Black Friday in the Country – Come Join the Fun!

BlackFridayCountryAd_2015

We’re getting ready for a fun, relaxing day in Kidron!

WHAT: We’re combining the promotions of Black Friday with the old-fashioned simplicity of Lehman’s on Friday, November 27. Take advantage of big savings, while enjoying what Lehman’s does best — offering a slower, simpler way of life right here in Amish Country. We’ll have store-wide savings, hourly deals, a “haystack dinner” special in the Cast Iron Cafe. . . and our neighboring Kidron, OH stores will be offering special deals, too.

WHEN: Friday, November 27, 2015. Lehman’s will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

WHERE: Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio (GPS/mapping address 4779 Kidron Rd., Dalton OH 44618). Participating businesses are within walking or very short driving distance of our store.

WHO: Lehman’s store, plus other Kidron merchants including MCC Connections, Eastwood Furniture, Quince Café, and World Crafts (and maybe more)

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SPECIALS AND SALES at LEHMAN’S:

  • We will be open LATE, until 7 pm!
  • The Cast Iron Café special will be an Amish-style “Haystack” meal
  • Special pricing on select products store-wide, including Purple Ball Jars, Lodge 12 in skillet, select old-time toys, select games, men’s leather belts, and more!
  • Anyone who shops 4-7pm receives a 20% off discount
  • Anyone (young or old) who wears bib overalls will receive a free gift and be entered into a drawing to win a $60 Lehman’s gift card (just enter your name at the Customer Service counter)

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WHY: We want to offer a fun, feel-good alternative to the crazy that has become associated with Black Friday. Customers will enjoy great deals on some of our favorite items, fill their bellies with an Amish Country meal, snack on free cookies and cider and enjoy their time out with friends and family. This is a great opportunity for people who have family visiting for the holidays who want to get out of the house and explore our little corner of Amish Country. Come join us!

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Top 10 Tools for The Baker’s Toolbox

baker's tools

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

Stay Sharp This Holiday Season

Be ready for the holiday meal carving, slicing and cutting with our top-quality German-made knife and block set. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Be ready for the holiday meal carving, slicing and cutting with our top-quality German-made knife and block set. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

My wife says I’m the biggest kid she knows on Christmas morning. I’d have to agree with her, but I would add Thanksgiving Day to that list as well. The difference is this big kid is allowed to play with knives.

I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Aside from the “real reason for the season,” for me it’s mainly about the food and giving gifts. For my wife it’s about dinner parties and making memories around the dining room table. Continue reading

Stock Up: Get the most from your big bird!

Turkey

Get the most out of your holiday turkeys (or even chickens)- make some stock!

We always get at least one extra turkey at Thanksgiving because the prices are so good. And when we did, we realized we still had a 23 pound bird in our freezer.

To make room for this year’s extra turkey, we had an early Thanksgiving feast. I really enjoyed this week of good eats. We had easy, tasty protein to add to our rice bowls, salads and sandwiches. We also could split the favorites of the classic meal into many different meals throughout the week.

As an added benefit I can freeze some so I have safe roasted turkey on the ready for my daughter, who has several food allergies. It’s great to pre-prep a quick snack or meal for her.

I like to cook my turkey in a roaster. I always make a large pot of stock from the neck and gizzards, liver and heart while the meat is roasting. I put the neck, the ‘innards’, fresh sage, garlic and a quartered onion to simmer in a large stockpot. I let it bubble away all afternoon and used it for gravy, basting and stuffing.

Turkey StockAfter I’d made gravy for our early turkey dinner, I canned the stock that was left and had five quarts of stock just from the stockpot.

Since it was such a large turkey for the four of us, John sliced it down, while I picked off all the usable meat for some turkey salad and other future dinners.

Then I took the bones and returned them to my now clean roaster with some more onions, garlic and this time a couple carrots and celery stalks. I filled the roaster with water and let it simmer all night through the next day.

Fat SeparatorIt was some work to get the fat off the top, but I found that cheese cloth or a paper towel along the top skimmed well. (A gravy separator will work well too.) From the simmered bones, I got another thirteen quarts of stock.

It only takes 25 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure to can stock. In years past I have frozen it and while it may be a bit quicker to freeze stock, I have had to dodge large frozen blocks of it falling out of the bulging freezer.

Then when I would go to use it I would need to defrost it and often the container it was may have been cracked from an escape attempt, and the whole thing was just a production.

With canned stock, it is just easy breezy ready to use. I just pop the top and go. It’s definitely worth the time invested to clean the jars and do the canning properly.

I also plan to make some vegetable stock with the veggies that tend to be on sale for the making of thanksgiving feasts. I also freeze any of the celery or carrots that aren’t crisp enough to eat or use the trimmings from other dishes over time.

It is super simple because you can just toss the cutting and leftover bits into a container and pull that out when you are ready to make veggie stock.

When you add the garlic and onions, don’t stress about peeling perfectly. I just pour mine through a strainer to get all the big chunks out. I leave the garlic whole, and quarter the onions.

So for much less than what the turkey stock alone would have been at the grocery store, I got gallons of turkey and veggie stock.Turkey Stock Plus we got a fresh roasted turkey, yummy turkey sandwiches, and all the other favorite leftovers.

I can season the stocks to taste when I am ready to use it and I know every ingredient. It doesn’t get more perfect or basic than that.

One recipe that I love to make with the stock and some frozen turkey is dumplings. Just google gluten free vegan chicken dumplings if you need to avoid wheat, milk or egg. We have to avoid those things, and searching for vegan recipes makes things simpler. I just don’t tell the vegan dumplings that they’re cooking up in my meaty turkey stock!

If you don’t have food limitations, make your favorite dumplings, and toss them into a pefect, homemade stock. Really in a rush? You want these pot pie noodles. They’re great, and locally made.

Let’s Play “The Mennonite Game”

Justina Dee, the talent behind lydiaglick.com

Justina Dee, the talent behind lydiaglick.com

Country Life met Justina Dee, the grandaughter of an Amish preacher in October, and immediately knew she was “our kind of people.” We’d like to introduce her with her light-hearted entry about “The Mennonite Game”, when…well. She’ll tell you. We just want you to know: click to her site and see the video. Be sure the family’s gathered around, because they’ll love it too.               –Karen Johnson, editor, Country Life

One of my favorite things about being born into a family with Amish-Mennonite roots is the deep appreciation of family history and belonging which you are given. As a young child with Anabaptist ancestors, you quickly learn there are two things of great importance.

Lesson one – your family genealogy. My father is a brilliant steward of our family’s history and stories. One year he purchased the most recent edition of something we call “The Fisher Book”. (A record with thousands of Amish-Mennonite relatives.) My little brother was so excited to find his name in the new printing of the “Fisher Book” that he circled the text in dark black ink – not something you typically do in a very expensive and significant ancestral document. I’m sure someday his descendants will enjoy seeing the mark he made on history!

Read more here, and don’t miss the video:
http://www.lydiaglick.com/the-mennonite-game/

No-Bake Pumpkin Chiffon Pie: Easy Holiday Dessert

Essential Glass Pie Plate

Essential Glass Pie Plate, perfect for home-baked crusts! At Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Running out of time to bake a homemade pumpkin pie? Try this tasty Pumpkin Chiffon version. It’s a quick, no-bake, delicious dessert that’s packed full of pumpkin goodness. One of our great customer service folks, Celesta, shared the recipe. (If you were lucky enough to get a copy of our 55th Anniversary cookbook* before they sold out, this recipe is on page 225.)

No-Bake Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. cold milk
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
1 C. cooked pumpkin

I usually grab a stoneware mug when dissolving gelatin in warm water. The stoneware keeps it warmer longer. Check out Lehman's Heritage Blue Stripe Stoneware at www.lehmans.com.

I usually grab a stoneware mug when dissolving gelatin in warm water. The stoneware keeps it warmer longer. Check out Lehman’s Heritage Blue Stripe Stoneware at www.lehmans.com.

(You can use canned pumpkin, if you don’t cook your own pumpkin)

Make the Pie

Separate eggs into whites and yolks. Dissolve gelatin in water and set aside. Mix all remaining ingredients together in saucepan, then place saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add gelatin to warm pumpkin mixture, mix well, and remove from heat.

Cool in pan until partially set, but still warm enough to be pourable. Beat egg whites until stiff. Add 1/4 cup sugar and egg whites to pumpkin mixture, and fold gently until no white streaks are visible. Pour into baked 9-inch pie shell. Allow to set until firm. Top with whipped cream before serving.

*Looking forward to our brand new 60th Anniversary Cookbook? It’s in production now. Pre-order your copy, and don’t miss out.

Youthview: Loving Traditional Family Thanksgivings

Alli Ervin, Youthview blogger.

Alli Ervin, Youthview blogger.

Last year we hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the first time in several years – I enjoyed the holiday more than I ever had before and that’s saying something because it’s one of my favorite occasions. It makes me feel warm and loved to have family (I am talking aunts, uncles, cousins, the whole gang, ranging in age from four years old to 84 years old) at our home.

I love helping my mom prepare the food and put out seasonal decorations. We live in a woods so tree branches, leaves and pine cones, artfully arranged in a large glass bowl, add great fall touches. I always get to choose which music we are going to play and what drinks to serve (a simple one is grape juice and 7-Up, garnished with orange slices) and, when everything is ready and the house smells like turkey and stuffing, we wait for the doorbell to ring.

The turkey is always a centerpiece of my family's traditional meal.

The turkey is always a centerpiece of my family’s traditional meal.

I have such a big, fun family and I love it when we’re all together*. The food is always amazing, especially at Thanksgiving. My mom and I often bake bread together, which is what she used to do with her mother. Our Thanksgiving menu is very traditional – we briefly discussed doing something different (how about a baked potato bar?) but the outcry was heard for miles. Turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, seven-layer salad, fresh bread, and more pies that you can count. My mom made deviled eggs last Thanksgiving (that’s one of her specialties) and forgot to get them out until after the meal. We enjoyed a round of appetizers after dessert and had a good laugh.

Even though it’s more work, hosting the holidays at your house is a great experience. It’s all about being with family and friends so if the cooking stresses you out, make it a pot luck carry in, or even call ahead and order something. Enjoy a meal and then, afterwards, (at least in my family), the men retire to watch football and yell at their favorite teams and the women do a craft (we had a fun one this year – more on that in the next blog).

No many how many times I get asked what grade I am; how I am doing at school or how tall I am (I grew 5 inches over the past year and am 5’8”, by the way) it’s always so much fun when my family is all together.

*Editor’s note: Allison’s grandfather is Jay Lehman, founder; her uncle is Galen Lehman, president; and her mother is Glenda Lehman Ervin, vice president.

Classic Turkey Brine Recipe

For super moist, flavorful turkey this year, brine that bird!

Shelley, Lehman’s Merchandising Assistant, has been brining her family’s Thanksgiving turkey for the past couple of years, and she shared her simple recipe with us. We’re passing it on to you! Brining the turkey for at least 12 hours before roasting makes it extra moist, and this recipe gives the meat a slightly sweet flavor (which Shelley says her brood loves). Try it this year – it’s quick, easy and it just may become part of your Turkey Day turkey_087.tif1024x768traditions.

Classic Turkey Brine

You’ll need:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup coarse salt (such as sea salt or pink salt)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 orange, juiced and rind finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 turkey, 12-15 lb (thaw turkey and remove giblets before brining)
  • Ice (enough to cover turkey)
  • large stockpot and/or storage container with lid (such as a 5-gallon bucket or 4-gallon bucket)

Directions:

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients except turkey and ice. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Chill. Place the turkey, brining liquid and ice in stockpot or lidded bucket and let stand up to 12 hours (overnight works well). Roast and feast!

Our Kidron Store Snowmen Love Being Indoors!

Wooden snowmen at Lehman's in Kidron

Ready to set out in our Kidron store! You’ll see these charming fellows through the holiday season.

Planning seasonal decorations for our Kidron, Ohio retail store is a big job. With 35,000 square feet of space–and many of the merchandise rooms under high ceilings, our decorator has her work cut out for her! “I plan the decorating here for the seasons and holidays, so I’m always searching for ideas,” BJ Trader says.

“Christena Imhoff (one of the store managers) told me that we were going to use snowmen for the the store’s country Christmas decoration theme this year. It really takes larger items to be noticed in this large store!”

“I got the idea for our wooden snowmen from looking on Pinterest. We have a lot of old, unused wood here, so I asked Carl Croskey, who helps me a lot on these projects to round me up some. I drew two patterns. One was Dudley, and the other Al Heart. Carl cut them out, and I took them home and began to assemble the snowmen. There were many steps involved. They were sanded, and I double-coated with white on the bodies, the black hat and carrot nose. There’s a welcome sign on Dudley, and a Christmas tree on Al Heart. I hand painted the details and they were complete. We made 12 of Dudley, one for each department in the store, and 6 of Al Heart for various areas.”

decorations made from stove pipes

They’re in the shop right now, but you’ll see our Stovepipe Snowmen in the Stove Room soon!

The project took quite some time. After the research and getting the patterns cut out, BJ explained that the snowmen took 14 hours to build. “Each one is about 4 feet tall. And then I started on two snowmen especially for the Stove Room. I just completed Smokey and Little Joe at the end of October. They are made of stove pipe. Smokey is 7′ tall.

“Have you heard the old saying,”necessity is the mother of invention”. We had a budget of $200.00 for the snowmen, to decorate the entire store. So we looked at what we had and went to work.”

8 Things You Can Prep Now For The Holidays

Hardwood utensils, made in Ohio.

Choose your favorite hardwood spoon at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, OH.

We’re all looking at the calendar and wondering how the year can go so quickly. Now’s the time to take a moment and make sure you’re ready to entertain this holiday season. No matter if your style is simple or swanky, you can probably use most of these tips!

  1. Serviceware: Inventory your serving spoons, meat forks, and related items. Do you have enough? Replace missing or add needed items now, before the rush!
  2. Platters and trays: Once everyone’s seated at the table, how will you get the turkey or ham down the line? Make sure you have meat platters or trays, and big serving bowls, like our Stoneware Shoulder Bowls, for side dishes. Continue reading