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

 

4 Simple Steps to Cure And Keep Winter Squash

A perfect butternut squash--make sure yours are this clean when you put them in cold storage.

A perfect butternut squash–make sure yours are this clean when you put them in cold storage.

It is hard to believe that summer has wound down, and we’re all looking at fall gardening chores already.

One of those fall gardening chores is the harvest and proper curing of my Butternut Squash. Butternut Squash is one of the most popular types of winter squash.

Don’t get confused with that term. By no means does that mean that you plant or harvest your squash in the winter. It simply means that the squash was bred to be harvested late in the season, and eaten throughout the winter. Continue reading

It’s Super Simple to Freeze Fresh Fruit!

fresh blueberries

Fresh blueberries, clean and ready to freeze.

Recently, I got to share how I can foods for my allergy-aware family.

And I realized I need to share how I freeze seasonal fruit too. It’s just like canning: I know exactly what’s going into my produce, and (even better) my kids love it!

One of my daughter Moriah’s favorite breakfasts is frozen blueberries. Last year we were gifted a large bag of them. I’m going to talk mostly about how I froze blueberries, but the idea is the same for any seasonal fruit. Continue reading

2014 Fall Festival Album

If you couldn’t come and spend the day with us at the Fall Festival at Lehman’s on the Square in Kidron last Saturday, we suggest enlarging the pictures and pretending!

The weather was perfect, and so was the company. Our thanks to everyone who stopped in. And a special thanks to Kerrie Elizabeth Kaufmann, who took the great photo of Glenn Kaufmann, working at the spokeshaving bench in the chairbuilding demo area. Continue reading

Join Us: It’s Fall Festival Tomorrow!

https://www.lehmans.com/p-3444-lehmans-stainless-steel-cider-press.aspx

Chuck shows a Fall Festival guest how to press cider in 2013.

In just 24 hours, we’re hoping to see you in Kidron, celebrating autumn in Amish Country! Our Fall Festival opens at 10 a.m. and runs through 3 p.m. Saturday at Lehman’s on the Square.

All sorts of free, fun, family-friendly activities are on tap:

  • Pedal Tractor maze for children
  • Corn “sandbox”
  • Just for children, crafts and fun in the Buggy Barn
  • Pretzel Rolling demonstrated by Uncle Henry’s Pretzels
  • Our founder Jay Lehman is autographing our new Phone Booth 1,000 piece puzzle: he took the photo we used for the puzzle!
  • Toy demos and toy try-out area
  • Face Painting
  • Wayne County’s favorite folk (funky, fun) band, Honeytown, plays all day
  • Try some nibbles from Little Town Granola and Uncle Henry’s Pretzels
  • Locally made jams, jellies, and cider will be available for tasting (and purchasing!)
  • Check out the annual Fall Stove Sale in the Stove Room: you can save over $1,000 on certain model purchases and installation
  • Pick up prime country living skills: our staff and specialists will be demoing all day:
    “Cast Iron” Smores: the best, using basic cast iron pans
    Chair Building: Built with traditional tools and meticulous craftsmanship
    See the new Wax Vessels: lovely looks and scent, no candle flame needed
    Cider Pressing: It’s easier than you think with our Stainless Steel Cider Press
    Aladdin Lamps: learn the ins and outs of this popular, practical lamp
This is the savings basket you are looking for!

This is the savings basket you are looking for!

And we know some of you just come to shop, and we’ve got a great deal for you. As you check out, grab a leaf from the bushel basket at the register area. Give it to your cashier, and find out if you’ve saved up to 20% on your purchase. You might even win a free gift!

Facepainting for the youngsters too!

What is it? Check out all the sample and show stations!

Shelling corn

Learning how to shell corn with people-powered corn sheller.

Sampling popcorn

Sampling fresh-popped, Ohio-grown popcorn.

Facepainting

Facepainting is always a big hit.

Fair Week Better Than Fair for Lehman’s!

The 2014 Wayne County Fair is history, but our great fair booth staff got fantastic pictures of the whole week! We wanted to share the album with all of you. A big thanks to the Wayne County Fair staff and all of our friends who stopped to visit. It was great to see you!  Continue reading

Canning Makes It Easy To Handle Special Diets!

Here you can see my 'pineapple' zukes, left, and drink concentrates, center and right. I use Ball® and Kerr® jars.

Here you can see my ‘pineapple’ zukes, left, and drink concentrates, center and right. I use Ball® and Kerr® jars.

When I was growing up in Kent, Ohio my mother and grandmother canned tomatoes every Labor day. I hated it, I just wanted to be normal and buy tomatoes from the store in a real can not a jar that we said was a can. I didn’t want the bees swarming our hot house and I wanted to tell my friends of some fun activity that we did- not can tomatoes!

I smile when I think of that young girl that so desperately wanted to fit in and be cool. Now I have given up and embraced the country world I am in and love to can. I love the freedom I have when I pull a jar off the shelf and don’t need to read the fine print or call the company to make sure it won’t harm my family. I also love that I can look at recipes in canning cookbooks and not have to make any real dietary changes. Continue reading

Fall Festival Kicks Off in Just 8 Days!

The Lehman's Pumpkin

The Lehman’s Pumpkin!

It’s our big fall party–and you’re invited!

What: Lehman’s Fall Festival
When: Saturday, September 20, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Lehman’s, on the Square in Kidron (handy map and directions)
Come on down, and bring the family. We’ll have crafts for the children in our Buggy Barn, demonstrations and “how-to” sessions throughout the store.
In our Stove Room, you’ll be able see real woodburning stoves, and decide which one is right for you. In our Lamp Room, learn the ins and outs of Aladdin’s bright burning lamps, and in our Housewares area, find out how easy it is to press your own apples for cider.
Here, Weaver's doing the finishing detail on his "Crucifixion" carving. Note the depth of the relief, which is seen in all his work.

Here, Weaver’s doing the finishing detail on his “Crucifixion” carving. Note the depth of the relief, which is seen in all his work.

A display of gorgeous woodcarving by local resident Paul Weaver is still on display, and it’s like nothing you’ll see anywhere else. These dimensional dioramas portray familiar stories about country life and more.

You won’t want to miss our sister stores just across the west parking lot! Amish Country Gifts and Lehman’s Outlet will have specials, coupons, demos and great treats. So be sure to leave a little time to pop on over there and check things out.
Music will fill the air as Honeytown, Wayne County’s favorite band settles into the store’s Pantry department, and plays throughout the day.
In the heart of our store, the Cast Iron Cafe is great place to reassemble the family for lunch or a snack.

In the heart of our store, the Cast Iron Cafe is great place to reassemble the family for lunch or a snack.

And even though you’ll find food samples from local vendors like Little Town Granola, Uncle Henry’s Pretzels and others in the store throughout the day, stop in at the Cast Iron Cafe, and order some Amish Country treats. It’s a great place to take a break and rest your feet.

Looking forward to seeing you in just over a week!

American Gardens: Winding Up The Season

As the days are growing shorter, our American Gardeners are sharing their end of season experiences. Two had great seasons, one was disappointed, but they’re all ready to start growing again next spring.

Tim's new raised beds! If DIY isn't for you, consider Lehman's Space Saver Garden Beds.

Tim’s new raised beds! If DIY isn’t for you, consider Lehman’s Space Saver Garden Beds.

Tim, from Ohio says that he’s getting tomatoes, and a few other things, but the rabbits at his retirement land got fat and sassy on his carrot and lettuce seedlings. “Rabbit tastes pretty good, though,” he writes, “and I guess I got some harvest from the garden in the end.” Continue reading

Tomatoes: Keeping Beyond Canning

Since tomatoes are the number one most popular vegetable for the home gardener, most of us find ourselves with a glut of them before the season is over. Canning takes care of a lot, but sometimes we can’t even give them away fast enough once they get into production mode. When that happens, it’s time to think seriously about what to do with the excess.   There’s always the compost pile, but who wants to waste a good tomato?

Try these ideas

The quality you want from Lodge, in a great preseasoned steel skillet! In stock now at Lehmans.com or Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio.

The quality you want from Lodge, in a great preseasoned steel skillet! In stock now at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Frozen Green Tomatoes for Frying
If you like fried green tomatoes, it’s a simple fix to freeze them for later. Slice them uniformly just as if you were going to fry them, then dip them in whatever mixture you like. Lay them out on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and freeze until they’re firm. You can then put them in freezer bags or containers and remove them individually when it’s time to cook them. Don’t let the tomato slices thaw before frying, but place them quickly into a hot, oiled skillet. They will taste as fresh as if you just pulled them off the vine – a real treat on a snowy winter day!

Making tomato sauce with Roma

Roma Food Mill in action at Galen Lehman’s place. Get your own at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Frozen Tomato Sauce  If you have a lot of tomatoes and want to can tomato sauce or make ketchup, but can’t stand the thought of adding even more heat to an already hot summer’s day, puree your tomatoes and get them ready to make sauce, then freeze the puree until the warmth from the stove will be welcome!   When you’re ready to can, thaw the sauce and cook it down until it’s ready and that’s all there is to it. If you don’t want to can it, cook it down first and freeze it in one or two cup portions.

cookie sheet

Neutrally non-stick, our recycled steel cookie sheets works hard for you in the kitchen! At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, and at Lehmans.com.

Freeze Whole Tomatoes  But don’t freeze them in a lump that you have to hammer apart when you only want one or two. Instead, remove the skins (or not, if you don’t mind them), core and place on a wax paper or parchment paper covered cookie sheet in the freezer until they’re solidly frozen. Remove them quickly and put in freezer containers or bags, then you can simply use as many or as few as you need.   Since tomatoes thaw and then reheat quickly, just plop them into your stew or soup or leave in a dish long enough to thaw for other purposes.

5 racks, food dehydrator

Electric food deyhydrator works for fruit/veggie leathers too. At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or at Lehmans.com.

Still have more? Sun dried tomatoes are a specialty, but you can make them easily. They are exactly what they sound like: Dried in the sun. A dehydrator is excellent for this, but you don’t even need that. A flat surface that can be protected from insects–a cloth will do it.

Slice the tomatoes thinly and uniformly, place them where they won’t touch each other and leave in the sun, covered by a cloth until they are leathery to crisp. (Keep your cloth in place with clothes pegs or binder clips!) Store tomatoes in a closed container, and keep in a cool, dry place. Check them now and then as they tend to absorb moisture. If they do, you can redry them in the sun, or dry them out again in the oven. Use a very low temperature, leave the door open and watch them so they don’t burn.

You can even dry tomato “leather” to use as sauce in cooked dishes. Make a puree of the tomatoes and cook it down as much as you can to speed the drying process, then spread it on a leather dehydrator sheet. This is a solid sheet, usually of plastic that won’t let the liquid seep through. Use a plastic sheet over a tray in the sun if you need to, but it will take longer than a dehydrator or sun-drying sliced tomatoes.

When the leather is finished, you can store it in sheets, break it up or pulverize it in the blender for a tomato bouillon of sorts. Be aware that if you pulverize it, it will turn hard after awhile. A little cornstarch mixed in well before storing will prevent that.   Don’t waste even one of those precious globes that you worked so hard to grow!