Backstage at Lehmans: Shelley’s Favorite Pumpkin Flavor In A “Brownie”!

Shelley at her desk in Lehman's creative department.

Shelley at her desk in Lehman’s Dalton office.

If you’re a regular reader of Country Life, you’ll know that Shelley Salsburey, part of our merchandising team, is a big fan of pumpkin. (We always have pumpkin treats in the office for her October birthday!)

Recently, she came across a new-to-her recipe for Harvest Pumpkin Brownies. And it sounded so good, I went right into the kitchen to make it! It’s a perfect treat, and it goes together so quickly. It’s ideal when you need a goodie for an impromptu get-together.

This recipe’s prep is super easy. The pumpkin that makes the brownies moist also makes the batter easy to mix. So using just a big mixing bowl, a wooden spoon and a whisk, the batter was ready in no time! Continue reading

How I Found Lehman’s!

Recently, one of our newest bloggers, Glynis, shared how she found Lehman’s. How did you find us? Share your story in the comments, please!

Continue reading

From College Kitchen to Our Dinner Table

French Press Coffee Maker

Lehman’s French Press Coffee Maker is great gift for your favorite student. It’s easy to use and easy to clean.

Ah, the college years. Did we even realize how good we had it? New friends, exciting (or not) courses, free time, parental units probably far away, little responsibility – at least compared to full adulthood/parenthood. College was where I learned to love coffee, where I found out I had a gift for making my roommates laugh…and also where I learned to cook!

After two years in the dorms, subsisting on cafeteria food (which, I must admit, was actually pretty good) and Ramen noodles cooked in hand-me-down hotpots, my girlfriends and I signed the lease on a townhouse close to campus, where we would live until graduation. It had a full kitchen, so one of the first routines we set up after we all moved in was the dinner schedule.

Breakfasts and lunches, we decided, were free-for-alls, but dinners would be sacred, in a way. We all came from good solid families where sitting down for nightly meals was the norm, and I’m sure we all (despite our burgeoning independence) longed for some of that stable “homey” feeling. So we each picked a night, and began to cook for each other.

Like most students, we were all living on a shoestring budget (I got paid $2 per typed page of notes I took for a Psych 101 class – imagine that!) so our meals were simple, hearty and shall we say, sometimes quite creative. And sure, during finals week we threw the cooking schedule out the window and ordered in pizza. But interestingly, some of the same recipes we each came to be known for, I use to this day. In fact, the following three are still some of my “go-to’s,” – 14 years, one husband, two jobs and three children later. Enjoy – and send some good thoughts to your college roomies as you cook them. I know I do! Continue reading

“Bright” Idea: Storm Prep AND Adorable!

Feuerhand Lanterns from Germany in black, green, blue, yellow, red

Yes, they really are this colorful. I really love how the globe is held in too.

Well, it’s that time of year that I personally love. But I know that everyone isn’t a fan of blustery nights, and many of you dread the upcoming snowfalls.

Truth be told, I’m not a fan of the stormy weather, just the gorgeous landscapes that autumn and winter bring us. This year, I’ve made a change to my storm prep kit that I’ve been wanting to do for ages. Instead of more candles in jars, I added a couple of Fueuerhand Lanterns to my emergency kit.

Made in Germany, Fueuerhand Lanterns are quite possibly the absolute cutest emergency supply ever. At just 10.5″ inches high, with a 5 1/4″ inch diameter font (fuel tank), I love that these little darlings fit anywhere. They’ll burn for about 20 hours on a full font of oil. Continue reading

Fall’s Deep Cleaning Solution

Every season, we deep clean at our house. It’s mainly because I have allergies, and because we share our space with four cats. (Yes. It gets interesting.) One of the best cleaning “solutions” I use is one that my grandmother and my mother taught me: a solution of water, vinegar, and baking soda. It’s easy to make, and I put together enough for a day’s work–a couple of gallons all together. It doesn’t really “keep”, so make it every time you need it.

https://www.lehmans.com/p-4615-the-black-bucket.aspx

Inside or out, The Black Bucket does the hard work! At Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Generally, I make it in a plastic bucket. Granny always said not to use a metal bowl, because it might discolor both the paste and what you’re hoping to clean. Only mix this in plastic or non-reactive glass or ceramic.

It works well on hard plastics like porch furniture, outdoor toys, and pool toys too. We used it on vinyl screens too. Don’t use it on metal screens–the vinegar can promote rust! I speak from personal experience here…and replacing a few metal screens in my time. Continue reading

Jay’s Puzzle: Phone Booths in Amish Country

amish phone booths,lehman's puzzle

Jay Lehman stands by his collage of phone booth photos. Now a puzzle, this poster can still be seen in our store in Kidron, OH.

In an age where “smart” phones are the norm, phone booths have become a rarity lately. Most people not only have a phone with them, they have instant access to the Internet (talk about coming a long way from the rotary phone!)

It’s no wonder some folks are surprised when they visit rural Amish Country. What has been deemed as no longer relevant is a necessity here. Because the Amish don’t use telephones in their homes, phone booths provide a place for them to make calls in case of an emergency or for business purposes. Continue reading

“Suburb” Apple Butter Is Easy And Delicious!

No time to make your own? Click here for more Lehman’s preserves, including apple butter!

My mom was a recipe collector. This one, for apple butter made in a slow cooker is one of her prizes. One of my college friends, whose family lived on a ranch in the West, nicknamed it “Suburb Apple Butter”, because it’s made entirely in a slow cooker. He was used to apple butter made in giant copper pots, outdoors, over fires. Continue reading

Where in the World is Lehman’s Own Laundry Hand Washer with Wringer?

Laundry area HaitiThis great picture landed in our reviews e-mailbox a few days ago. It’s a picture of the laundry area at a Haiti orphanage. In the foreground, you can see the waiting-to-be-assembled Lehman’s Own Laundry Hand Washer.

We’re thrilled that our simple product can be helpful to these folks. As you can see, their laundry area is pretty bare bones, consisting of large totes, giant bowls, and a garden hose.

An orphanage employee also contributed an enthusiastic review, noting that a second Laundry Hand Washer has been purchased and is on the way to the orphanage.

The two Laundry Hand Washers mean that the orphanage child care staff won’t have to scrub on their hands and knees, as the woman in the back right corner of the photo is doing. The Laundry Hand Washers will give the child care staff more time to spend with the children in their care.

Update! Two new photos arrived on September 29, showing the washers assembled and in use, with the staff showing the children how the washers work.

Lehman's Own Hand Washer in operation.

Loading the Lehman’s Own Hand Washer.

 

Lehman's Own Hand Washer

Laundry underway, in the Hand Washer. And everyone looks pleased by the prospect.

Four Fabulous Lehman’s Faves for Fall

So, it’s coming: fall! While I enjoy all the seasons, there’s something about it being “almost autumn” that makes me, and most of us here in Ohio, smile with anticipation. People start to hanker for hot chocolate, hot soup, sweaters, bonfires, Sunday afternoon walks to admire the foliage, and all the other truly fabulous things about fall. Here are four favorite items for fall at my house.

Maine Garden Hod

Shown here brimming with fresh garden veggies: The Maine Garden Hod at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio and on Lehmans.com.

Fab Fave #1: Maine Garden Hod – So you can traipse around picking up anything. Anything, I tell you!

OK, it’s a bit of friendly hyperbole. You’re obviously not going to haul wet laundry or mulch with this little basket, sturdy as it may be. But, it is extremely handy when harvesting all those wonderful edibles from your garden (spray off that annoying green worm before it comes into your kitchen!); when collecting various and sundry balls from the yard at bedtime (ex: base-, soft-, golf, bocce, etc); and to hand to your child when he/she says, “Mommy, I want to make a fort/have a pretend picnic/build a stick castle/carry stuff.” Works great for small indoor toting chores, too.

Fab Fave #2: Roma Food Mill – So you can turn those tomatoes and apples into downright family traditions.

The Roma Food Mill makes short work of apples and other produce. At Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio, or at Lehmans.com.

The Roma Food Mill makes short work of apples and other produce. At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or at Lehmans.com.

Honestly, this is one of those items that sits quietly in my basement for several months out of the year. But during the fall season it really gets a workout, and not just in my kitchen. My father, the consummate gardener, borrows it each September to make his family-famous Northern Spy applesauce, or, in two-year-old speak, “grah-paw’s appa-shaush.” My husband and I love it for juicing tomatoes (we freeze the juice since our family loves homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches). Nothing is easier or faster than this mill. It’s simple, quiet and the children love to help turn the crank. Seriously. They actually ask when it’s time to use it. And have trouble taking turns!

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet PepOnin3221

Lodge Cast Iron Skillets in come in six sizes. Get cooking with yours: Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or at Lehmans.com.

Fab Fave #3: Cast Iron Skillet – So your children will eat anything cooked in it. Anything. Really.

OK, a little more hyperbole. My children would never eat *anything*. However, we have discovered that even the dreaded scrambled eggs (“They’re mushy!!”) will be scarfed up pretty quickly when they’ve been made in the cast iron skillet. I really don’t know how to explain this, but I’ve experienced it firsthand — the cast iron actually seems to add flavor to food. Wait, I’ve guessed it: it’s the residual bacon grease. Yep, that’s what it is. Case closed.

You can dry small juice bottles as well as bags. Check out the Plastic Bag and Bottle Dryer at Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio or on Lehmans.com.

You can dry small juice bottles as well as bags. Check out the Plastic Bag and Bottle Dryer at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or on Lehmans.com.

Fab Fave #4: Plastic Bag And Bottle Dryer – So you can stop buying so many of the blessed things, but still enjoy the convenience of using them.

This is the perfect product for me. Like many of you, I am truly concerned about, and try to keep a rein on, the amount of waste my family generates. However, I am also loathe to give up the little conveniences that help me keep my sanity. Case in point: plastic baggies. That’s why this little wooden gadget is so great. And while I’ve never sat down and penciled it out, I’m sure it helps our budget too, since I’m buying baggies once in a blue moon (like when I can’t see through them anymore) instead of almost every time I shop.

Happy almost Fall, all!

Amish Country Autumn; Leaves Tops In World

When you spend some time in Amish Country, you may see one of these smaller carts.

When you spend some time in Amish Country, you may see one of these smaller carts.

Below, you’ll see a great poem by our Youthview writer, Allison Ervin, celebrating autumn in Amish Country. Want to experience it yourself? Don’t miss Amish Country in leaf peeping season! Our own Holmes County, Ohio is #3 in the world on NatGeo’s Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves.

And National Geographic’s Four Seasonal of Travel book says, “In the heart of central Ohio’s Amish Country, maple, oak, and the iconic state tree, the buckeye, hang over narrow roads that meander through wavy fields of corn. Drive under the boughs of bright reds and yellows, sharing the road with horse-drawn carriages of the Old Order Amish and stopping at roadside farm stands along the way.”

 

Fall in Amish Country

Smells like apple cider and freshly cut grass
Like rain on pavement and pumpkin pie
Like candles burning and candy corn

Fall in Amish Country
Tastes like salted caramel and hot chocolate
Like pumpkin lattes and hot gooey s’mores
Like chicken noodle soup and bread from the oven

Fall in Amish Country
Feels like a bonfire’s warm glow on your skin
Like leaves crunching beneath your feet
Like your favorite old sweater and a warm pair of boots

Fall in Amish Country
Looks like brightly-colored trees and pretty grey skies
Like jack-o-lanterns and the moon over trees
Like apple orchards and chilly sunsets

Fall in Amish Country
Sounds like children laughing and puppies barking
Like a horses hooves, clomping down the road
Like happiness that can’t be beat
—Allison Ervin