber for about 3 years…it looks brand new.

Roma and Lid Lifter

I have been canning and freezing and “putting up” garden produce since I was a young child. I have great memories of helping my mom make tomato juice. We would use the Foley food mill and I loved every minute of it. I got married and moved away and my dad retired and to my great surprise purchased a Victorio Food Mill (now called Roma). I would drop in to visit and my mom and dad would be making applesauce and tomato juice together. When my parents passed away I inherited their food mill. It is still working…at least 28 years old. And of course I have my gallons and gallons of applesauce and tomato juice. You don’t have to peel or core the apples, just cook until soft and then run them through the mill! It’s easy to assemble and clean up. And our chickens love the apple peels.

Recently an older couple (in their 80s) came in looking for a part for their old Foley which had broken. I showed her our new Foley Food mills, which are wonderful for small batches of applesauce so I thought this couple would want one. However, when she told me she does several bushels of applesauce each fall, I just had to show her the Roma. They thought it over and purchased the Roma. I encouraged them to call me if they have any trouble assembling the Roma or operating it. I am so excited for this couple trying a new product and I am confident they will be successful!

During Christmas break, my daughter came home from graduate school and told me that the Amish were selling apples at the Kidron Auction (right next to Lehman’s store in the village of Kidron). Could she pick up a bag and make applesauce? So she did and we made applesauce together on Dec 29th. Applesauce is always in season at our house!

I like to can my applesauce so when unexpected company arrives it is ready to serve. Or if one of the children comes home for the weekend I can send a quart or two home with them. Freezing applesauce is a great way to preserve it as well, I just prefer canned.

I used to scald the lids and then “chase” them around the pan with a pair of tongs. It was incredibly frustrating, and then I discovered the amazing Magnetic Lid Lifter. I have always used the Black Enamelware Canner, Ball Jars and the Jar Lifter but I had never had a Magnetic Lid Lifter. No more chasing the lids around and around the pan with tongs. The Magnetic Lid Lifter picks up exactly ONE lid at a time! It’s wonderful. I have given so many away to all my friends who can but have never owned the Magnetic Lid Lifter.

Rada

I really like Rada knives. The tomato slicer makes perfect slices of tomato for a fresh BLT. It doesn’t crush the tomatoes. I also like the Rada All in One Kitchen Tool. I can use it for small batches of stir fry or serving brownies. It looks nice on the table…and it is a workhorse in the kitchen. It has a sharp edge for scraping some “stuck on foods.”

Flour Sack Towels

I was given 3 flour sack towels by a Lehman’s employee before I ever started working for Lehmans. They have been my favorite towel ever since. I use them for drying dishes: they don’t leave any lint and they are very absorbent. I use them for drying my garden lettuce. When they get a bit stained I use them to wash windows. I have used new towels to line a large bread basket and serve homemade bread at the table. I love to give them as gifts. My children knew growing up the white Flour sack towel was for drying dishes and the terry cloth towel was for drying hands. (I can be a bit of a germ freak.)

So there you have it – our Kitchen Manager’s absolute favorites – the things she loves to use in her own kitchen for her own family. Have you tried them all?