The Wheels On The Bus…

Ecobags lunch sack at Lehmans.com.

A blank, recycled canvas! Ecobags Lunch Sacks are fun to decorate, and are washable, great for allergic kids. At Lehmans.com or Lehmans in Kidron, Ohio.

Where did time go? My  baby girl is suddenly five years old and getting ready for her first day of kindergarten. Wasn’t it just yesterday I held her in my arms and sang the song with her- soon she will be stepping on the bus.

I had hoped that she could be a carefree lunch eater and able to participate in every pizza party- but that is not her reality. Around age one she was diagnosed with milk, egg, wheat and sunflower food allergies. While we were hoping that she would outgrow them by now, she still has reactions to all.

So along with the normal supplies there will be an Epi-pen and care plan for the school follow. I hope that she will not carry all my fears and worries, but that she can find a safe balance of being cautious and being normal. Continue reading

Gluten-Free Peach Cake Cooks Up in Cast Iron

Peach Upside Down Cake in Cast Iron Pan

It tastes as good as it looks! And a cast iron skillet cooks everything evenly.

This is my gluen-free peach cake recipe. Originally, I made the recipe from the  “The Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy” book by Bette Hagman.

But I’ve changed many of the ingredients to suit me! For instance, I don’t use butter, I use honey and yogurt, and I bake it off in a cast iron skillet. I think my version is healthier, and (after trying the original) I think my version is tastier!

Now that peaches are in season all over this a perfect time to give this cake a try. If you cook for gluten-intolerant folks, it’s a natural, but I’ve found that nearly everyone loves this peach cake.

Skillet Peach Upside Down Cake Continue reading

Submit Recipes Now For 60th Anniversary Cookbook

Lehman's 55th Anniversary Cookbook

Our 55th Anniversary cookbook is now out of stock.
Be a part of our history, and contribute to our 60th Anniversary Cookbook!

Lehman’s will be celebrating our 60th Anniversary in 2015. As with our 55th anniversary, we’re putting a cookbook together. This time around, we’re collecting recipes from both Lehman’s employees and customers.

We’re searching for those crowd favorites, family heirlooms and those recipes that you just love to make. Old-fashioned, new tastes: we’re looking for it all. Even gluten-free!

Recipe categories include:

·         Appetizers, Beverages & Dips
·         Breads & Rolls
·         Cookies & Candy
·         Desserts
·         Gluten Free
·         Main Dishes
·         Miscellaneous
·         Slow Cooker
·         Soup & Salads
·         Vegetables & Side Dishes
·         5 Ingredients or Less

We will select at least 100 recipes from those submitted by customers to be printed in the book. From those selected recipes, 10 lucky customers will receive a FREE cookbook as a thank you for contributing. Those cookbooks will be autographed by Jay Lehman, our founder; Lehman’s president, Galen Lehman, and Glenda Lehman Ervin, vice-president of marketing.

If chosen, your name will be printed with your recipe. Submissions must be received by September 8, 2014.

Click here to submit your recipe.

At A Glance: Pressure Canners, Water Bath Canners, Pressure Cookers

“I need a pressure cooker for canning season.” Here at Lehman’s, we hear that sentence often! And we know what you mean, we really do. You want a pressure canner to put up your produce. Here’s a quick comparison of pressure canners, water bath canners and a look at what a pressure cooker can do for you.

You should be able to click on the photo for a larger, linked image if necessary.

Click here to find out more about Lehman’s high-quality, reliable, gasket-free USA-made Pressure Canners.

Continue reading

Lactofermenting for the Time-Challenged

Alrighty then, it’s that time of year. The garden is starting to really gear up and I have more produce than we can eat before it goes bad. My plan for filling the pantry with wholesome and delicious foods that have less than 5 ingredients, none of which came out of a lab, is working.

Pickling for people disinclined to boil vinegar
So, what is a girl to do with all this bounty?

Stainless steel bowl available at Lehmans.com.

All the root veggies are washed well, not a speck of soil remains. Then they air-dry. Use a colander, or spread on your counter on a clean dishtowel. Stainless steel bowl for photo spiffiness only! (Lehmans.com has ‘em.)

I know, I’ll lacto-ferment it all. I like lacto-fermented veggies, so does the hubbin, and I really actually find cutting up veggies to be enjoyable. I’m weird that way!

And as a completely unrelated bonus, lacto-fermenting things is so incredibly easy that even *I* can’t mess it up. Though I thought I had and threw out the first batch I ever made: more on that later.

Lacto-fermenting is what creates sauerkraut, kimchi and cocktail onions, to name some of the more commonly known results of the process.

Sandor Katz The Art of Fermentation at Lehmans.com

Make your own healthy, pure lacto-fermented veggies, vinegars, pickles and more! Pick up The Art of Fermentation now at Lehmans.com to get started fast.

It is a bacterial process, utilizing critters that are present in any environment that has not been completely sterilized (it will not work in outer space, so those of you reading this from the Mir Space Station, sorry, try it when you get back home), so yes, when I first got into this process I had to get over my germophobia and embrace the little things (metaphorically speaking). It’s similar to the fermentation that creates alcohol, just with different microbes.

Which brings me to examine exactly how one goes about lacto-fermenting, rather than creating carrot booze accidentally.

We want to attract the right kind of microbe, so we have to create the right kind of environment. Think of it as very, very small game trapping, because the microbes are all there, hanging out together. We want to encourage the lactobacilli, while discouraging the yeasts (alcohol) and other things that would spoil our food. Continue reading

Youthview: Touch-Activated Book Lights Go to Camp

Four Lehman’s Touch-Activated Book Lights spent the summer at YMCA Camp Tippecanoe in Harrison County Ohio. Kimmy Kettering, 15, the niece of a Lehman’s employee took them along, and put them to work.                          —Editor, Country Life

Kimmy's been a Tipp camper for 7 years. This pic is from last summer, when she'd stood still long enough for a photo.

Kimmy’s been a Tipp camper for 7 years. This pic is from last summer, when she’d stood still long enough for a photo.

I used Touch-Activated Book Lights for many different things this summer. They were fantastic. They were lightweight and easy to use. Each one only needs one AAA battery, and the LED lamp doesn’t get hot. I could keep one pair of them in my backpack and use them whenever they were needed. Campers even used them to take bathroom trips at two in the morning and could easily carry the lights with them. We kept a pair in the cabin for anyone to try out and use. I personally used them for reading in my bunk during siesta, a period after lunch where campers and counselors go back to the cabins to take a break from the busy day, when the counselor turned off the lights. At night, I laid in my hammock and read while using one of these lights too. Continue reading

In a Pickle…and Those Darn Tomatoes!

Try pickled beets in the Perfect Pickler! It's available now at Lehmans.com.

Perfect Pickler: large size fits your 1 gal to 2-1/2 gal wide mouth jar; small size fits your 1/2 pt to 2 pt wide mouth jars.

Beyond Pickles I have always made a lot of pickles. We eat something pickled nearly every day. Pickled beans and beets are our favorites with carrots and cauliflower nearly as popular. We like bread and butter pickles too but by now, last year’s are are getting a bit soggy and nobody likes a soggy pickle. Lately, I have been making a lot more lacto-fermented pickled than traditional canned pickles in brine. We can make a ½ gallon of pickles and eat them over the course of a few weeks and then just make up another crispy batch. The process is really simple too. All you need is a sharp knife and a cutting board and some ½ gallon jars. Almost any vegetable can be fermented although a few things don’t appeal to me. I have tried pickled greens and found them, well…odd is all I can say about them. Continue reading

Farmer Hannah Sees Low Impact, High Return With Olive Oil Lamp

Make Your Own Olive Oil Lamp Kit Large for Pint Jars

The 6-pack Large Make-Your-Own Olive Oil Lamp Kit fit pint mason jars, and are just like Hannah’s. Also in Small (half pints) and Votive sizes. At Lehmans.com.

I am constantly in a quest to see what I can produce to satisfy my own needs and wants, rather than relying on an outside source.  I try to use an ethic of intention rather than of convenience.

A lightbulb with a switch is certainly a convenient thing, and I use them a lot.  Of course, I try to only keep lights on in rooms that I am occupying, and then only enough to do what I need to do. If I’m cooking or cleaning and using a large space, I need more light than if I’m sitting in one spot and reading or writing, for instance.

When I saw Lehman’s olive oil lamps, though, I was intrigued.  Maybe it was the fact that all you have to do is put a wick in a mason jar with oil, which satisfies my “make-do-with-what-you-have” sensibility.  I was intrigued enough by the idea to obtain a kit. Continue reading

American Gardens: Buckeye Garden Nears Harvest

Tough Cherry Tomatoes survived well. They're in the front bucket.

Tough Cherry Tomatoes survived well. They’re in the front bucket.

American Gardener Tim sent us tons of new pictures–we’re saving the “how to build a raised bed” for the planning days of wintertime.

Right now, let’s take a look at how his gardens are growing. He’s managing two–one small one in the suburban home where his family now lives, and one on land he and his wife will retire to in a few years. There are photos in the gallery below.

“Things are growing so fast now, and I’m just trying to keep up,” Tim says. “Thanks, Lehman’s, for sending me seeds to grow. I had a fail on the cukes, with that late cold snap. And squirrels kept digging up the carrot starts in the suburban garden.”

“I’ll tell you what, though. Those Black Cherry tomatoes are seriously hardy. I wasn’t able to get water to all my tomatoes for about four days recently. But look at that picture! The front barrel are all the Black Cherries. The rest–well, they aren’t. I know for sure I’m coming back to Lehman’s for tomato seeds next year!” Continue reading

Youthview: What Does That Memory Taste Like?

Alli Ervin, Youthview blogger.

Alli Ervin, Youthview blogger.

This first Youthview blog is by Alli Ervin, granddaughter of Lehman’s founder, Jay Lehman, and daughter of Glenda Lehman Ervin, vice-president of marketing. At 15, Alli’s in a perfect position to share thoughts and opinions of younger folks.                                                                         –Editor, Country Life

What do you think of when you’re eating ripe, juicy watermelon or drinking a tall glass of cold, sugary lemonade?  Probably a hot summer day, sitting by the pool, basking in the sun…

What image comes to mind when there’s a mug of hot chocolate and a plate of fresh-baked cookies in front of you?  Perhaps a cold winter night, and you are cuddling by the fireplace with your family, watching traditional Christmas movie together. Continue reading