AN INTERVIEW WITH CO-FOUNDERS JONATHAN KING AND JIM STOTT
We sat down with Stonewall Kitchen for the scoop on their history, philosophy, and how to make the best blueberry pancakes (Hint: New Englanders might have an advantage).
Rue La La: Tell us how the journey started.
Jonathan: We had an abundance of produce from our gardens… We both love to cook and experimented with lots of fruit and many recipes. We also didn’t have a lot of money at the time and wanted to use the jams, jellies, pickled veggies, and mustards for holiday gifts for family and friends. Jim’s grandmother, Pearl Oxner, had a great recipe for blueberry pie and we actually adapted that to make the first run of Wild Maine Blueberry Jam.
Rue La La: There is an interesting combination of sweet and savory in many of your rubs and sauces.
Jim: The blends of salty and sweet, tart and sweet, and hot and sweet are a tastebud phenomenon. Sea salt with caramel and chocolate is unbelievable. The salt brings out the best of all the sweetness just as a hot chili pepper combines with dark chocolate to make an explosion of flavor. It must be the combinations and the chemical reactions with your tastebuds that make these combinations such palate pleasers.
Rue La La: The process of applying rubs and marinades is like a delicate art. Tell us your tricks!
Jim: You can actually marinate chicken, pork, and beef for just about an hour and still get the flavor and tenderizing benefits. Try using a pre-made marinade, or create one of your own and pour it completely over the meat and cover. Large ziplock bags work particularly well. If marinating longer, be sure to place the dish in the refrigerator. Generally, don’t marinate for more than a couple of hours. Dishes can be left overnight in the fridge, but chicken in particular can get mushy if left too long.
Rue La La: We need insider blueberry pancake secrets!
Jim: Well, if you can’t use our Blueberry Pancake & Waffle Mix (which is fantastic), start by not beating the batter too much. Overbeating will activate the gluten, and make for tougher pancakes. Ladling the batter onto the griddle first and then placing a handful of berries on top of each pancake individually works really well as opposed to stirring the berries into the batter ahead of time.
Rue La La: Maine’s slogan is: “The way life should be.” What does that mean to you?
Jonathan: Good honest value and simple goodness are two qualities Mainers appreciate more than any others. Even though some of our products may have lots of interesting ingredients, they all come from simple, flavorful recipes that let the ingredients shine.
Our Stonewall Kitchen Boutique opens Monday, September 20 at 11AM ET.