More From: Our People

New campfire foods for Norther Utah

Campfire Food for Camping in Utah this Summer

- posted by EmmaLee Woodland

Spring is almost over, and summer is fast approaching. Kids will be out of school and for many of you this means vacations and adventures in the great outdoors. My favorite summer adventure includes sitting around a campsite, eating good food, and hanging out with good friends while roasting things over the campfire. I love it!

When you set out on your next family trip you'll want to make sure that you have the essentials with you. Essentials like sleep gear, a working car, and good food. That last one is my personal favorite. Check out these great products that we carry here at Smith & Edwards! Guaranteed to make your mouth water and allow for a good time.

Make fresh Mayo, Whipped Cream, & Butter while Camping

Some of the newest items we got in are these fancy food prep items by Cookut. This France-based company delivers fun, innovative products that are simple, practical, and cool. Check out their mayonnaise, butter, and whipped cream shakers!

 

Yummy homemade whipped cream in minutes
Homemade mayonnaise with a zing

 

Each shaker is made of a glass jar with specially shaped silicone balls. These balls are shaped specifically to whip up these condiments in minutes. You have great tasting, easy to make condiment from scratch. Follow the recipe printed on the bottle or alter it slightly according to your own tastes.

These shakers are not only great for home use! Their sleek, compact design makes them perfect to use at your next family outing or camp-out. You'll be able to make the perfect amount so none of it goes to waste. You can even use your fresh-made butter on other goodies you roast over the campfire!

Make Sweet Campfire Treats with the DoughyMaker

The Doughy Maker isn't a new item, but it is definitely a product to get excited about. Previously marked at $19.99, we've got the Doughy Maker sitting at 50% off! This little tool is perfect for making delicious cinnamon sugar coated dessert balls, and our Housewares manager Vickie's son Gabriel can tell you how good they are.

Getting started with your DoughyMaker
Adding dough to the Doughy Maker
Step 2 in Doughy-Making
Roasting doughies over the fire
Baked doughies
Adding butter and cinnamon to the doughies

You can even use them at home over a backyard fire pit! Your possibilities for campfire desserts doesn't end at cinnamon coated biscuits. Try your hand at using corn bread dough, cookie dough, and brownie batter. Or, make delicious meatballs and mushroom delights! All it takes is a little bit of imagination.

You'll definitely want to add this must-have item to your camping list.  Not only is is a great product, but it was also developed right here in Northern Utah. This is just the start of the delicious possibilities that Smith & Edwards has to offer.

Making doughies on a fire pit
Doughies taste even better with friends!
DoughyMaker with fresh doughies

Get your DoughyMaker today - only $9.99 for a limited time!

Mountain House = Mountain Man Meals

Many outdoor enthusiasts are familiar with the Mountain House brand of freeze dried meals. For those of you who are new to the game, here is a little explanation for you.

Mountain House freeze dried meals were originally developed for the special forces troops. Freeze dried foods are lighter than traditional MREs and they retain more of their original flavor. Each meal weighs mere ounces and cooks in under 10 minutes. All you need is boiling water!

Awhile ago we asked our customers what some of their favorite flavors are. People were really passionate as they shared their favorite meal. Some of the responses we received included beef stroganoff, sweet and sour pork, and spaghetti. Smith & Edwards' own Paul Wright said he really likes the Italian-style pepper steak. You can check out these an other great flavors by clicking right here.

I had never experienced the Mountain House freeze dried foods until this past year. On a snowshoeing excursion up the North Ogden Divide in Northern Utah I had the sweet and sour pork. It was delicious! I'm definitely looking forward to camping trips this summer so I can have more of these great meals.

We just added new flavors, including Spicy Southwest Breakfast Hash and Chicken Fajita Bowl.

Smith & Edwards also carries the Mountain House freeze dried desserts. The apple crisp is one of our top sellers. We even sell their freeze dried ice cream!

No matter what you are in the mood for Mountain House has a meal for you. Order them online or come in the store today for all of your outdoor needs.

Snap to Vent by Zigguraut

Check It Out: Snap-to-Vent Dryer Connectors

- posted by Jerica Parker

What is the most frustrating thing about installing your dryer? For me, it's all the hoses and attachments, and then, getting them to fit in the laundry room without crushing them.

Even more frustrating is how awkward it is to try to lean over your dryer with the hose clamp and screwdriver to install or clean the ventilation hose.

Luckily for you, and for me, Ziggurat Products came up with a solution to our problem. Snap-to-Vent connectors make this job quick and easy!

How the Snap-to-Vent system Works

When pushing your dryer back against the wall, sometimes the hose can be crushed and this prevents necessary ventilation. Both Snap-to-Vent's products

The best part about Ziggurat Products company is that it's local, right here in Ogden, Utah! Check out the Snap-to-Vent 90-Degree  and Snap-to-Vent Straight  connections on SmithandEdwards.com.

 

If your Clothes Dryer vents straight to the duct: Straight Connector

If your dryer duct and wall duct are relatively close together, you will want the Snap-to-Vent Straight design connector. This is an easy connection for installing your dryer, and if you ever need to take it back apart for maintenance or cleaning. Simply pre-connect Snap-to-Vent Straight before you go behind your dryer for installation. Place the snap connector over dryer hose with tines on the inside of the hose. Take the straight and place it so that the tines push against the hose holding the connector tight to the dryer hose. Take the seal ring and either put it around the duct or in the straight and press into the duct until it creates an air tight seal. Easy enough!

If your Clothes Dryer hose has to vent on another wall, use the 90° Elbow

The Snap-to-Vent 90-degree Elbow connection helps to avoid smashing your hose by connecting the hose at a 90-degree angle to your dryer. It comes with easy instructions: Pre-assemble the hose to the snap connector and the snap connector into the 90-degree elbow and snap together. Take the seal ring and pre install onto dryer or wall duct and press the 90 elbow into the dryer duct or wall duct. And voila! The elbow connector can push right up against the wall and still keep your hose protected and working how it should.

 

Having a clean and clear vent reduces the risk of fires and improves the efficiency of your dryer. With no tools necessary and less time and confusion during installation, how could you not love Snap-to-Vent!

New hiking boots for Utah trails are at Smith & Edwards

New Boots for Hiking the Bonneville Shoreline

- posted by Rose Marion

This spring, I went up to the Rainbow Gardens parking lot, and instead of taking Birdsong Trail like usual, my boyfriend and I hiked up to the Bonneville Shoreline trail!

It was breathtaking getting to see behind the water pipe that goes over 12th street as it heads up to Ogden Canyon, and we got to meet some fun dogs and watch as people made their way further up the mountains above us.


If you're looking to hike or camp in the Uintas or Northern Utah this spring & summer, make sure & check out our HUGE selection of energy bars & meals, hiking packs, hydration packs, and more backpacking & camping gear.


For me, I've never once regretted the money I spent on my pair of Merrell hiking shoes. My women's Moab mid hiking boots have helped me see Utah better than I ever imagined. I splurged for the Goretex water protection and it's served me well. I've hiked through pouring rain, as well as photographed some amazing river scenes that would have otherwise left me with wet feet!

Speaking of water - we have many styles of water hikers in-stock for guys & gals.

Steve Smith, our Shoes department manager, has brought in brand-new hiking boots from Merrell for men & women, as well as Under Armour, Teva, and our local favorite Browning.

If you haven't seen the valley from the Bonneville Shoreline yet, make this the year you make it up there! Whether your favorite views are from the North Ogden Divide, the 12th Street & Ogden Canyon area, or somewhere else like the Uintas (my goal!) along the Wasatch Front.... Let us outfit you with the shoes that will get you there.

Now, all of these boots are going to have great gripping soles and some degree of water resistance. Come in to Smith & Edwards off I-15 at exit 351 and try them on for yourself.

These are 6 men's boots and 1 ladies' pair in this feature, but there are MANY more styles from even more brands including Hi-Tec, Columbia, and more waiting for you here at Smith & Edwards!

New Hiking Boots for 2017 Utah Hikes

Merrell Women's Zeolite Una

  • Combination suede & mesh uppers
  • Sticky rubber lugged outsole for all-terrane traction
  • Signature Merrell Air Gushion in the heel for shock absorption

Pictured color: Boulder/Celestial

Teva Men's Riva eVent

  • Vibram outsole for traction
  • eVent waterproof membrane for keeping your feet dry while letting sweat escape - no clammy feet!
  • Perfect for day hikes or multi-day mountain adventures
  • Great fit with excellent breathability
Pictured color: Charred (brown)

Merrell Men's Yokota

  • Athletic look, performs for your outdoor needs
  • Great for long days on the trail
  • Forefoot support from TrailProtect pad and M-Select GRIP outsole
  • Light and nimble

Browning Men's Glenwood Trail

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Heel & toe overlay for protection against rocks and trail debris
  • Welded overlay panels for added durability
  • Lugged sole pattern for reliable grip in many conditions
  • Comes with 2 pairs of laces, orange & brown!

Pictured color: A-TACS AU Camo / Mulch

UnderArmour Defiance

UnderArmour Defiance Mid

  • UA Storm keeps out moisture but lets your feet breathe
  • Lightweight EVA midsole for cushioning & support
  • High-traction rubber lug outsole for traction on all kinds of terrain

Pictured color: Saddle / Cannon / Texas Orange

Men's Merrell Onvoyer Hiking Boots

Merrell Men's Onvoyer Mid Boot

  • Waterproof
  • Special makeup - this color is a limited edition you'll find only at Smith & Edwards and select other retailers!
  • Durable hiking boots feature abrasion-resistant heel & toe overlays
  • Waterproof suede & mesh uppers
  • Sticky rubber outsole for reliable traction

Color: Taupe gray

Merrell Men's Everbound Mid Boot

  • GORE-TEX waterproof membrane protects you from rivers & rain
  • Full grain and sued leather upper
  • Exceptional breathability
  • Stable without being stiff
  • Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock & adds stability
  • M Select FRESH organic odor control
  • Vibram TC5+ outsole

Pictured color: Dark leather brown

Come in to Smith & Edwards to Get your Gear!

You'll find everything you need here to have a great hike, whether it's an after-work hike before sunset or a multiple-day trip in the mountains!

Come in and explore, and also click here to see our most popular boots & shoes, online.

Get a paddleboard for summer fun!

Paddleboard with your Family for an EPIC Summer!

- posted by Rose Marion

Merrill at our Sporting Goods counter has been helping us put our Wake the Bay sale together.

He's our paddleboard expert. He told us stand-up paddleboarding was a BIG deal... he's right!!
Merrill's daughter paddleboarding

We love carrying Connelly and Jobe for all types of SUPs, knee boards, tubes, and skis. Click here to see many of our favorite Connelly boards online.

During our Wake the Bay sale, you can get a $100 Smith & Edwards Gift Card with your Connelly Paddleboard purchase!
(see ad for details)

You can even FISH on your paddleboard!
Merrill fishing from his paddleboard

Merrill and his family have been to Willard Bay, Causey Reservoir, Tony's Grove, and the Great Salt Lake.

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After seeing these pictures from his family's trips, our only question is.... When can WE come along?

Check out Huk Gear fishing shirts at Smith & Edwards!

Our New Huk Fishing Shirts Help you Fish Longer

- posted by Chris Jacobson

That’s pronounced "Hook" Gear. I know, it doesn’t really seem to be spelled that way, but that is how you pronounce it! I promise!

Clothing is not usually the top of my checklist when I am getting ready for a fishing trip! In fact, most of the time my wife gives me a funny look and asks, "Are you really going out looking like that?"

To which my normal response was something along the lines of "Well, the fish don't care what I look like!"

It's an argument that I would never win, honestly!

However, that all changed when I had our clothing buyer, Craig, show me the new Huk Gear line.

The first thing I loved about the line was all the awesome colors that they come in. They have partnered with Kryptek and offer their camo patterns in most of the great colors. My favorite is the blue Pontus camo, but their new white & gray Raid camo is a close second!

Guys & gals Huk fishing shirts Ladies' Huk fishing shirts

The technology in Huk Gear shirts is awesome! Top on the list for me is the breathability and the wicking away of sweat and moisture. That means that I can stay cool longer and fish more!

I don't have to worry about fish guts ruining my Huk shirt. These shirts are anti-microbial, have stain release technology, and keep me protected from the sun. All of this adds up to what all of us as fisherman want: to be able to fish longer and not succumb the elements.

We just got in ladies' and mens' tees and tank tops. You won’t regret buying these shirts. I love wearing mine around even when I am not fishing. They are just comfy to wear and they don't look half bad, either!

Huk Fishing shirts for guys & gals Huk Fishing Shirt for guys - back
Click here to see our Men's Huk Gear fishing shirts. Plus, click here for our ladies' Huk Gear - or just come in our store by Willard Bay!

Thanks Cambria, Maddie, & Kelsey from our Clothing department and Curtis from our Sporting Goods department for helping me show off this great gear.

Reviewing hammocks by Grand Trunk and Hammock air pads by Klymit

Hanging Out with Grand Trunk and Enjoying the Klymit

- posted by EmmaLee Woodland

Today, we are going to talk about one of my favorite things… Camping! We have two camping essentials that are going to knock your socks off and leave you wishing you could "head for the hills" right now.

Sleep... What's That?

In a recent conversation with Mike Vause, sporting goods manager, he reminded me that sleep is an important aspect that is constantly overlooked when camping, hiking, or otherwise enjoying the outdoors. Mike said, "You may have to [fill in the blank]." You may have to get to the next ridge. You may have to land that next catch. You may have to bag that elk that has eluded you the last two days. You may have to stop and look at the scenery...

The Missouri River near Great Falls, Montana.

A view near Great Falls, MT from a hammock.

Whatever "you may have to" do, you'll need all the energy possible in order to obtain that goal. So, you'll want to make sure that you are getting the best night's sleep while in the great outdoors. Let's take a minute to look at my favorite bed, the hammock.

Click Here to shop our great selection of sleeping pads and air mattresses.

Time to Hang Out and Chill Out

Hammocks are a recent trend that everyone, especially the younger generation, is going crazy about. We carry a variety of brands and sizes, but my favorite brand that we carry is Grand Trunk. Made out of the same nylon material as parachutes, these hammocks are strong and durable. They come in a few different colors and patterns, so we are sure to have one that fits your style.

EmmaLee and her friend sitting in a hammock.

Hammocking under a bridge.

My favorite thing about hammocks is their versatility. Whether you're going on a day trip, a 50-mile hike, a 3-day hunting weekend, or just a trip to your backyard, you always have a lightweight, portable resting place that takes minutes to set up and enjoy. The Grand Trunk double hammock weighs only 2 lbs and can hold up to 400 lbs, so it is easy to enjoy with a friend or by yourself. Plus, at 10' 6" long by 6' 6" wide, there is no way you could go wrong.

Shop our growing selection of hammocks right here, or give us a call so see what all we have to offer!

EmmaLee showing off the Grand Trunk batik hammock.

EmmaLee pictured with her hammock, the Grand Trunk Batik Hammock.

Recently I set a goal to go camping with nothing but my Grand Trunk hammock, a tarp, an emergency blanket, and my sleeping bag for shelter. I still have yet to do so and my goal changed slightly when Mike Vause showed me an evolutionary sleeping pad designed specifically for your hammock. Wow! This evolutionary sleeping pad is none other than the Klymit Hammock V inflatable sleeping pad.

What's New for You

Like all Klymit air pads the Hammock V is made with a V-chamber design that limits air movement and provides excellent insulation. With an R-value of 1.6, it is perfect for the coming season of camping and warmer weather. The two valve system allows you to inflate the Hammock V quickly, using only 15-25 breaths, without the worry of deflating as you go.

EmmaLee holding the Hammock V air pad.

Hammock V air pad with EmmaLee, who is 5' 7" tall.

One of my favorite features of this air pad is the grip zones located on both sides of the pad. Your sleeping pad will be held in place in your hammock and you won't have to worry about your sleeping bag slipping and sliding around either. You can check out our other Klymit sleeping pads here.

One of the non-slip grip zones.

One of the three (3) silicone, non-slip grip zones.

These coming months are my favorite because I get to head outdoors and do some camping and exploring. I am excited for my night's sleep to allow me to climb to the top of the next mountain and take time to enjoy the beautiful vistas in comfort. Be sure to get a tarp and rope to keep the rain off of you. Shop online or in our store for tarps and rope.

Come On In and Check Us Out

Buy your very own Grand Trunk Hammock and Klymit Hammock V Sleeping Pad at Smith and Edwards! We've got the gear you need for all of your adventures and our helpful and fun staff will be there for you every step of the way. Let us answer your questions and help you find exactly what you need.

Come on in or give us a call today!

Check out the new line of Hangman Products at Smith & Edwards!

Fresh New Line: Hangman Products

- posted by EmmaLee Woodland

Smith and Edwards is continuously growing and expanding in our business, and that includes working with new manufacturers and carrying new brands.

Recently, we have added Hangman® Products to our store! There are a few reasons for YOU to be as excited about these products as we are.

Hangman Products make your Walls Happy!

Hangman Products are perfect for hanging pictures and other wall art. Hangman also carries products to hang your electronic devices, such as the Wallsaver Speaker Hanging Kit and No Stud TV Hanger.

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Hangman TV Mount

Hangman TV Mount Kit

We know that you'll love these Hangman products! With a motto of "Hanging solutions for everyday needs," they are perfect for organized people. They can even help the unorganized person become organized, too!
Hangman wall organizer

Where to get American Hangman Products

Hangman Products is an American hardware company that makes most of their products right here in the USA. They are made with quality and care for their customers.

You'll find Hangman Products on aisle 40 by the Rope Room at Smith & Edwards off I-15 off exit 351 in Ogden, Utah, as well as right here on our website.

Check out Hangman Products, now at Smith & Edwards!

Check out Hangman on Instagram and their Pinterest boards for even more inspiration!

Women's Jeans Guide from Smith & Edwards

All About Jeans: Women's Jeans Guide

- posted by EmmaLee Woodland

If you've ever been shopping for women's jeans then you understand exactly how frustrating it can be. Either they fit your waist and hips and you feel like you're going to split the leg seams with every step, or they fit your thighs and hips and gap at the back of the waistband.

There is just no winning, or so it would appear. What you need to do is identify what you like and steer clear of things that don't match up with that.

As discussed in our Men's Jeans Guide, the way your jeans fit is about more than just comfort. It's also about looking good, by finding what is most flattering for your body shape, and feeling better. Hopefully, the three aspects we discuss today, rise, leg opening, and fit, will help you in your quest for the mythical "perfect pair of jeans."

Women's Jeans: RISE

A jean's rise is determined by how far the waistband of the jeans comes up the waist. The greater the distance is between the crotch and the waistband the higher the rise.

Women's jeans rises from highest to lowest.

Jeans rise graphic via Joy of Clothes

Each brand varies from one another, but there are typically three main rises. You can approximate the rise of a jean by measuring from the crotch seam to the top of the front waistband.

Natural-Rise Ladies' Jeans

Natural rise jeans, also called high-rise or performance rise, sit right at the waist. This rise is more than 10 1/2" and help your legs look longer. These women's jeans are perfect for those competing in rodeos, or for hard-working ladies that do a lot of bending in a day. Take a look at the variety of ladies' natural rise jeans, like Wrangler 18MWZ or Cinch Jenna, we have here at Smith & Edwards:

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Mid-Rise Ladies' Jeans

Mid-rise jeans sit just below the waist or about an inch below the navel. This popular rise is neither too tall nor too short, measuring between 9" and 11". Most body types look flattering in this rise!

From Wrangler's Cash and Q-Baby to Cinch Ada, Silver Aiko to Rock Revival, you'll find something you love.

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Low-Rise Ladies' Jeans

Low-rise jeans sit a few inches below the navel. The rise is between 7 - 9-1/2" and are most flattering on slender figures.

Keep in mind that "muffin tops" and "love handles" are often accentuated by this fit style. Check out our Wrangler Sadie  and Cinch Bailey styles, and our selection of Rock Revival jeans.

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You'll find Women's Jeans on our website, and even more styles in our Ogden, Utah store.

Ladies' Jeans: LEG OPENING

In women's jeans, there are so many different leg openings and it can get real confusing.

You may ask quite frequently, "When is the best time to wear ______________ jeans?" This leg opening section of my women's jeans guide should help you out a lot!

Women's Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans are tight around your calf and are perfect to wear with fashion and western boots, most flats, and heels. They taper from the knee down and have an ultra low profile. This makes them perfect for showing off those red high heels or your favorite western kicks.

Take a look at our Cruel Girl Abby jeans. Cruel Girl and Cinch are sister companies and you can find multiple styles sold right here in our Ogden location.

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Women's Straight-Leg Jeans

Straight leg jeans have the next lowest profile and are extremely versatile. The bottom half of the pant leg goes straight down from the knee, so they are a little looser around your calf than skinny jeans. You'll love these Silver Suki styles and the original Wrangler 14MWZ cowboy cut jeans in white and blue.

Ladies' straight leg jeans tuck into boots fairly well and can be worn with most footwear. If you like the cuffed look, these jeans are perfect for getting an even cuff with no puckering.

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Women's Bootcut Jeans

Bootcut jeans are narrower in the knee than at the leg opening, so you can put the pant-leg over your boots. A lot of your western, riding, or work jeans are boot cut. You can also wear this style with your favorite pair of tennis shoes. They don't cuff as well as your skinny or straight-leg jeans.

Wrangler's Mae, Cash, and Classic Fit jeans are as hardworking and fashion forward as you are. Also check out the different Ariat styles we carry.

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Women's Wide Leg & Flare Leg Jeans

Wide leg and flare leg jeans have a very distinct flare. The hem of the pant-leg is wider than the knee. "Trouser cut" is one specific style of wide leg pants. We know you'll love this Cruel Girl Jayley style with a trouser cut.

Cruel Denim Jayley Wide Leg women's jeans

Women's Jeans: FIT

A jean's fit is determined by how tightly it fits through your waist, hips, and thighs. Fit styles include slim, regular, relaxed, and loose fit.

Depending on the manufacturer of the jeans you're looking at, you may see different terms or style names on the jean fit spectrum. This section will give you a base knowledge, but you'll always want to check with the manufacturer to determine the most likely fit of the jeans you want to buy.

Ladies' Slim Fit Jeans

Slim fit jeans hug your curves tightly and are narrow from the waist through the hips and thighs. Brands such as Rock Revival, Miss Me, and Grace in L.A. tend to have a slimmer fit. Take a look at these and other great brands in slim fit.

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Ladies' Regular Fit Jeans

Regular fit jeans hug your curves but offer a better range of movement than slim fit. They are a little looser between the waist, hips, and thighs. This common fit is flattering and comfortable.

We carry this fit in brands such as Silver, Ariat, and Wrangler styles 09MWZ, WRC10, and WRQ20.

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Ladies' Relaxed Fit Jeans

Relaxed fit jeans fit loosely through the waist, hip, and thigh. They are more comfortable than other fits because of the extra room and freedom of movement.

Cinch's Ada and Bailey styles are the perfect jeans for that girl who needs to move! We also have a variety of Wranglers and other brands with this same great fit.

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Ladies' Loose Fit Jeans

Loose fit jeans have even more room through the hip and thigh. This fit is baggy through the waist, hip and thigh. They allow for better movement and added comfort. Many of your boyfriend-style jeans would be considered loose-fit jeans.

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Tips for Caring for your New Jeans

Now that we have gone over all of the basics about a jean's fit then you can be set free, right? Unfortunately, it's not quite that easy. There are just a few final things to keep in mind when buying and caring for jeans.

First, just find what you are comfortable in. The next time you go shopping, take your favorite pair of jeans with you. This will help you find jeans similar in size, style, fit, and color to aid you in your shopping experience.

Next, learn how to care for your jeans. To ensure that jeans will fit the same way every time you wear them you need to wash them in cold water and avoid the dryer. Hot water and heated drying will cause your jeans to shrink and your jeans will be unable to recover.

One last thing to keep in mind is getting your jeans starched at the dry cleaner's every once in a while. This will keep your jeans feeling and looking like new. It also helps to prolong the life of your jeans.

Give us a Call or Come on Over!

Whether you're heading to the rodeo, out for a night on the town with your closest girlfriends, or just looking for more everyday outfits, we are happy to help. Come in and see how we can help you today in Smith & Edwards' Clothing department.

The women of Smith & Edwards' clothing department are happy to help you!

We've got tons of experience and a great crew of ladies here that know our jeans in and out and will help you find something that looks good. They are eager to offer advice while you shop and help you look your best.

We'll help you find the perfect pair of jeans for your shape and style. You'll get the best individual attention that you need to look good and feel great. Plus, we love to help you find matching shirts and blouses for the perfect outfit!

New Stayhold Cargo Organizers at Smith & Edwards

Fresh new must-have: StayHold Trunk Organizers

- posted by Rose Marion

With the New Year, people are thinking about organizing & redecorating! (We're doing a LOT that here at the store, too!)

Here's something people have learned the hard way: paint cans like to TIP OVER in the trunk. That's bad news!

StayHold trunk organizers use VELCRO to stick to the carpet on the bottom of your trunk & brace things in place - paint cans, bleach, groceries, plants, and more.
Stayhold Velcro Trunk Organizers at Smith & Edwards
Lightweight but tough, these plastic organizers can also hold your hunting, fishing, & emergency gear in place.

These car & truck cargo organizers are selling very well, so check them out on aisle 44 by the Rope Room at Smith & Edwards! You can also click here to see them on our Web Store.

Pickling & Fermenting Crocks Frequently Asked Questions

Fermentation and Pickling Crocks Questions & Answers

- posted by EmmaLee Woodland

At some point in your life, you've probably had fresh, homemade pickles - maybe even homemade sauerkraut or kimchi. You might even have a few seasons of pickling and fermenting under your belt. Yet, I would venture to bet that, no matter where you are in your journey, you have a few questions about pickling crocks.

We've carried made-in-Ohio, USA stoneware pickling crocks for several years (click to see them online!) here at Smith & Edwards, and here are some questions our customers have asked us over the decades. We've found answers from experts including Ohio Stoneware and Utah State University's Extension Office.

Three gallon pickling crock set: crock, lid, and weights

Have a pickling crock question you don't see answered here? Leave a comment below and we'll track down an answer for you!

Pickling Crock Questions about Getting Started

What do I need to get started?

You need a pickling crock with a set of weights and a lid. Whether you buy a pickling or fermentation crock is up to you. There are many brands to choose from, but our favorite here at Smith and Edwards is the Ohio Stoneware crocks.

Once you have your basic kit assembled, all you need is a few of your favorite recipes. Then you're ready to start making delicious, fresh pickles.

You can also try pickling other vegetables, or even try your hand at fermenting!

Find out more tips about getting started with pickling crocks, and a FREE recipe, here.

Are crock lids and weights necessary, or are there "pickling hacks"?

These items are necessary. Pickling weights hold your produce under the brine. Pickling crock lids keep excess air & contaminants from reaching your pickles.

However, you can use some shortcuts. Instead of weights, you could use a plate weighted down with bricks. Also, if you have a plate large enough, you could use that as a lid.

Crock weights are designed & sized specifically for your individual crock, so I recommend them - but you can get by without them.

Pickling & Fermentation crock lids and weights

How do I care for my pickling crock?

It's quite simple, really. Your crock needs only to be washed with soap and water. The goal is to get rid of anything that would cause bacteria to form in your crock. So a little bit of hot water and soap will do just the trick. Here are some more questions we get about cleaning pickling crocks.

Should I wash my crock by hand, or in the dishwasher?

Most pickling crocks, like the Ohio Stoneware crocks, have been treated with a special glaze that has been specially formulated to withstand the power of your dishwasher. But - due to their sheer size and majesty, your pickling crocks might not fit in your dishwasher!

If your 1-gallon or 2-gallon pickling crock fits, you can rest easy knowing that you won't hurt your crock by putting it in the dishwasher. But handwashing is a good bet.

What type of scrubber is best?

Most scrubbers will work great with your crock. You're not likely to ruin the glaze. Still, Ohio Stoneware recommends that you don't use anything too abrasive. Steer clear of metal scrubbing tools.

Don't use these abrasive cleaners on your ceramic pickling crock!

The traditional, little green scrubbing pads that you can find in most cleaning aisles (or on our center bargain tables here at Smith and Edwards) are the perfect tool for doing the job. Any other plastic-bristled scrubbers or foam sponges, even our favorite Scrub Daddy scrubbers, will work great on your pickling crocks!

Use the Scrub Daddy or any foam, sponge, or plastic-bristle scrubbers on your pickling crocks

Is it safe to pour scalding-hot water in my crock?

Your pickling crock has been coated with some kind of glaze and was heated, or fired, in a kiln. Temperatures inside of an industrial kiln, which is like a giant oven, can reach up to 2500°F. So, a little bit of scalding hot water isn't going to hurt your crock.

Something I would suggest would be to avoid pouring boiling hot water into your crock when the crock is extremely cold.

Have you ever seen what happens to glass when it is super-heated and then cooled too quickly? You get really cool cracks in the glass making it look like crystal! That's not something that you want to have happen to your pickling crock.

Can I still use a cracked crock? How about if the glaze is cracked?

If the crack is deep enough that the clay of the crock is exposed, it is recommended that you invest in a new crock. It would be impossible to guarantee that an older crock was made with lead-free clay and health and safety should be your number one concern when pickling and fermenting.

However, if you notice that your glaze is cracked but the clay is not exposed, you should be okay to continue using your crock. Be sure and check with the manufacturer if you have questions about the composition of your crock.

Chips in the rim aren't an issue at all.

More Pickling Crock Questions

Does the color of the interior of my crock have any special meaning?

Pickling crocks have been manufactured in this fashion for many years now. That's just the way it is! Your crock's color won't affect your produce in any way.

This one gallon pickling crock has a natural interior, while the three gallon crock has a chocolate-brown interior

This one gallon pickling crock has a natural interior, while the three gallon crock has a chocolate-brown interior

 

Will salt seep through the sides of my crock?

Salt should not seep through your crock. If this is happening, the crock's glaze or walls have been damaged in some way, and it is now time to invest in a new crock.

Also, the denser the clay and more vitrified a crock is, will affect this undesirable occurrence.

Why is the rim of my crock unglazed?

There needs to be a seam between two different colors. This is known as a parting seam. The manufacturer removes the glaze from the rim, because it would just look unattractive. That is, again, how crocks are traditionally made.

What is the difference between pickling crocks and fermentation crocks?

Trick question! These crocks are used for the same things, and really should be named differently. You can pickle and ferment in either an open-top (pickling) crock or a water-seal (fermentation) crock. Let's take a quick look at the Ohio Stoneware crocks.

Three gallon pickling crock vs Three gallon fermentation crock

Here's a side-by-side comparison: on the left is an open-top crock, and on the right, a water-seal crock. They're commonly called a pickling crock (L) and a fermentation crock (R).

Open-top crocks made by Ohio Stoneware are sturdier and denser. This is because of the form that the crocks are made from. Ohio Stoneware presses these crocks in a metal mold with a hydraulic press.

The water-seal crock is a poured form, so it isn't as dense. Also, the handles aren't a functional difference - they are just decorative.

Whether you buy an open-top crock or a water-seal fermentation crock is really just dependent on your personal preferences.

Here's a look at the "moat" in a fermentation crock, or water seal crock.Why does this crock have a "moat" around the opening?

Europeans have traditionally used water-seal crocks in fermenting. Americans typically ferment in open-top crocks. There is generally more attention needed for the water-seal crocks, because you have to make sure that the moat stays full of water.

If the water in the moat evaporates, oxygen and other particles will be able to get into your brine solution. This can cause problems, including slimy and soft pickles, cloudy brine, bloom, or other bacteria growth.

You must also continuously check for bloom, which is the bubbles on top of the weights. You must skim the bloom off the brine every 2-3 days to ensure that your pickles turn out perfectly.

Questions about the Fermentation Process

How do I know when my pickles & fermented foods are ready?

Follow your recipe, or even do some taste-testing. Really, that's OK! Taste-testing helps you know how much longer to ferment or pickle.

Generally, the longer you pickle something, the stronger the taste. Just keep an eye on things.

Can I ever re-use my brine? What about with pickled eggs?

No, you cannot. Even with pickled eggs! It is always best to start at the beginning for the best-tasting and safest pickles.

What types of salt should I use? Are there different salts for different applications?

Use a pickling or canning salt. These salts are cleaner and have no additives, which can affect the quality of your brine and produce. In all of your pickling and canning, use a salt made specifically for these purposes.
Everything you need for making pickles at home - you can find it all at Smith & Edwards!

Do I have to be exact on the amount of salt and produce?

Yes. You need to go-to a good source for the ratio. Follow your recipe.

What temperature do I need to keep my brine?

The ideal temperature range for pickling is between 68° F and 74° F. If you are not in that range, you can run into lots of problems:

If your solution is too hot, this can cause soft and slimy pickles. If your climate is fairly warm, then you need to pay more attention to your pickles. You may need to change out the brine more frequently and there is more "pickle-sitting" involved.

If your solution is too cold, it takes a longer time for the fermentation process to take place. This can mean cloudiness in your brine and a poorer-quality pickle.
You'll be good to go with these pickling crock tips!

teresa-hunsaker-usu-extension

What's next?

The best step is to either start or continue pickling!

Whether you’re a seasoned pickling veteran, or just starting out, we are sure you'll have more questions. Just remember the best resources you have in your pickling adventures.

You can contact your manufacturer for any questions that you have regarding workmanship, materials, and care. Any additional questions you have about pickling and fermenting can be answered by contacting your local Extension office. The Utah State University Extension office is always happy to answer any questions you have about pickling and fermenting and many other types of food preservation and safety as well.

Call the local expert on all things canning and fermenting, Teresa Hunsaker with the USU Extension Service, at 801-399-8200. Or email her at teresa.hunsaker (at) usu.edu.

Remember to stay safe and informed for the best pickles and cleanest crocks in town. Happy pickling!