Declare Independence

Slather Brand Foods…Defined and Redefined

052 (2) Mother and Daughter Grammie and Carolyn Grace

Extreme joy comes in small bundles

On Monday, October 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm Ayla Blair Barnes came into the world. Although she had been anticipated for many months nothing would be as significant as the moment that she actually emerged from her mother’s womb and became a joy that would touch my heart in the most profound way. I had been fortunate to experience this extreme joy only 16 months earlier when Carolyn Grace entered the world. The birth of these two wonderfully magnificent little human beings not only brought me the most ultimate joy I could ever hope to experience but more importantly gave me a renewed perspective.

What directs my life

In the fall of 2010 and after many long and agonizing months I had reached a point in my life when I was willing to risk all the money I had saved and ever material possession I owned in pursuit of Passion. I left the comfort and security of Corporate America and founded Slather Brand Foods. I never really set out to become a food manufacturer but I knew I wanted to be involved in the food industry. When I looked at my life and the things that brought me the most joy I was compelled to do what I loved most. There was nothing I loved more than cooking and entertaining my family and friends with my culinary delights.

Slatherin’ Sauce originates at home

Slather Brand Slatherin’ Sauce was just one of the many creations that I prepared to delight everyone’s palate. It was also a condiment that could be replicated and had such a diverse variety of uses on everything from chocolate to wild game that it was marketable. It had become a staple in my own home and in those that I loved. I can’t tell you how many gallons of Slatherin’ Sauce were prepared in my kitchen and lovingly dispersed among family and friends for many years.

The vision of Slather Brand Foods was to take my love of cooking which I had been inspired by my mother and grandmother and share it beyond my own loved ones. I wanted to share with other families a product that had been at the core of everything I believed in…healthy food, amazing taste, and family and friends. I was simply driven by Passion and have done everything I can to make a dream become a reality.

Lessons learned

Entrepreneurship is NOT for the faint of heart…. not in a good economy and certainly not in a bad economy. However, an entrepreneur is someone who takes risks. An entrepreneur is someone who has calculated the risks and is willing to pursue dreams and chance leaving the shore in pursuit of new lands. With that being said, there have been many times when I have scratched my head and asked myself, “What were you thinking?”

On Monday, October 1st at 4:54 pm I knew what I was thinking. I was thinking that I must be the luckiest woman on earth. I had the honor and privilege of witnessing the birth of my first and second granddaughter. I realized that no matter what I had achieved or had not achieved to this point in my life that I am blessed. I am proud of the fact that I have risked it all and pursued Passion… for it is a gift to my beloved granddaughters, Carolyn Grace and Ayla Blair. Slather Brand Foods is a symbol of their heritage no matter our future. It is a testament to being true to a dream and never being afraid to take risks for the things in life that have meaning and bring value to those you love. Of all the things that are important in my life there is only one thing that I really care about…I want to be remembered for being a great ancestor.

Gratitude for life, family, and your loyalty

From the deepest depths of my heart and soul I want to take this opportunity to thank any and everyone who has supported Slather Brand Foods in any capacity over the last two years. From my precious family to yours… We are deeply humbled and want you to know how grateful we truly are for having this awesome experience. We invite you to become a part of our growing family and hope that we will become a part of yours. We sincerely hope that our Brand is not just a staple in your home but a symbol of family and all the things that are truly important in life. Thank you for sharing our joy!!!

Viesturs Timrots Baked Chicken Wings

viesturs timrots-Robin Rhea

Photo: Left to right- Viesturs Timrots, Chef Robin Rhea, Anita Timrots

Our fans’ loyalty amazes and humbles us

One of our most loyal fans is Viesturs Timrots. He’s shared his Slatherin’ Sauce Recipe for hot dogs and now he shares his recipe for Baked Chicken Wings. Viesturs, it was wonderful to meet you and your lovely wife at The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition where we exhibited as part of the South Carolina Certified group.

All of your fans are invited to share your recipes with us, who knows you too may end up here on the Slatherin’ Sauce blog!

Viesturs writes, “Here’s my recipe for Baked Chicken Wings using Spicy Recipe Slatherin’ Sauce,”

1/2 cup Slatherin’ Sauce, Spicy Recipe
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup white wine (I prefer Chardonnay)
1 1/2 – 2 lbs cut up chicken wings (including tips – they’re tasty, but you have to work at them, like crabs)

Whisk the Spicy, Worcestershire, and wine together until completely mixed and smooth

Place wings in a gallon Ziploc bag, pour in whisked sauce

Knead wings and sauce until all wings are fully covered, then seal bag after removing as much air as possible

Marinate up to 24 hours, turning the bag every 4 – 6 hours (or as possible)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F

Place wings, skin side down, on a cooking rack that fits over a large aluminum foil covered cookie sheet

Bake wings, middle oven rack, for 20 minutes

Remove from oven and flip wings over

Bake an additional 20 minutes

While wings are baking, pour the remaining marinade from the Ziploc bag into a small pan

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let it slow boil for about 5 or so minutes, until it thickens, stirring regularly

When wings are done, place them in a seal-able container and pour on the boiled marinade*

Seal the container and shake it like you mean it

Open, and ENJOY!

*Robin’s note: Do not use marinade that has not been boiled for at least 5 minutes.

Slathered with Love

Vintage Valentine

Remember when you were a kid how exciting it was to get Valentines? Valentine’s Day was truly a celebration. First your teacher had you bring in an old shoe box with a lid that you proudly decorated with doilies, red and pink construction paper hearts, and anything else creative little minds could think of to make their box special. You shopped for the themed box Valentine collection that best suited you and had the messages you wanted to send. All boxes had a Valentine for the teacher and a few extra special messages for people you were particularly fond of. In my case that would have been Douglas Schaffer, my first grade sweetheart. Those Levis with the rolled up leg, the plaid shirt, and the little Dab-o–Do in the his hair made me weak in the knees.

The night before the big day you would get out the classmate list that your teacher had run off on the Ditto machine and you carefully selected who was to get which Valentine. Gosh, I loved the smell of that purple ink!!!! You wanted to make sure you didn’t leave anyone out but you also wanted to make sure everyone got the right message. One message in particular that I remember said “ Meet me on the 98” or maybe it was the 99. In any event, as a kid I was not sure what was going to happen on the 98 but it sounded exhilarating to me.

Then there was the encoding of your name in numbers that corresponded to the letters of the alphabet on the back of the Valentine. I was 18-15-2-9-14. Valentine’s Day certainly was filled with anticipation as we looked forward to the room-mothers bringing in treats and the opportunity to play Postmaster.

I think what made it even more exciting was that the teacher would not let us open our boxes until we got home. There the decoding process began. And when we realized that the kid that always had his finger up his nose gave us a mushy valentine and we screamed “YUCK” no one would be embarrassed by our reaction. I guess that was why our teacher did that. She was trying to teach of about sensitivity to others.

Reminiscing about Valentine’s Day sure is fun. So as this Valentine’s Day draws near we hope you take a minute to think about all the ways you have celebrated over the years and find some exciting ways to celebrate this year with your loved ones.

Slather Brand Foods has developed some wonderful recipes like Slathered Dark Chocolate Truffles to help you celebrate. Our wish for you is that no matter how you decide to celebrate that you will “Slather and Be Slathered with Love”.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Photo credit: flickr user karen horton

Slathered in D.C.-Viesturs Timrots Slathered Hot Dog Recipe

We’re lucky to have faithful and super loyal fans! Viesturs Timrots who lives in the greaterWashington,D.C.area has shared his love of Slatherin’ Sauce with us from time to time. We received this e-mailed note from Viesturs the other day and with his permission, we’re sharing it with you all.

“Hello again!

Well, when I ran out of your spicy recipe sauce, I was grudgingly set to drive an hour north of Baltimore to get some more. Then, a miracle happened…I was in a place called Rodman’s in Rockville, MD (they carry millions of different food and drink items from around the world at three locations) wandering the aisles looking for Christmas food gifts from Eastern Europe for my parents (canned fish of various varieties, jams, jellies, crackers and breads) when, while walking through the sauce and spices section, I saw a familiar blue label and a familiar red label! Holy moly…there was your regular sauce and your spicy recipe sauce begging me to buy it. And I did…only 20 minutes from my house. Sweet!”

“At one point in my ravings a while back, I had mentioned a hot dog recipe. I really haven’t been able to improve on it (but the dog I use is pretty much local to the DC / Baltimore area:

Viesturs Timrots’ Slathered Hot Dog

  1. Steak roll
  2. Spicy half-smoke sausage (also available non-spicy)
  3. Gulden’s Spicy Brown mustard
  4. Chopped onion
  5. Spicy Recipe Slatherin’ Sauce

Place sausage on roll; apply balance of ingredients to taste. (Of course, this combination or milder would work on any type of dog and roll variety, but this is my preference—spicy.)”

“By the way, the sauce is fabulous with my marinated and grilled London broil (and stiff competition to Pickapeppah original flavor sauce.)

Just thought I’d drop you and line and make a nuisance of myself. 🙂

Merry Christmas and a truly wonderful New Year to you and yours!”

Viesturs, we wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season as well! Thank you so much for your loyalty!

Thanksgiving 2011

Gratitude and Thankfulness Always

Thanksgiving is just two days away and as usual I am scrambling to get it all done in time. It has been such a busy year I considered not cooking for my usual number of 20 or so friends and family. However, when I took a deep breath and a minute to remember what Thanksgiving really means to me, there was just no way I was not going to celebrate this holiday in traditional style. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It gives me a chance to express my love and gratitude for those who grace my life and to be thankful for all the blessing that have been granted me.

Thankful in all things

This past May my beautiful granddaughter, Carolyn Grace, was born. She is named after my beloved sister who I lost in December of 2007. Every day that I look at her beautiful smile I am reminded that no matter what challenges I may be facing there is pure joy in my world..and I am grateful. Even though she will be too young to understand the day I will know that I have provided her with a solid family tradition that hopefully one day she will carry on with her family.

This morning as part of my daily ritual I read Mastin Kipp’s Daily Love Blog and I would like to share an excerpt from that with you.

Mastin writes,

If we look close enough, we can see that we can receive massive benefit from all the circumstances in our lives. We can get extreme value from the tough times, the break downs, break ups and seeming disappointments. When we are grateful, even for the challenges, we make the huge leap from lack and blame based thoughts and take a step into abundance and empowerment. When we are grateful for it all, we have truly become rich. Then, whatever happens, we stay in our power, we stay grateful and miracles begin to be a daily occurrence. They have been there the whole time – they’ve just been waiting to be seen by us.

This is our opportunity – to be grateful for the whole journey. Not just the highs – no, but the lows, too. For each are teachers and come filled with a blessing if we have the miracle mindset to see them.”

This thought really resounded with me. While each day I acknowledge the things I am thankful for, I recognized that I never say I am thankful for the challenges and opportunities for growth. Instead I focus on only the positive things. Today and going forward I am going to embrace all things in life to be grateful for, especially the challenges.

My wish for you

This Thanksgiving and everyday my wish for you is that you have an abundance of things in your life to be grateful for and that you feel blessed for waking up and greeting the day. Finally, I would like to share with you the Cherokee Prayer Blessing, my favorite prayer that I have made a tradition of reciting to my loved ones and now to you my treasured readers and friends.

May the Warm Winds of Heaven
Blow softly upon your house
May the Great Spirit Bless all who enter there
May your Moccasins
Make happy tracks,
in many snows.
and may the Rainbow
Always touch your shoulder.

Happy Thanksgiving

*Photo credit: flickr user Satoru Kikuchi

Grilled Fish

Grilled Salmon

Grilling fish doesn’t have to be difficult!

Fish on the grill is a favorite of many. And that includes me!

Getting fresh fish for the grill is easy when you live on the coast or have a fisherman in your family. However, there are alternatives that you can resort to if you live inland and have no local fish market.

Many of the large discount warehouse stores have flash-frozen fish in vacuum-sealed single portions. These work great for times when you want fresh fish and can’t find it locally. Just thaw them in a basin of cold water, and you’ve got fresh fish for dinner.

So now that you have fresh fish and you want to grill it, how can you do so successfully?

10 Tips For Great Grilled Fish

  1. Have the right tools. Get a good digital grilling thermometer so you don’t have to rely on sight or touch to tell you when the fish is ready. Also, get good long marinate brush, handled tongs and spatula to insure safety when reaching across the grill. That also goes for silicon heat-proof mitts to handle everything with.
  2. Type of fish. Select firm fleshed fish, such as salmon, grouper, snapper, cod, or halibut. These fish can be obtained as either thick fillets or “steaks.” They hold together well when grilling. Tilapia or flounder, while good, are generally very thin, so they cook too quickly and require additional support, such as a special grilling tray to support them. You can grill them, just not as easily. And if you choose to grill a whole fish, get a fish basket. Clean the interior cavity, and “stuff” with either onions, or spinach, or citrus fruits (lemons and limes and or oranges work well, especially with a grilling glaze that balances and compliments the tangy citrus.)
  3. Fish conduct heat quickly. Because fish fillets or whole fish have a high concentration of water, they conduct heat quickly. The rule thumb used to be when cooking whole fish to allow 10 minutes per inch of thickness, or 8 minutes when it’s a fillet.
  4. Prepare the fish. It’s good brush all sides of the fish with a bit of olive oil, so it won’t stick to the grill.
  5. Know the herbs and spices that work well on the fish you’ve selected. I like to use Slatherin’ Sauce as a glaze for my fish. But, there are other glazes or marinades that will work well, depending on your favorite flavor profile. Try rubbing your fish with Olive Oil, then sprinkle with a bit of granulated garlic, and Kosher salt and freshly grated pepper. That’s a good basic prep that will work well for just about any fish. You can also use basil or oregano both on the fillets or inside the fish’s cavity. Dill is a classic favorite that pairs well with lemon and butter.
  6. Preheat your grill. Whether charcoal or gas grill, preheating will help your fish sear quickly, locking in the natural flavors and moisture. After the grill is hot, use a wire brush to clean the grill grate, then use a long handled silicon brush to brush the grate with canola oil.
  7. Sear first. Put the fish on the grill and sear the first side, then flip and sear on the other side.
  8. Cook steadily. Turn down the heat if this is a gas grill, or if charcoal, move to a cooler spot on the grill, allowing the fish to continue cooking to your preferred doneness.
  9. Remove from grill. Let the fish ‘rest’ a bit before serving. Not to cool, but to allow the juices to move back to the center of the fish.
  10. Serve on warm plates. Nothing is worse than placing hot fish on a cold plate. Heat your plates in a slightly warm oven. Or have them in a basin of hot water, removing and drying them just prior to plating the fish.

Photo credit: flickr user woodleywonderworks

Burger Round Up

Slather Burger For Blog Post

Our Original Slather Burger pictured above

Burgers are just about as American as one can get. They have been a grill favorite for over 185 years. Yes, that’s right! Delmonico’s was the first restaurant to offer a Hamburger on their menu. Although the elements of that burger included ground or shredded beef, it was not until the 1880s in Texas that the hamburger as we know it was created and then popularized at the 1904 Worlds Fair. Read more hamburger history.

Hamburgers are hot

In the past three years, hamburgers have become of the most beloved foods to upscale. Today’s hamburgers are being made with grass-fed beef, or bison. Turkey burgers continue to be popular too. And there are tuna burgers and veggie burgers that are much beloved.

According to The Today Show,

“Americans just can’t get enough of the hamburger. At least that’s the conclusion of a new study from Technomic, which found that at least half of the people polled ate a hamburger every week, an increase from the 38 percent who did two years ago.

Which burgers are making the biggest leaps? That would be veggie and hormone-and-antibiotic-free burgers, which have gotten more popular as people worry more about where their beef is coming from.  Fast food companies are certainly trying to cash in on people’s newfound love of gourmet burgers.”

Anne Brumbaugh, one of our fans created this heart-healthy recipe for Turkey Burgers that we’d like to share with you.

Turkey Burgers

2 small apples, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 huge stalk celery, finely chopped
1-2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
20 oz ground turkey breast (99% fat free)
8 oz Slatherin’ Sauce, divided (6 and 2 oz.)
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté apple, onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil until very soft and cooked through.  Cool a bit.  Add to turkey with 6 oz of the Slatherin’ Sauce and more salt and pepper.  Form into 7 burgers.  (Why 7?  No clue — it just worked out that way. *We love Anne’s sassy sense of humor!*)  Grill 5 minutes each side on medium/high heat, or until cooked through.  Brush remaining Slatherin Sauce on each side.

175 calories. *Ish.  I had one on a whole wheat roll with thin slice lower fat provolone cheese for a total of 350 calories.  My spouse had 2 with double cheese and was very happy.  Eschew the cheese and go for light bun and save like 75 calories.  Fantasize about adding mayo but don’t to stay heart healthy.

Thanks Anne for allowing us to share your creative Turkey Burger recipe.

We invite all y’all (plural for y’all) to post pics of your favorite burger on our Facebook page.

Happy Fourth of July!

I’m so happy to live here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina! Our state has an interesting history because we were one of the original 13 Colonies in America.

Today, we’ll all be celebrating our forefathers’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. I hope each of you, no matter what your political affiliation, will take a moment with your friends and family members and read aloud the text of the Declaration and realize exactly how blessed we are today to have had such wise people helping to found our nation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Then get out there and celebrate, sing the national anthem and hug your family, swim in the ocean, sail your boat, help a neighbor, and embody the truth of our freedom in your everyday actions!

Photo credit: Declaration, Wikipedia; Fireworks flickr user anthonycramp

Grilling Safety

Grill Hot Charcoal

Grilling outside on your gas or charcoal grill is an American rite. It is also the source of many injuries and even death. Now I don’t want to scare you all, but I do want you to have a safe Fourth of July, so I’ve put together these grilling safety tips.

According to the National Fire Protection Association’s report “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment,” by Marty Ahrens, November 2010

  • In 2004-2008, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 7,700 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including an average of 3,200 structure fires and 4,500 outside fires. These 7,700 fires caused an annual average of 13 civilian deaths (to the nearest ten), 120 civilian injuries and $70 million in direct property damage.
  • More than one-quarter (29%) of the home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, 28% started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and 7% started in the kitchen.
  • Flammable or combustible gas or liquid was the item first ignited in half of home outdoor grill fires. In 49% of the home outdoor fires in which grills were involved, 56% of the outside gas grills, and 39% of gas grill structure fires, the fire started when a flammable or combustible gas or liquid caught fire.

According to the Tennessee state Fire Marshall half of grill fires begin on an exterior balcony or unenclosed porch. Their office recommends following these safety guidelines:

  • Keep the grill away from siding, desk railings, overhanging eaves and branches.
  • Keep the grill away from lawn games, foot traffic and play areas.
  • Create a 3-foot “safe zone” to keep children and pets away.
  • Use grilling tools with long handles; keep several handy.
  • Periodically remove grease buildup in trays to prevent ignition.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended.
  • Keep combustibles away from heat in case gas grills leak.
  • Check the hoses for leaks before first use each year. (Applying a light soap and water solution will reveal any escaping propane.) If there are leaks, turn off the valve and have the grill serviced by a professional.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • Gas cylinders should have an overfill protection device (identified with a triangle-shaped hand wheel).
  • Follow the manufacturers’ instructions on how to set up the grill and maintain it.
  • Never store propane gas cylinders in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.
  • When using charcoal grills, avoid using starter fluid – use a chimney starter instead. This is a cylindrical metal tube that uses paper to start the coals. Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid.

Oh, and do  download this PDF on Grilling Safety.

Photo credit: flickr user Ashley R. Good

Declare Independence

Digitel CHS Farmers Mkt Photo

This year on the Fourth of July declare your independence from mass market products and focus on fresh foods, condiments, and produce that are made or grown in your town, your state and your region.

Embrace and use products that are made with integrity. Like Slatherin’ Sauce or locally raised grass fed beef or butcher made hot dogs.

Right now in the United States we are at a tipping point. It is increasingly easy to find foods made without gluten or without preservatives. Just three years ago, it was hard to find chicken that was raised “free range” and without hormones in a regular supermarket. However, now, with the support of organizations such as Lowcountry Local First, your area farmer’s market and your supermarket have a wide range of products available each week. Websites like Local Harvest can help you find local products from local farms in your area.

And supermarkets have changed drastically. In our state, stores like Piggly Wiggly Carolina have been leading for the last several years with produce from within our state and explicitly marking it to reflect the source farm. And even WalMart announced last year that they sell local produce.

So remember as you light your grill, is that chicken local?

Photo credit: flickr user Charleston’s TheDigitel