More School Cafeterias Going Gluten Free

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

Legare Farms Fall Harvest Dinner

Helen Legare invited me to participate in Legare Farms Fall Harvest Dinner. I’ll be using Legare Farms beef to create “Slather Burger Sliders.” This great event is one that’s close to my heart. Helen and I both are John’s Island girls who care deeply about teaching children about where their food comes from. Her Foundation will be using the proceeds from this dinner to do just that.

According to Helen’s information, “Legare Farms Education Foundation is celebrating the fall harvest with a “Meet the Farmer” social followed by dinner on November 6, 2011. The social will start at 4:00 pm followed by dinner at 5:00 pm.”

Farmers participating include:

Chef Fred Nueville from The Fat Hen
Chef Micah Garrison from the Middleton Place Restaurant
Chef Craig Deihl from Cypress Restaurant
Chef Jacques Larson from Wild Olive Restaurant
Chef John Ondo from Lana Restaurant
Chef Craig and Stephanie Bente from Main Street Restaurant
Chef Nathan Thurston from The Ocean Room at Kiawah
Sarah O’kelley from the Glass Onion
Chef Nico Romo from Fish Restaurant
Chef Robin Rhea from Slather Brand Foods
Chef Drew Hedlund from Fleet Restaurant
Chef Andy Harris from Funky Little Kitchen Restaurant

“This dinner will consist of dishes prepared from Legare Farms’ beef, pork and fall harvest vegetables. The dishes will be prepared by some of Charleston’s finest chefs. The proceeds from this event will go to Legare Farms Education Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit initiative whose mission is to help raise awareness and educate Lowcountry communities and school children on the agricultural history and heritage of this region and the need to maintain this heritage for future generations.”

“Legare Farms was established in 1725 and has been continuously operated as a working family farm. Linda, Helen, and Thomas Legare are the ninth generation of Legares to farm on Johns Island.”

“The event will be held at Legare Farms picnic area under a large tent. Dress is casual. Local beer and wine will be available, but guests can bring a favorite wine to have with dinner.”

“Tickets for the dinner may be purchased by calling Legare Farms at 843-559-0788. The cost of the event is $60.00 per person. For more information contact Legare Farms at 843-559-0788.”

Map Directions from Google Maps

Nifty ways of getting ready for school lunch packing


Back to Packing School Lunch

Here in South Carolina, many schools return to classes in August. In Charleston County that’s August 16. Hard to believe that summer’s over for school children and parents in this part of the world. Many years I, too, was preparing to return to the classroom. I taught special education classes to children, later going on to be a Master Teacher instructing students at The College of Charleston. However, nowadays, my focus is on Slather Brand Foods and my twin passion, promoting healthful eating for families.

If you’re like me, you’d rather your kids eat lunches that help them stay healthy. Planning your children’s lunches on a weekly scheduling and shopping for all that you need at one time will help you stay on track. Also, making sure you have the right lunch kit or lunch box or bag can help keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.

Superheros Superseded by Japan

Back when I was going to school, everyone wanted a metal lunchbox with their favorite superhero or Barbie stenciled on the exterior. A great idea that has crossed the Pacific is the use of a Bento Box to contain packed lunches. These nested boxes present food like a gift (which is what it is—a gift of health for your children.) Today there are insulated bags, Thermos bowls, and frozen gel packs to help keep lunches to the appropriate temperature. With all the handy ways to pack lunch, you’re only limited by your creativity!

If your child who likes soup, you can pack their insulated bowl with some of your homemade soup. OR you can portion out leftovers from your yummy homemade dinner and heat that up and pack. If your kids will only eat sandwiches, roast a hen on Sunday then slice from it to build freshly roasted chicken sandwiches. You can also experiment with wonderfully flavored hummus and crispy veggies in a sandwich. And there are other nut butters other than peanut.

I love that Disney has some great lunch ideas. The most intriguing to me is the one for Sesame Peanut Noodles (Providing your child doesn’t have allergies to peanuts and gluten!) And the Chicken Ravioli Soup will have your kids licking their Thermoses.

7 Tips to Help You Pack Healthful Lunches for Your Kids

  1. Shop for a snazzy lunch box for your kids
  2. Get freezable gel packs to keep food cold
  3. Get Thermos lunch bowls to keep hot food hot
  4. Review interesting lunch ideas across the web
  5. Make a weekly shopping list for school lunches
  6. Plan each day’s lunch and stick to it
  7. Don’t cave in to demands for too many processed foods

Superman Lunchbox Photo credit: flickr user hyku

More School Cafeterias Going Gluten Free

Selected Shelf TalkerTen years ago, most of us never heard of celiac disease or gluten, unless we were bread bakers. Today, going gluten free is one of the most highly talked about nutritional trends.

Some people choose to be gluten free, however there are those for whom being gluten free is imperative: people with celiac disease.

At Slather Brand Foods we advocate improved nutrition in our schools’ lunchrooms and cafeterias.

In Portland, Maine, one school is doing just that.

“Scarborough is among the Maine school districts that are adjusting their cafeteria options for a growing number of students who don’t eat gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, barley and triticale.

In addition to foods that obviously are made with those grains, gluten can be in condiments, luncheon meats and vitamins that contain additives like thickeners and binding agents.” Read the article.

We say, “Bravo,” to the Scarborough school district.