More From: Kitchen & Home Decor

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!

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!

New from Stanley & Berne at Smith & Edwards

4 New Ways to Stay Warm & Keep Food Hot in Tough, Cold Weather

- posted by Rose Marion

With winter just around the corner, we've stocked up on your must-haves for playing & working outside.

Whether your job's out in the elements, or you like to play out in the snow, you'll love these new clothes and food & drink items from rugged brands like Stanley & Berne.

Some Smith & Edwards employees volunteered to help show off the new goods - thanks guys!

New from Stanley

Stanley thermoses are the go-to for keeping coffee, hot chocolate, soup, & chili warm while you're working at a cold job site. We visited the north yard at Smith & Edwards to put them to the test.
logan-and-nicolo-with-stanley-thermoses-and-berne-workwear-820x656
These are tough enough to keep your meals & hot chocolate warm for 2 days. Now that's good for just about any type of traveling or outdoor job. Not to mention they're perfect for Ice Fishing & Elk Camp!

These Stanley insulated stainless steel pint cups have a grip built in. They come with a sipping lid, and keep your iced beverage cold for 4 hours!

These Stanley insulated stainless steel pint cups have a grip built in. They come with a sipping lid, and keep your iced beverage cold for 4 hours!

If you want to keep your cold beverages cold, Stanley thermoses are still the way to go! With growlers and cups, you're covered for summer concerts & relaxing on the porch.

Stanley producst new at Smith & Edwards

New items from Stanley include a 2-gallon Adventure Jug Beverage Dispenser (bottom left), metal lunch box, insulated growlers, and new sizes of the time-tested Stanley thermos!

We carry the old Stanley standards, plus we just got in brand-new styles! Stanley now has a crock pot and a water jug with spout dispenser in 1-gallon & 2-gallon sizes. There's also a new Stanley lunch pail that nests a Stanley bottle or mug with plenty of room for food.

New hot-food items from Stanley

EmmaLee's Stanley 3-quart Adventure Vacuum Crock keeps hot food hot for 12 hours, and cold food cold up to 16 hours!
Cole's holding the Stanley 2-Stage Lid Thermos. Depending on which size thermos you buy, this insulated stainless steel thermos will keep ice water cold for 36-48 hours!

Explore Stanley Thermoses

Brand-new Silicone Dutch Oven liner

Dreamed up in Utah, these genius reusable Dutch oven liners are here at Smith & Edwards! Sized exactly for your 12" or 6-quart Dutch oven, there will be more sizes to come.

Made to withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees, this saves you from hauling that heavy cast iron pan over to the sink or stream to scrape dried dessert off the sides. Just peel it from your Dutch oven, then hand wash or place in dishwasher!

Silicone Dutch oven liner

This blue Dutch oven liner will keep your cast iron clean! Plus: Click here for Dutch oven cookbooks. Click for our popular camo tablecloths!


This new item is COMING SOON to Smith & Edwards.... watch this page for updates!

Looking for more outdoor Cooking must-haves?

Explore Dutch Ovens Explore Cast Iron Cookware & Accessories Shop all Outdoor Cookware

New Name in Workwear: Berne

You can see our clothing buyer, Craig, above. He just added a new line of workwear. Why?

  • Berne's jackets feature pleated action backs and elbows to let you move with ease when you're working. Instead of the whole jacket shifting when you reach or lift, the elbows and back extend to keep you covered.
  • Every men's & women's work jacket & coat features 3 inside-chest pockets
  • All main seams on Berne insulated outerwear feature triple-needle stitching for extra security
  • It's a great product at a good price!

berne-workwear-features-820x461

Berne is also available for ladies! Styled & designed to fit ladies comfortably, you'll find insulated work wear designed for women from the Berne product line. And it's not just the tailoring: choose from traditional or fresh, bold colors like bright blue and dark pink!

Berne is just the latest addition to our huge workwear collection. You'll find Carhartt, CAT, Dickies, Ariat, and Wrangler RIGGS workwear in our store in Ogden, Utah as well as our web store. You'll also find our customers' favorite made-in-USA work gloves, Yellowstone Gloves (read why they're a favorite, here).

Nicolo, Logan, John, & Jerica modeling Berne workwear

Nicolo, Logan, John, & Jerica

Bonus: Much of this gear is also great for Ice Fishing, too!

Shop Workwear Clothing

Warmth from the Inside, Out: Thermals & Base Layers

Skiing, snowboarding, hunting, ice fishing - the key to staying warm in those awesome winter hobbies is to keep a synthetic base layer on! Cotton will actually chill you when you sweat - so choose a good top & bottom baselayer set from Columbia or Under Armour for ladies. For the guys, we have those same brands plus Carhartt base layers available.

You'll find women's base layers for Columbia & Under Armour - perfect for ice fishing!

We carry them for her! You'll find women's base layers for Columbia & Under Armour. They'll keep her warm ice fishing!

Get base layers for him: Carhartt, Columbia, & Under Armour to keep heat in & combat moisture!

Get base layers for him: Carhartt, Columbia, & Under Armour to keep heat in & combat moisture!

Shop Men's thermal clothing Shop Women's thermal clothing & Base layers Explore all clothing

Special thanks!

Thanks to Craig from Clothing, Nicolo from Receiving, Logan from Shoes, John from Lawn & Garden, Cole from Shipping, and Jerica & EmmaLee from the Web Store for modeling these products for us. You make us look good!
Thanks to Smith & Edwards employees for modeling!

Here's the Scoop on Poop

Solve these 4 Embarrassing Bathroom Mistakes!

- posted by Rose Marion

Four embarrassing bathroom mistakes - and how to prevent them!Here's the SCOOP on POOP.

Everybody does it, according to this book. But it doesn't have to make you gag or groan.

Here at Smith & Edwards, we've collected a HUGE pile of accessories for your throne room. We wanted to make a big stink about them because they will make your life BETTER!

Two of these have been featured on the hit show SHARK TANK and they need to be in your bathroom.

Emma Lee from our Housewares department was our brave volunteer to show you 4 embarrassing situations that can happen at ANYONE'S house - even yours! - and what you can do to prevent odor, injury, and discomfort.

You and your guests will be glad you've thought through these scenarios! This is funny sh--.... stuff!!

YOU WERE GONE SO LONG, I THOUGHT YOU FELL IN!

I don't know about you, but that's the WORST phrase to hear after coming back to the table at a restaurant. Come on, there was a line for the restrooms!

Even WORSE than hearing that phrase?

ACTUALLY FALLING IN.

Don't fall in! Let the Illumibowl light your way!

Don't fall in! Let the Illumibowl light your way!

Have you fallen in because someone left the seat up? Tripped over the toilet?

Gotten hurt getting the light on? Been blinded by a brilliant bulb?

UGH!

No longer.

The Illumibowl's an LED toilet light that will SAVE YOUR BUM.

Why we recommend the Illumibowl toilet bowl light (get yours here):

  • Great for all ages of aimers
  • No more blinding bright lights
  • Motion-activated light that will shine a steady color or multiple - your choice
  • Featured on Shark Tank!

Your Illumibowl's waiting for you at Smith & Edwards - in fun LED colors! Illumibowl Features: It fits any toilet, it's motion-activated, and you can set to single color or color-changing!

SO CLOSE... BUT SO FAR AWAY

Bathroom wipes are a comfort - but only if they're within reach!

Keep bathroom wipes at hand!

You'll find a collection of wipe dispensers that fit right on your toilet paper holder, keeping those must-haves at your fingertips.

Bou'De is the classic white dispenser, and for the kiddos, there are pink and blue wipe dispensers (these come with STICKERS!). For the outdoorsman in your life, we've got Bob's Butt Wipes. These are "wipes that work as hard as you do!"

Why we love these hanging flushable wipe dispensers:

  • The polish after the toilet paper
  • Aloe freshness, within reach
  • Sewer & septic tank friendly
  • Refillable!

SQUATTY POTTY

Also a huge hit on Shark Tank, this plastic stool elevates your legs to make the bathroom less of a strain. There's science behind it! The plastic's easy to clean, and we also carry bamboo Squatty Potties for an elevated experience.

Before & after: Squatty PottyWhy we love the Squatty Potty:

  • Perfect height & angle for a smooth movement
  • It helps you poop better!
  • Easily stores against the toilet bowl

SPRAY BEFORE YOU GO - NO ONE WILL KNOW

Before & after: Spray Poo-Pourri and no one will know!Poo-pourri is one of our Housewares manager Vickie's FAVORITE products to sell. She even places it in our employee bathrooms (is she just being nice, or is she trying to say something?)

Poo-pourri comes in a HUGE range of scents, from Juniper Woods (juniper, eucalyptus, and citrus) to Tropical Hibiscus (hibiscus, apricot and citrus), and Trap-A-Crap (cedarwood & citrus).

Here's why Vickie loves selling Trap-a-Crap Poopourri before-you-go toilet spray:

  • Odor trapper for any crapper
  • Spritz in bowl and proceed to stack logs as usual
  • Wipes out odor
  • Eliminates embarrassment

BONUS BATHROOM MUST-HAVE: WOODS WIPES

OK, ok, so we've got everything you need for SERIOUS bathroom problems.

There's one more gem that's great in any outdoorsman's bathroom and is EQUALLY great as a white elephant or gag gift.

For the outdoorsman who has it all: CAMO TOILET PAPER.

When it's time to unload, just stop, drop, and unroll. For the poo-fessional hunter & home enthusiast, comes Hunter's Helper Woods Wipe, the leafy-soft & biodegradable camouflage T-P.  Also available in blazin' orange, and for a limited time, pink camo (for doe 'doo).

Essentials for every bathroom at Smith & Edwards

So there's the scoop on poop for you, from Smith & Edwards. Your business is our business, whether that's in the home, in the cabin, or where the bear goes. We've got your back!

Come on in or check out our online store for all this cr-- I mean, everything you could possibly want for your bathroom and home. We know our stuff!

Summer Stress Relief for Angry Mamas

- posted by Rose Marion

Are you an angry mama?

We get it! If you've spent the summer driving the kiddos to practice, camp, and sleepovers, all while thinking to yourself "Well, when do I get to take a vacation?".... you'll find some great ways to RELAX at Smith & Edwards.

Check them out!

Summer Stress Relief: 5 Fun Distractions

  1. Angry Mama kitchen goodies

    Scrubbing the microwave is one of my least favorite things to do.... maybe it's because I'm 5'2 and the microwave is literally over my head.

    Vickie, our Housewares manager, found this cute & hilarious line of kitchen goodies that no mama should be without.

    Angry Mama jar openers, microwave cleaners, and mats
    Check out the Angry Mama microwave cleaner (just add vinegar & water!), silicone lid opener, and mat.

  2. Adult Coloring Books:

    Did you know? August 2 is Coloring Book Day! Coloring isn't just for kids.

    In Ogden, I've even seen adult coloring book groups meeting at Grounds for Coffee downtown. Get a group of your girl friends together and have a coloring book night.

    Adult Coloring Books at Smith & Edwards - plus 99-cent crayons!

    We've carried kids' coloring books for a long time, and we've added fun floral, geometric, and designer adult-friendly coloring books. Plus check out the 99-cent pack of crayons - I love colored pencils, but you don't have to sharpen crayons!

  3. Lotions & Body Scrubs

    Your hands have done so much: held your babies, changed their diapers, pulled your earrings back from their little fingers, fixed meals, taken care of the dog, vacuumed, loaded load after load in the dishwasher - time to pamper them. Choose some J.R. Watkins (the same brand that makes high-quality spices) or Caldrea lotions & body scrubs to thank your hands for everything they do for you.

    With scents such as Lavender, Grapefruit, Coconut Milk & Honey, Pear Blossom Agave, Pomegranate Acai, and even Peppermint rejuvenating foot lotion, you'll finally start experiencing the relaxation you deserve.

    You'll find Watkins, Caldrea, & more kinds of body scrubs & lotions by aisle 12 in our Housewares department!

    You'll find Watkins, Caldrea, & more soothing body scrubs & lotions by aisle 12 in our Housewares department!

    For those aches that won't go away, we also carry pain relieving creams, sprays, gels, and menthol camphor vapor rubs & mists.

  4. Aromatherapy

    That's right, Aromatherapy is coming to Smith & Edwards! In September we'll be carrying the Airome line of essential oil diffusers.

    Airome Essential Oils Diffuser

    You'll find essential oils at Smith & Edwards soon as well as these ultrasonic essential oil diffusers. These diffusers use ultrasonic vibrations to create a soothing mist of water and essential oils. All the benefits of essential oils plus a wonderful room scent in an elegant LED-lit diffuser.

    In the meantime, check out our deliciously-scented line of McCall's candles.

  5. Take time for yourself!

    No mama should have to feel like she's in it alone! Take time for yourself - you can't give & care for everyone on an empty tank.

    Leave the kids with Grandma while you check out a pickleball league, comedy show, First Friday Art Stroll, yoga class, bike ride, or a craft night with friends.

How to Freeze Beets

How to Freeze Beets

- posted by Rose Marion

Beets are a yummy vegetable packed with nutrients like manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin C, iron, and vitamin B6. They're a delicious Utah summer crop, and you can freeze beets to enjoy them year-round.

Our produce experts Vickie Maughan, our Housewares manager, and Jean from Pettingill's Fruit Farm, teamed up to freeze beets last week and here's how they did it.

You'll need:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Kitchen knife
  • Pot of water
  • Ziploc freezer bags

How to Freeze Beets

  1. Put on your gloves!
  2. Wash the fresh beets and cut of the beet greens, leaving 1" of beet green stems. Don't remove the tails or beet green stems, because if you cut them off, the beets will bleed out and lose their color.
  3. Boil the beets in a pot of water until tender. Then, set aside and let them cool off.

    Boiling the beets with their stems & tails on will keep the rich purple-red color from bleeding out!

    Boiling the beets with their stems & tails on will keep the rich purple-red color from bleeding out!

  4. Peel the beets. You don't need a tool: you can massage the beet skin, tail, & beet green stems and they'll fall off the beet in your fingers.
    Rinsing and peeling the beets
    Whole peeled beets, ready to slice and freeze
  5. Slice, dice, cube, quarter, or halve the beets any way you'd like. We love mandolines for slicing vegetables!
    Slicing peeled beets
    Chopped beets ready to freeze
  6. Put in a freezer Ziploc baggie with as many servings as you'll want.
    Putting fresh cooked beets in freezer bags
    You can freeze them individually like cherries (click here), or if your family loves beets, you can freeze them all together.
    Beets ready to freeze
    Tip: Flatten the bag when you put it in the freezer so they stack nicely and will thaw evenly.

This winter, you can take the bag out to enjoy garden-fresh beets at the peak of their flavor. Microwave or lightly simmer them in a covered pan with butter, when your family's ready to eat!

If you liked this, you will LOVE our other frozen food storage tips! Make sure you check out How to Freeze Cherries and How to Freeze Corn.

How to freeze cherries

How to Freeze Cherries

- posted by Rose Marion

Here in northern Utah we're lucky to get large yields of cherries in late June & early July! While there's no end to what you can do with fresh cherries - cobbler being my favorite! - freezing cherries is a wonderful use for these short-seasoned juicy treats!

Freezing cherries will let you taste that sweetness even in January. Plus, you can use these for your shakes & smoothies.

Vickie, our Housewares manager, and Jean from Pettingill's Fruit Farm, got together to show me how to freeze my own cherries. Take a look!

You'll need:

How to Freeze Cherries

  1. Wash the cherries and remove their stems. Tip: use a colander!
    Washing cherries and removing the stems
  2. Pit the cherries. Jean & Vickie like using the OXO cherry pitter, and collecting the pits in an extra jar or measuring cup.
    Pitting cherries with a cherry pitter - and GLOVES!
    Cherry pits go in an extra jar!
  3. Place the pitted cherries on the cookie sheet.
    Cherries on the cookie sheet, ready to freeze
  4. Secret Tip: Double decker your cherries! Place short drink cups or tupperware on the cookie sheet and place it in the freezer. Then, fill another cookie sheet with cherries and place it on top of the cups to freeze twice as many cherries!
    getting-ready-to-freeze-cherries freezing-cherries-in-layers
  5. Let the cherries freeze overnight.

    Freezing cherries in a chest freezer

    A chest freezer is GREAT for freezing cherries...

  6. The next day, take a spatula and release the bottoms of the cherries from the cookie sheet.
  7. Gather the cherries and place them in freezer Ziploc bags. Quart, gallon - your choice!
    Frozen & bagged cherries

Questions we get asked about Freezing Cherries

Q: Is it messy?

YES! Wear surgical gloves so it doesn't stain your hands, and wear a work shirt.

Cherry pitting stains & gloves

Pitting cherries is messy business! Wear gloves.

Q: Why not freeze them in bags from the get-go?

By freezing them individually first, they don't get stuck to each other. Then after you put them in the bag, they break apart easily.

Q: What can you do with frozen cherries?

Vickie LOVES to make smoothies with frozen cherries. YUM!

Eat these fresh-picked as a treat when the snow's flying in January, just like you were eating it fresh in July!!

Do you have more questions for us? Leave a comment & let us know!

 

If you liked this, you will LOVE our other frozen food storage tips! Make sure you check out How to Freeze Beets and How to Freeze Corn.

Looking for more food preserving, dehydrating, or canning supplies? Click here to see canning supplies on our online store!

How to use a Pickling Crock

How to use a Pickling Crock: the Art & Science

- posted by Rose Marion
Teresa with USU Extension service

Teresa with USU Extension service helped answer some common fermenting & pickling questions for us!

When people think of pickles, large quart jars of olive-colored pickles come to mind. But there's another way to make pickles that takes a lot less heat, a lot more time, and some say, yields a lot tastier results:

Fermenting Pickles and Vegetables

When you make pickles in a traditional pickling crock, in some ways it's much less work: simply prepare your pickles, load them in the crock according to the recipe, and give them a few weeks.

This yields crisp, crunchy, delicious pickles!

And you can make sauerkraut and more fermented dishes the same way.

Our favorite brand of stoneware pickling crocks are the Ohio Stoneware line (click to shop), which is make in the USA in Zanesville, Ohio. And when you order yours from Smith & Edwards, we guarantee they arrive in perfect condition!

We carry lids, weights and pickling crocks in a huge range of sizes, as well as the very-popular 3-gallon fermentation set.

What size Pickling Crock do I need?

The US Department of Agriculture recommends a 1 gallon container for each 5 pounds of fresh vegetables. So a 5-gallon stone crock is an ideal size for fermenting about 25 pounds of fresh cabbage or cucumbers, according to the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning.

Cucumbers and cabbage must be kept 1-2 inches under brine while fermenting, so weights can be instrumental.

Make sure to wash your crock, weights, and lid with hot soapy water, and rinse them well with very hot water, before adding your vegetables.

Ohio Stoneware crocks at Smith & Edwards

You can get a pickling crock for any size project - from one to five gallons - and the weights & lids to match.

Why & How to use a Pickling Crock

We were lucky to have Teresa Hunsaker from the USU Extension Service here at Smith & Edwards this summer to check pressure canner lids, as well as give tips on the fermenting process. Fermenting is only growing in popularity as people return to the traditional method, as well as gain interest in probiotics and the health benefits of fermented foods for the digestive system.

Read on for common fermenting mistakes, how to process your vegetables after fermenting them, and a fermented Dill Pickle Recipe!

Pickling Crock Common Mistakes

One of the common problems Teresa sees has to do with salt: especially people not using enough salt.

Salt is hugely important with shredded vegetables and pickles: otherwise, the brine goes scummy and your lovely batch of pickles or sauerkraut is lost. It's so important to use the right salt ratio!

Use your standard pickling salt: you can use both iodized and noniodized table salt. Noncaking materials added to table salts may make your brine cloudy. USDA advises against flake salt because it varies in density. Reduced-sodium salts may be used in quick pickle recipes; this may give your pickles a slightly different taste than expected. But, reduced-sodium salt is not recommended for fermented pickles.

Layer your vegetables, then salt, then vegetables, then salt: this is especially important with cabbage.

Another mistake Teresa sees is not having your crock at the right temperature. Some people will store their pickles in the basement as they ferment, or in a room that gets too hot.

The temperature should be between 68-74 degrees. That's because if it's too hot, it will process too fast and produce scummy brine. Too cold, and the process will take too long.

The traditional way to make kimchi is actually to bury the fermentation pot in the ground, to keep the temperature constant!

Fermenting is both an art and a science!

How Long does Fermenting Take?

The length of time needed for your batch of pickles or sauerkraut depends on your recipe. It takes about 3 weeks for sauerkraut, and there's a good recipe out there for 21-day pickles.

Follow your recipe exactly, including changing out the brine: with the 21-day pickles, you need to change the brine every few days.

OK, they're done... Now what?

You can can your sauerkraut or pickles after they're done: just process them. For sweet pickles, it just takes 15 minutes; for whole dills, about 25 minutes does the trick at this altitude.
Or, you can waterbath them - check your local recommendations and keep them under 185°.

But you don't HAVE to can them at all. Your crock pickles can hold in the fridge for weeks!

Ohio Stoneware Fermentation Crock

This 3-gallon fermentation crock features a channel for the lid to rest in, and comes with matching weights.

What's the difference between pickling crocks and fermentation crocks?

Either style works well.

The fermentation style is designed for keeping the vegetables down better, and it features vents. You do want some air circulation to temper the temperature.

Dill Pickles Recipe for Pickling Crocks

Use the following quantities for each gallon capacity of your container.

  • 4 lbs of 4-inch pickling cucumbers
  • 2 tbsp dill seed or 4 to 5 heads fresh or dry dill weed
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (5%)
  • 8 cups water and one of more of the following ingredients:
    • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
    • 2 dried red peppers (optional)
    • 2 tsp whole mixed pickling spices (optional)

Procedure: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16 inch slice off blossom end and discard. Leave 1/4-inch of stem attached. Place half of dill and spices on bottom of a clean, suitable container. Add cucumbers, remaining dill, and spices. Dissolve salt in vinegar and water and pour over cucumbers. Add suitable cover and weight. Store where temperature is between 70° and 75° F for about 3 to 4 weeks while fermenting. Temperatures of 55° to 65° F are acceptable, but the fermentation will take 5 to 6 weeks. Avoid temperatures above 80° F, or pickles will become too soft during fermentation. Fermenting pickles cure slowly. Check the container several times a week and promptly remove surface scum or mold. Caution: If the pickles become soft, slimy, or develop a disagreeable odor, discard them. Fully fermented pickles may be stored in the original container for about 4 to 6 months, provided they are refrigerated and surface scum and molds are removed regularly. Canning fully fermented pickles is a better way to store them. To can them, pour the brine into a pan, heat slowly to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes. Filter brine through paper coffee filters to reduce cloudiness, if desired. Fill hot jar with pickles and hot brine, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process as below, or use the low temperature pasteurization treatment.

- recipe from USDA's Complete Guide to Home Canning, Guide 6: Fermented Foods and Pickled Vegetables

Want to learn how to make sauerkraut in a fermentation crock? Enter your email address to get access to a free printable Fermented Sauerkraut recipe!

Explore Pickling Crocks...

Smith & Edwards Pickling Crocks

Over 120 Brand Name Smith and Edwards Spices!

- posted by Rebecca Adams

Smith and Edwards has everything you need, if we can find it. Why not have our own line of affordable spices, seasonings, rubs, herbs, and air dried vegetables?

From the freshest ingredients comes over 120 spices that are must haves for your kitchen.

A few of the Smith and Edwards line up. Oregano, nutmeg, and tomato flakes!

A few of the Smith and Edwards line up. Oregano, nutmeg, and tomato flakes!

 

You'll find new ways to use these spices following our Pinterest board, For Your Kitchen. New recipes are added weekly!

 

Nutmeg Spice and Tomato Flakes

Nutmeg Spice and Tomato Flakes

 

You'll find all the spices by clicking this link here. You'll find more ideas for your kitchen by visiting our kitchen and housewares section on our website!

I love my raised garden! Click to find these vintage ammo boxes and make them your own too!

Easy Valentine Sweetheart Ornament

Easy Valentine's Craft Idea

- posted by Amy Griffiths

Finished Valentine Photo OrnamentFebruary is right around the corner and you know what that means....Valentine's Day! I'm a sucker for Valentine's Day. It's not so much the presents as it is the colors, decorating, and celebrating those I love.

To share my love for the season I'm going to share an easy Valentine's craft idea. It's made with one of my favorite supplies to use.....tulle! It's so versatile, never loses its shape, and the colors are so vibrant! Adults and kids alike will have fun making these. They are fabulous for 4-H craft projects as well as many other youth groups activities.

Back in December I gave you a peek at this tulle project idea, but in honor of those sweet ones in our lives you now get a step-by-step tutorial. This one is designed for Valentines but it's a terrific project anytime of year by just mixing up the colors.

Supplies you need:

Supplies for Valentine Craft Project


To begin this project you need to cut:
Eight 6" pieces of Silver Gray, Flamingo Pink, Pink, and White
Six 6" pieces of Fuchsia
One 12" piece of Fuchsia

Measuring the tulle


Let's get started!

The first thing you'll want to do is make a loop with one of your 6" pieces of tulle. Place it outside the ring and thread your ends over the ring, through the loop, and pull. This knot is also known as a Larks Head Knot.

Making a loop

Pulling Ends Through the Loop

Finished Knot


Continue making knots in the pattern of colors you want to use.

Pattern of Finished Knots


I like to make the hanging loop after I've tied about half of the knots on the ring. You make this by tying both ends in  double knots over the ring. The knot will look different than the others but it blends in beautifully when it's all done.
Tying the Hanging Loop
Finished Hook Loop


Tie more lark head knots in between your double knots, just like you were doing in the beginning. Continue to follow your original color pattern.

Continuing the color pattern


Finish tying until all your tulle is used and your ring is completely covered. They should fit nice and snug so you can no longer see the ring.

Ring is full of knots


Now is the time that I cut out my picture to place in the ornament. It needs to be about 2.5" in diameter. You can fasten the photo to the center of your lid with a scrapbooking adhesive, but I prefer without.

Before I insert my picture I like to pull all the knots forward, towards the top of the ring. Then I insert the picture from the back end, pushing the lid in behind it for a nice backing. Not a big deal, but I like the look better when it's done.

How to Cut Your Picture


You're almost done! Now all you need to do is "fluff" your tulle. For each knot I pull the ends of the tulle in opposite directions til you are happy with the overall look.

Fluffing Your Ornament


Now that's a Valentine to be proud of!

Finished Picture of Valentine Craft Project


Now what?

Now that you've found a source of inspiration for a project of your own, check out our tulle here for a bigger selection of regular and glitter tulle that will make your projects pop with color. Then send us pictures of your finished projects to info@smithandedwards.com so we can show them off on our brag board.

Come play with us on Pinterest! Follow us to get more creative ideas and be sure to pin this image so your friends can get inspired too. Share the love this Valentine's Day!
Valentine's Sweetheart Tulle Ornament

Hugs & Kisses!