Monday, May 20, 2019

Backyard Summer Picnic Ideas

Summer is our favorite time to get creative with old fashioned glass milk bottles. They're timeless glasses that inspire feelings of rustic yester-year and minimalistic simplicity at the same time. We're excited to share these moments from the graduation picnic we hosted last weekend with our milk bottles filled with sweet iced lemonade. Keep reading for which milk bottles to pick and our old fashioned southern lemonade recipe passed down from my great-grandma.

The sunny warm weather is calling us outside. Whether you're gardening, fishing, hiking, mowing the lawn, picking up rocks, sitting on the porch, or drinking water, this is the weather our bodies were waiting for all winter. A wonderful time of year to spend time outside with friends and family, especially under a big shade tree. With beautiful weather comes also the season of events and celebrations.

What better way to celebrate a Bachelor's degree than with a delicious summer picnic?!

The Menu:

  • sweet and spicy strawberry jalapeno salsa & chips
  • relish tray with olives and pickles
  • vegetable pasta salad
  • oil and vinegar cucumber salad
  • meatballs with beef from the family farm
  • chocolate cake
  • blueberry pie
For relish trays set up away from home and running water just put all the things in glass jars. This avoids dirty hands plating the food and allows for speedy clean-up when it's time to put the lids back on.

Basic picnic supplies :

  • apple crates and/or small tables for serving food
  • fabric as table cloths
  • ground blankets and quits
  • plates, serving spoons, forks,
  • two half-gallon milk bottles and lids
  • 12-ounce glass milk bottles for beverage glasses
  • small chalkboard for greetings
  • coolers and picnic baskets for carrying your supplies anywhere (or out your back door)
  • toothpicks
  • simple decorations 

We believe backyard picnics for your graduate or Independence Day cookouts are better with glass milk jars.
In 2014 we used our half pint glass milk bottle in a July 4th party. 
Of course, you can fill milk bottle glasses with any drink. However, the preferred summer milk bottle beverage is lemonade. Just the word lemonade brings us back to childhood tree climbing lazy days of summer. If you're thirsty you better believe there's well water or a big glass bottle of ice cold lemonade.

Old Fashioned Southern Lemonade 

Makes: 1 Gallon
Serves: 9-12 people


  • 2 bags of lemons (about 16)
  • 2-3 cups of sugar
  • 14 cups of water
  1. Peel and juice lemons (a juicer makes this very easy). Sit lemon juice aside. 
  2. In a small pot over medium heat add sugar and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat just so the sugar dissolves. 
  3. Add lemon juice, sugar water, and the remaining cold water to your glass bottle. 
  4. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve

To decide how many bottles to buy - have a head count for your picnic ready. Tip: order the same style of milk bottles for all the drinking glasses. Our half gallon glass milk bottles are easy to pour and make handy pitchers for serving picnic beverages. Use the half gallon milk bottle carrier to carry half-gallons two at a time.

Available at Red Hill General Store in eight different shapes and sizes you'll find the perfect size milk jar for little 3-year-old Johnny and thirsty Aunt Claire who talks a lot. Order any milk bottle with a lid for storing or on-the-go adventures. Order online or come by our store to collect yours today.

Already have some of our milk bottles? Write a review at the bottom of our Glass Milk Bottle page.  We love getting your feedback and stories. Please share.

Happy summer picnic-ing!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

We Were Featured! Magazine Articles and Newspaper Clippings From our Past

Red Hill General Store has been talked about and featured many times over the years. These clippings and magazines have been piled into a folder; almost forgotten about. Since spring cleaning season is upon us it's time to share them as we make room for new newsworthy content! 

Our magazine storage bucket in HGTV magazine: 

This sunshine yellow bucket is perfect for spring and also featured in HGTV magazine. 

See our products in the Bridal Guide magazine - twice!


The bright 4-gallon colorful bucket featured above comes in 16 bold colors you'll love organizing with.

Click here for the 5-quart galvanized bucket that holds up to 6 drinks. Follow the link for these cute white mini tin buckets filled with candy above. 

Finally in Real Simple Weddings: 

The classic hot-dipped galvanized bucket featured below is our 1.25-quart size. This pail is also available in a slightly-larger 2-quart side for holding even more flowers on your special day.

Since we're sharing some of our features - below are some news articles from our history. We're still one of the biggest pressure cooker part suppliers in the USA:

Back when the hardware restaurant was in Hillsville we helped make it successful -  

Here's an article from when we opened our doors to the public in our brick and mortar retail store.

Red Hill Becomes Hillsville’s Only Local Hardware Store

Hillsville’s only local hardware store announced in early 2019 they would no longer be selling hardware. After this news and with thoughtful consideration, Red Hill General Store decided to purchase most of their hardware stock, the key making machine, and added many new items to existing merchandise.

Red Hill believes independent hardware stores in small towns are critical to a healthy local economy. When it comes to hardware stores, service and selection still mean something.

With loads of new hardware inventory, your neighbors at Red Hill General Store hope you will think of us the next time you need things for projects and repairs.

New store hours are starting Monday April 22, 2019:
Monday - Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m  to 5 p.m.

New items on the shelf:
Plumbing repair
Pipe and fittings: pex, cpvc, black plastic
Pipe clamps
Screws - deck and drywall
Spray paint
Painting supplies
Air filters
Drill bits
Saw blades
Stove elements
Stove pipe
Cabbage Knives
And plenty more

We look forward to serving you. Hope to see you soon.

Red Hill General Store
1035 Sylvatus Hwy
Hillsville, VA 24343

No matter what the job, we hope you’ll be glad to be at Red Hill General Store.

The go-to place in the Blue Ridge for finding what you need and getting things done. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How to Ferment Vegetables

We like fermentation. The cooler temperatures have us thinking about apple cider, cozy blankets — and fermentation. Staying warm inside on a winter day is just right for making crocks of healthy lacto-fermented pickles like kimchi and sauerkraut, or brewing your own beer, kombucha, or even vinegar.

Fermented vegetables begin with lacto-fermentation, a method of food preservation that also enhance the vegetable's nutrition. The living bacteria or probiotics make the minerals in cultured foods more readily available to the body. These bacteria also create enzymes and vitamins that aid in digestion.

Almost any vegetable can be fermented, and fermenting farm-fresh produce is a great way to provide good nutrition year-round! Ferment one vegetable alone or create a mix of many different kinds, along with herbs and spices, for a great variety of cultured foods. Below is what you'll need to get started...

Choose your equipment

While fermenting vegetables does not require a lot of specialized equipment, using the right equipment can make all the difference when getting started. From a good chopping knife to the right fermentation vessel, you'll want to pick equipment to fit your needs. 

One of our favorite fermentation vessels is a regular glass mason jar paired with a fermentation bung and airlock. The one-way airlock vent ensures quality fermentation and prevents spoilage. These are cost effective and a great way to start fermenting in your own kitchen. Airlocks and bungs for regular mouth mason jars can be purchased here for less than $3.

If you don't have your own mason jar to retrofit or if you want some recipes and everything you need in one box - buy the mason jar fermentation kit with everything you need. The kit below is $29.99 and includes an airtight lid, rubber bug, airlock, recipes, and ceramic weights. 

I've made plenty of ferments with and without the airlock lid. When I do not use an airlock lid the likelihood of edge mold and contamination increase. With no airlock, there is much more babysitting the ferment to ensure it stays submerged and contaminate free on the day-to-day. I confess I've ruined plenty of ferments without using an airlock lid and it is always sad. With an airlock lid, you can place your ferment inside the jar and forget about it for a week or two until your ready to serve and eat the bubbly nutritious creation. When you use an airlock lid your hard work is gratifying. 

For large fermentation batches, you'll want a crock. The German fermentation crock below is available in four sizes (5, 10, 15 and 20 liters) and includes ceramic weights and a water-sealed airlock lid. 

This five-gallon fermenting bucket is food grade and comes with a 1/4" airlock grommet. The gamma-seal lid features an airtight rubber gasket. The airlock grommet is ready to accept an s-shaped bubble airlock or a three-piece airlock. These white 5-gallon fermenting buckets are easy to clean, durable and versatile. Great for making wine, mead or beer.

You may want to make your own fermentation setup with rubber bungs to fit any fermentation vessel (we carry eight sizes). Consider secondary beer fermentation or make kombucha in a glass growler. Don't forget swing-top bottles for storage!

Prepare vegetables and brine

There are many several ways to prepare the vegetables for fermenting: grating, shredding, chopping, slicing, or leaving whole. This is a personal choice and it's always great to follow a recipe! Here are three of our very easy favorite recipes:

Weigh vegetables down

After veggies have been chopped and put into the fermentation vessel they must be kept under the brine with weights. This creates an anaerobic environment during the fermentation period. After a week or two, your ferment will be ready to eat.

Cold storage

When your ferment has done its thing, it is time to move it to cold storage. Moving your ferment to the fridge drastically slows the active fermentation and digestion process so you can enjoy your creation for the next month or so. Remove the airlock lid and bung and seal with a regular airtight lid. 

All of our fermentation airlock supplies are available online or in our Hillsville, Virginia store. Happy DIY probiotic fermenting! What are your fermenting tips? Do you use an airlock lid? What is your favorite thing to ferment? Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bucket Decorating Ideas

Decorating with buckets is fun. It is a way to be creative while contributing to a more organized space. There are no real rules when it comes to decorating with buckets. For a simple look, use a few of the same bucket to hold small items. Try incorporating different sizes of buckets for a complementary contrast.

We worked with local lifestyle photographer Kristen Horton to capture some of our customer's favorite buckets in use. She does an incredible job bringing everyday metal buckets to life in photographs. Happy decoration!

French Bucket With Flowers

We have five styles of french buckets: galvanized, chalkboard, vintage, white and copper. These buckets make beautiful decorations for homes, events, and weddings. Here are more 

Creative Towel Storage

This three-gallon silver tub is timeless and seriously handy. It's used for space saving towel storage, for beverages and even makes great displays.

Wedding Shower Centerpiece 

Small buckets can be used for accents and small item storage and display. A small white bucket with straws at a wedding shower really brings the party table together. These small party favor pails are available in five colors. Check them out here.

Small Kitchen Tub

We love mintubs! This is a classic tin tub is used to display handsoap and a plant over the kitchen sink. Your guests will enjoy this classic small metal tub inspired by infant baths of yesteryear.

Decorative Metal Buckets

Got eggs? We have the buckets to put them in. Whether it is eggs, flowers, gifts, seeds, stones or just plain junk - this metal wine tub or these white tubs make it all look great. If it is junk you're organizing the white buckets add some bright cheerfulness. Use a metal finish for a rustic look.

Small Metal Bucket Organizing

You can't go wrong with small metal buckets! Use them for your coloring and craft supplies. Make them into herb planters. Find your size here.

For more bucket decorating ideas checkout this awesome post! Much gratitude to Kristen for sharing her creative photo skills with us to make this possible.


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