Generations of lumberjacks have relied on the iconic Snow & Nealley® axes (known for their superior craftsmanship). But when they closed their doors, these axes disappeared. Wanting to bring back this legacy, an Amish man and his sons bought the company. Continue reading
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:
Looking forward to the holiday season, I know I’ll be spending a lot more time at our store in Kidron. One of my favorite parts of being there is giving store tours. I love the face-to-face interaction with customers. I enjoy answering questions and pointing out unusual “nooks and crannies” stories about our store.
Recently a busload of visitors requested a tour (seriously, it was a busload, I am not using the vernacular as in a “busload of questions”).
Often, when I do a store tour, especially with a large group, I lose half the crowd as they wander through the antique barns that link to form our Kidron store. Sometimes, they’re lost in nostalgia, seeing all the antiques that my dad (and our founder) Jay has collected and and mounted on the walls. Some end up absorbed in a specific department, where they find the kitchen gadget, tool, or stove of their dreams. Some days, at the end of the tour, I look at the group and hardly recognize a single face because so many new shoppers have joined and so many originals are off shopping.
This day was no exception, but I retained about half the original group. As we were wandering through the pantry, which features a number of exclusive, locally-made, handcrafted items, one guest picked up a smallish basket and was rather surprised to see it retailed for just under $40. By the look on her face, I could see she was surprised. After all, I hear that you can pick up a little basket for less than ten bucks at Wal-Mart. (I’d guess, since I don’t shop there).
But when I flipped the basket over, she realized it was signed and dated by the local Amish craftsperson that made it. I mentioned that one of my favorite gifts is to find a basket with a special day, such as September 14, handwritten on the bottom. When you give the present to your mother-in-law, whose birthday is on September 14, it appears that it was made especially for them, on that day.
I then handed the basket to her and when she saw the fine, detailed work, and the sheer weight and substance of it, she understood why Lehman’s prices are not the same as one of the big boxes.
When you price compare, make sure you are comparing apples to apples, or in this case, baskets to baskets. If a chain store is ordering 250,000 of the same shape, size and color from off-shore, and Lehman’s is ordering them one at a time, from a local craftsperson, our lead times may longer, and our prices may higher…and our quality is levels above. You’ll pass a handmade Amish basket from Lehman’s down to your children and grandchildren, because it’ll last.
It seems like wedding invitations are coming thick and fast to the Johnson household. We have three already, and I know there are more to come. (And don’t even get me started on the graduation announcements!)
It’s going to be a busy spring and summer for us, and I want to make sure that we’re giving gifts that will be useful and last!
While I was mulling over what do the other night, I was making dinner. I realized that I was using a Rada parer, one that my cousin Debbie had given me as gift when I was married in 1994. She gave me the Meal Prep Gift Set too. Continue reading
Locust, North Carolina isn’t the biggest town on the map. You might not think there’s a whole lot going on there. You’d be wrong–because Pete and Toni Hogan’s three-car garage doesn’t hold cars–it holds a thriving business!
Pete ran Country Cottons from the spring of 2008 until the end of 2010, when he retired. “But folks kept after me, kept asking if we had anything left, if we could tell them where to find dishtowels that were 100% American,” he said when interviewed for Country Life last fall.
And so early in 2013, he and his wife picked the business back up, and now they’re busier than ever! Continue reading
According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza is everywhere. We’ve had a round of it in our house, and it wasn’t fun. I can’t remember the last time we drank so much hot tea– my poor hubby, who was trying to stay warm, drank it by the gallon, it seemed. I drank it strong and a little sweet, to stay awake if he needed something. It was long week, and we used lots of honey and lemon in the tea.
As he began to feel better, I started wondering how I could do the honey-lemon-tea thing more efficiently. After all, I didn’t want to have to run to the store for more lemons to squeeze every time I turned around twice. So I did a little research, and stumbled on this wonderful tutorial on making infused honeys. Continue reading