Journey of An Orchard

kathy H's garden

In 2007 we decided to grow more of our own food. We already had a large garden but we wanted fruit trees and berry bushes as well. There was only one drawback. We knew that trees would likely not bear fruit for a number of years. As I was in my late 50’s and Bruce already in his early 60’s, we wondered if the investment in time, energy and money was really going to be worth it. However, as we truly believe that the highest form of stewardship of the land is to plant trees we did it anyway. I turned 63 yesterday and had a blueberry cheesecake topped with the berries we planted way back then. And for his 70th birthday, Bruce has requested peach cobbler made from our very own peaches. Continue reading

Applesauce Day

apples in bowl lisa amstutz

Late summer means it’s time for one of my favorite traditions: Applesauce Day. For years, the kids and I have spent a day or two each summer making a year’s worth of applesauce with my mother. It’s a family tradition that grows sweeter every year.

This year, the day was extra-special because for the first time, we did not have to buy any apples. Our young trees produced a bumper crop of chemical-free, mostly worm-free apples. We did a batch of Transparent apples and a second batch of Summer Rambos. Continue reading

Ready to Go Meatless? Here’s Why You Should (+ 4 Yummy Recipes).

Avocado on white

Becoming a vegetarian is a big decision that many people make because of compassion for animals, health concerns or just food preferences. I myself have been a vegetarian for several months and it has impacted my life in a very positive way! I find myself with more energy, a clearer complexion and a healthier heart. Also, it’s a great feeling knowing that what you’re eating is cruelty-free and got to you without any living creatures being harmed in the process. Continue reading

Sauerkraut, Lehman’s Style

Doug recommends washing cabbage well, and trimming off the limp leaves before quartering cabbages prior to shredding.

Make homemade sauerkraut? Yes, you can! It’s not only delicious, it also contains many more beneficial bacteria, enzymes and nutrients than most store-bought kraut. It’s really, really “good for your gut.” In this article, one of Lehman’s own shows you just how easy it is:

Doug Hamelink’s homemade sauerkraut is a popular dish here at Lehman’s! His wife, Kathleen, is a long-time customer service rep for Lehman’s. Doug has come in to help out during seasonal rushes. They’re definitely part of the Lehman’s family. Our warehouse staff took Doug’s recipe and made kraut last year, using products right off the shelf, including fermenting crocks and stompers.

Doug has been making sauerkraut the old-fashioned way for over 30 years. “When my wife and I moved to the farm back in the ’80s, an older fellow that was a neighbor out there taught me how to make kraut.”

Doug’s kraut is highly sought after here at Lehman’s. He took some time to describe his methods for foolproof fermented goodness. Continue reading

Baking a Pie, Making a Memory

blueberry pie kathy harrison

There are many lovely things about living in my small New England Village. For me, one of the loveliest is hosting the longest running agricultural fair in the country. It’s very much an old-fashioned fair. There is standing room only when the 4-H sheep and cows are judged. An antique car parade honors all the couples married more than 50 years. Hay is judged as are mountains of vegetables, shelves of jewel-toned canned fruits and piles of quilts. But the stiffest completion of all is the pie contest. Continue reading

3 Ways To Remember You are Important

Many of you who read my articles on a regular basis know I love recipes, food ideas and gardening. This month I felt the need to make a change to remind us all of something that is very hard to keep in prospective in today’s busy world. We all need to remember and be reminded that we are each important.

To remember you are important sounds like an easy task. It is instead very challenging, especially with the crazy lives we live today. Here are some thoughts — humble as they are — that may be of help.

1. Stop for a few moments every day to enjoy a favorite time. Mine is a sunset;  yours may be sunrise, or noon, or 3pm, or whenever. Step outside or look out the window and observe the colors and watch the movement as the scene is changing so slightly each moment. Stay for the whole show – until the twilight brings down the curtain, the sun completely rises or you simply need to go back to whatever you were doing. This brief break will give you time to breathe and your mind and body a moment to relax. Continue reading

The Recipe That Will Save You From Drowning In Zucchini

zucchini relish in pot kathy h.We are drowning in zucchini. I find them hiding under leaves I would have sworn I checked the day before but here they sit, as big as baseball bats and crying out to be used. Some is sautéed with diced tomatoes and onions and served over rice or pasta. Some is gently steamed and served as a side dish. Still more is shredded and bagged in two cup measures to be turned into fall breads and winter pancakes. Still, I’m left with a lot of huge green squash.

The solution to this bonanza of squash for me is zucchini relish. It has much to recommend it. First and foremost, it uses a lot of zucchini. I make double batches and the recipe I use calls for 10 cups to start, so I can get rid of a lot of squash with Continue reading

The Perpetual Garden: Enjoy Garlic for Decades

garlic kathy harrison

As I age, I am growing to appreciate the perpetual food plants in my garden. By this I mean the food plants that either set their own seeds (tomatillos and kale are good for this), produce seed that is easy to gather, store and replant (tomatoes and lettuce fall into this category) or produce a tuber or bulb that can be replanted over and over (think potatoes). Garlic produces a bulb that can be harvested in the spring, then dried and replanted as individual cloves in the autumn. I am eating garlic now that was grown from bulbs I was gifted a decade ago. Continue reading

5 Quick Questions With … Amy (Our ‘Canning Queen’)

1. Current Job and how you got it:amy_murray

I am in the Returns Department at Lehman’s Warehouse and Offices. I was hired as a Customer Service Representative, which includes a lot of sitting. My supervisor was aware that all the sitting was challenging for me and talked to me about working in the Returns Dept…so I move a bit more. We Returns people go to the warehouse often to find info on products, check returned packages and problem solve. I love my job…trying to make people happy can be challenging and rewarding as well.

2. Unique factoid about yourself:

American-made pressure canners are available in 5 sizes. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

American-made pressure canners are available in 5 sizes. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

I like to ride my bike to work. For awhile I was sick and couldn’t ride my bike…I found out what a privilege it is to have good health and biking to work has been one of the benefits.

3. Finish this sentence: “I never in a million years thought I would …”

…Be working as a clerk at an auction house! But on Wednesday nights I travel to Mt Eaton and clerk for an Amish run auction…we sell lots and lots of antiques and I see many of the same products we sell at Lehman’s only they are in their “original state” (like 70 years old).

4. Favorite old-time skill and why:

Canning…sometimes I wonder why I work so hard to stuff jars full of beans and applesauce and vegetable soup…then my husband reminds me, “We know what is 

Amy's favorite canning helper is the magnetic lid lifter.

Amy’s favorite canning helper is the magnetic lid lifter. It may be inexpensive but it’s a lifesaver when dealing with hot jars!

in the jar.” I also like being able to supply my children with some great homemade canned vegetable soup.

5. Something from Lehman’s I use all the time (or, something from Lehman’s I just LOVE):

My lemon reamer…my daughter and I like to drink lemon water every morning…it’s so refreshing and a great way to start the day. But I also really like my magnetic lid lifter. For canning it’s the best way to snag lids out of the boiling hot water. No more chasing lids around and around in the pan with my tongs! Who knew something so small could make canning so enjoyable?

Simple Trick Keeps Apples and Pears Fresh In Freezer!

pear-and-apple-1318146-1279x846

Canning apples is wonderful, but sometimes you just have too many apples to get processed before they start to go bad. That’s when the freezer comes in awfully handy!

One of the great things about freezing apples is that you can thaw them for a pie, toss them with sugar and cinnamon for baked apples, or even save them to can when it’s more convenient.

There’s a trick to freezing apples, though. Do it wrong, and they’ll turn a completely unappetizing shade of brown.

In the past, I’ve tried following the recommendation of soaking apples in a bowl with lemon juice added to prevent the slices from turning brown as I processed them. But that never did really work well for me. They always seemed to turn brown no matter what I did. Continue reading