Cocoa Indulgence Warms Chill Days

The Double Boiler

The Double Boiler will warm your coca gently, with no scorching. Available at or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

It’s snowing again. Great, white flakes drifted lazily at first. Now they are coming thicker and faster and the wind is beginning to blow a bit. One by one, my obligations for the afternoon have cancelled. No one wants to brave the elements if they can avoid it and suddenly I find myself faced with a free afternoon. Time for  music and hot cocoa.

I make a couple of different kinds of hot chocolate. I have a mix that I make in bulk and give away as gifts. It’s quite good, certainly better than any commercial mix I’ve tried, but I find myself hankering for something special, indulgent, something that says SNOW DAY!!!!

Pure Mexican Vanilla

Available at or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

I warm 2 cups of rich milk in a small saucepan (or a double boiler) over very low heat. While it’s heating, I chop of 5 ounces of really good chocolate. Semisweet is too sweet and bittersweet not sweet enough. A mix of the two is about perfect although you can use bittersweet chocolate and add a bit of brown sugar to taste. Add that to the milk and stir until the chocolate melts. Be sure you never let it boil. Just let steam rise from the top. Letting a vanilla pod steep in the milk for a bit is a real luxury but a ½ teaspoon of extract will suit too. I like a swirl of heavy cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

If you are going to go to the trouble of making hot chocolate from scratch rather than spooning a powder into a cup and adding hot water then you should also indulge in a pretty mug. Put your feet up. Turn off the ringer on the phone. Ahhh…. Bliss!

University Faculty Pop Open A 99 Bottle Christmas Gift!

OARDC's Linda Saif, with the centerpiece made by collegue Peggy Lewis.

OARDC’s Linda Saif, with the centerpiece made by collegue Peggy Lewis.

Peggy Lewis from The Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research And Development Center (OARDC) shares some holiday news with us this week. OARDC is about half an hour from our Kidron store.

Peggy and Linda’s lab staff treated Linda Saif, an OARDC researcher to a tasty Christmas gift: 99 different flavors of soda pop from the Old-Time Soda department of Lehman’s retail store in Kidron, Ohio. Thanks for sharing, Peggy! The photos are priceless!  —Karen Johnson, Editor, Country Life

I thought you would enjoy hearing about my Christmas 2013 gifting of 99 bottles of pop from Lehman’s store in Kidron to OARDC Researcher Linda Saif from her Lab. I attached the Christmas card I made her too.

The Lab had lots of fun at Linda’s Christmas Lab luncheon at TJ’s.  The diverse lab group, from all over the world, sang “99 Bottles of Pop in the Lab…” (many verses) and passed 99 different bottles of pop from Lehman’s person to person up either side of the table, to the opposite end where Linda was seated. Continue reading

Pick Up The Christmas Pickle Tradition

Christmas Pickle ornament

Now’s the time for a new tradition! See Christmas Pickles at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

For many, the holidays are all about traditions in the family and as the Christmas season approaches I’m reminded of one special tradition in my own family.

My father takes tremendous pride in decorating our Christmas tree. We love to help him pick out the ornaments and he places them in their specific spot on the tree. We often joke about how meticulous he is about decorating and it’s a special time for the family to be together, even now that I’m married and living away from home Continue reading

Stick To Tradition With Classic Advent Calendar!

Advent Tree Calendar

Retro in spirit, new in design! Pick up your Advent Tree Calendar now at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or at

Felt Advent calendars, the first “official” decorations of the holiday season in many homes…and one of the few that children could actually touch!

Remember that feeling? The soft fuzzy felt, and how it magically stuck to the calendar, watching the days until Christmas Day…there’s nothing like it.

Now you can pass it on, because Lehman’s Advent Tree Calendar is still available! (In fact, it’s on special!) Continue reading