Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lehman's Haul

One of the reasons I drove all the way to Lehman's was to pick out a sauerkraut crock.  It seems that I have a sauerkraut problem. Everywhere I go I buy fresh sauerkraut and my refrigerator is loaded with the stuff.  I figure if I make my own, I can save some money.  I bought this 5L crock and now I am afraid I should have bought a larger one.  I must say, shopping at Lehman's is such a wonderful experience that it becomes a bit overwhelming.  I had shopping anxiety which is really rare for me.  I should have figured out the size I wanted before I set foot in the place.

 I bought a case of these tulip glass canning jars.  Even if you can't visit this place, google them and sign up for their catalog.  They have everything you could possibly want for canning.  My husband sat and read the catalog cover to cover when I came home.  It's a fun read!

 This soap is one of their best sellers. It's a bit stinky when you smell the bar but not when you shower with it. Customers swear by this stuff.

 I'll try anything these days to clean Teddy.

 And the famous Fels-Naptha.  We always had a bar of this on the back of our stationary tub when I was a kid. As I was writing this I wondered where the name came from so I looked it up.  This was originally made by Fels & Co. in 1893.  It was the first soap to include naptha (who knew?) which is a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture.  Doesn't sound too healthy but it also mentions that it was used to treat poison ivy.  So, I guess my brother knew what he was doing when he used this way back then.

 I bought some wonderful flour sack towels.

They have quite the candy selection and I picked up some of these old time candy bars.                                           
 I got a bunch of these nicely shaped jars in different sizes.  This concludes my Lehman's purchases, I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted.  I need to go back at some point and slow myself down

 I did, however, hit the Fiesta Ware outlet while I was there.  I love their seconds store.  I bought these oval bowls.  Notice the color?  Pumpkin!!!  At least that is what I call it.

 Some small prep bowls in PUMPKIN.

 And they had these (new to me) work bowls with stripes around the sides.

I got a bit carried away but won't these be perfect dough bowls.  And they are, after all,  PUMPKIN! And Halloween is only 192 days away.

Monday, April 20, 2015


  'Simple Products for a Simpler Life'. 

 This was our destination.

 What a perfect place for me.  You literally could spend hours here.  I shop fast so I was not there for long but my gosh, what a fascinating place.

 If you can't find it here, I don't know where you can find it.

 This place carries things I haven't seen since I was a child.

 Anything you would want or could imagine for canning is here.

 Fels-Naptha soap!  My brother used to get poison ivy worse than anyone I have ever known and he swore by scrubbing it with Fels-Naptha. That was 50+ years ago.

 Amish baskets.

 Everything for the home.

 I fell in love with these copper pots but oh boy...the prices.  I guess you only ever have to buy one though.

 Water bowls for dogs.

 And stoves.

 Coal stoves.

 Wood stoves.

 Cook Stoves.

 Notice the refrigerators and freezers in this room?  They run on gas so the Amish can use them.

 And in case you need to oil your hog....a hog oiler.  These were used to keep hogs skin subtle and keep bugs away.  I might need one for myself.

It is quite the place and so much fun to visit.

One man's tractor and one man's car.  Tomorrow I will show you what I bought.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Day Trip

 We headed out yesterday early in the morning with a specific destination in mind.

 We followed the river for a while and thus saw many old mills along the way.

 This one is still functioning.

 These wonderful old homes show that at one time, these towns were very prosperous.

 One of my favorite homes, one of the worst possible locations.

 I love the Mail Pouch Tobacco barns.

This place needs a bit of work though they do have a satellite dish attached to the front of the house.  Priorities!
What a great front porch.

 Soon we were in Amish country.

 Quilts for sale.  Click to enlarge any pic.

 Baskets and brooms.

 Can you tell we were in dairy country?

 A new one. It is very cool that Mail Pouch still advertises on these barns.

I never get tired of driving through the countryside.  The whole way we talked about our imaginary farm and what we we grow and which animals we would raise.  Maybe one of these days! Tomorrow I will show you were we ended up.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chili Con Queso (an old recipe)

 The Blog Tech bought himself a jar of con queso recently.  I noticed that not much of it was eaten so I asked him why.  He said it was not very good at all.  This got me thinking about con queso and I remembered the first time I ever had it. It was 1971 and I was living in a small town in New York. I was invited to someone's house for a wine party.  These were the days when cocktails were tucked away and wine was the chic thing to drink.  I wasn't even legal age to drink back then but I was married so those rules went out the window!  The hostess served an exotic appetizer in a fondue pot...chili con queso.  Back in those days, I had never been to a Mexican restaurant.  It was before I had ever traveled to Mexico and there certainly were no Mexican restaurants in the Northeast.  I instantly fell in love with this dip and begged for the recipe.

 So here I was the other morning, reconstructing this recipe from almost a quarter of a decade ago amidst a flourish of memories.  I was even able to find the original recipe card in the long lost hostess's handwriting.  What a trip down memory lane! This is prepared in a double boiler.  Remember, microwaves were only a whisper at that time.  I think I bought one two years later.  Place a cubed block of Velvetta in the top of a double boiler over simmering water.  Add a block of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese.  Ok, I added the Monterrey Jack to the recipe.  It used to call for cheddar because I don't think MJ existed back then either.

 Add 1 diced onion.

Add 1 tablespoon of cumin powder.  Though I am sure this existed back then, it was not in my spice cabinet so this is a new addition too.  Add some diced jalapenos, as many as you like. I also add a couple tablespoons of granulated garlic.

 Add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.

 Add 1 can of diced green chilis.  *A note here, this called for Old El Paso green chilies so I am guessing this recipe originally came from them.

 You could add a can of Rotel here but again, I did not know from Rotel back then so I just added a small can of tomatoes.

Keep the water at a simmer and give it a good stir once in a while.
 Another new addition, I added a bit of chili in adobo to kick it up a bit.  You can make this as mild or spicy as you want.  Mine, made this way, is quite mild.

Don't rush the melting, it should be done gradually.
 It should be smooth and creamy when it is ready.

 Serve with chips or vegetables.  This can be kept in the fridge and just scoop some out when you are ready to use it.  Warm it up in your fancy new microwave machine!