From a sunny place
Like every one of our flavours, the McCloud Smokey BBQ has a story.
It was January of 2018.
We had escaped the bitter cold of Montreal’s winter and had run off to spend some time with friends in Florida. Sitting on the lanai chatting away and sipping on some of the best coffee ever, my husband and I suddenly found ourselves looking for the source of a delicious smell that had suddenly wafted through the air.
The question was answered later, when we sat down for dinner with Dennis and Ayesha, and almost everything on the table had been cooked in their smoker grill. There was a mason jar on the table that looked like it contained a simple red sauce. Oh dear, were we wrong… It turned out to be the absolute most flavourful and delicious barbecue sauce we had EVER had. Perfectly tangy. Marvellously spiced. With a touch of sweetness, and a wonderful smokiness that rounded the sauce’s flavour profile.
After that meal, I literally put the sauce on ALL. THE. THINGS.
Dennis not only gave us a jar to bring home when we reluctantly left after 2 blissful weeks, but he also happily dictated the recipe as I jotted it down in my travel diary. “As I remember my dad making it.” he said.
After a few trials at home – and some blind taste tests – I finally got the results I was looking for, although somehow the “real” thing always tastes better, and the authenticity that a real McCloud brings to it was something I couldn’t reproduce.
I did managed to extract little tidbits of information from Dennis about his family history and how the sauce made its way to him, through his father who was a forest ranger at the Angeles National Forest in sunny California. It seems that the recipe may have originated from a Zachariah McCloud who “brought it across the mountains and prairie with his family, wagon, and oxen in the early 1800s.”, and this according to the earliest recorded McCloud family history.
When we started working on savoury flavors of granola for sprinkling (on soup, salad, baked potatoes, you name it) or simply for eating as a snack, we looked at some of the most popular chips flavours, and that’s when we realized that a BBQ would be the best fit. And what better inspiration than the perfect McCloud BBQ sauce?
We’d like to mention that Dennis is a United States Marine veteran. He, and all who have served so that we can be safe and free, deserve our utmost respect, not just today but every day, for their many sacrifices. The words thank you hardly cover it. Let us instead show our gratitude by aiming to be better each day.
The real GI Jill
G. I Jill: A Nostalgia of Home
Did you ever wonder why we have a flavour called “G. I Jill”?
At first, the inspiration for the name came from the fact that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is pretty much the most iconic snack of our childhood. As you are likely aware, that particular combination of ingredients – from the bread to the filling – is one of the most truly classic North American things you can possibly eat. And what is more nostalgic than eating a PB&J sandwich while watching cartoons? G.I Joe (among others) was always one of our preferred methods of homework procrastination.
Well, guess what? There was also a G.I Jill, only she was as real as they get, projecting her voice far and wide across radio waves, warming the hearts of million.
War never changes, and neither does mankind’s need for a reassuring voice telling us everything is going to be okay. Martha Wilkerson was that voice for those who fought on the front lines during one of the worst time periods in modern history. Her bubbly personality helped give soldiers scattered across the world something to chuckled to, smile about, dream of, and hope to return to, by bringing them each day a little piece of home.
Our bodies and minds are intertwined in such a way that the state of one inevitably affect the other, and she certainly did brighten those men and women’s days and night. As such, we like to think of Martha A.K.A G.I Jill, as a hero. Don’t you agree?
We named one of our flavours after her in an effort to recognize the importance of energy boosts when fighting on the front lines – be it in trenches or at hospitals.
Read an excerpt of the story below
Gould, Paul. (1945) The Armed Forces Network. Tune In Magazine (9-12)
Read the full article
“Universally credited with being the No. I overseas attraction is Martha Wilkerson, “GI Jill” of the AFRS. Practically unknown on mis side. she is enormously popular with the fighting men. Of the massed AFRS mail received from every quarter, one of every four letters is earmarked for her. Even a million dollar show such as “Command Performance” takes a back seat when she’s on the air. “Dick Tracy” – with Crosby in the title role, Dinah Shore as Tess Truehart, Frank Sinatra as Shakey, and Judy Garland as Snowflake – runs a bad second ro Jill.Jill records six days a week-in Los Angeles and her transcriptions are flown out in six-day batches. Her formula is a simple one. She plays jazz music by request, talks back to her writing audience, sprinkles her programs with gags, chatters away on almost any subject in her cheerful voice. This is a sample of her opening to sailors:
“Hya, fellas. This is Jill again, all set to rock
the bulkheads on the old jukebox and shoot
the breeze for the sons of Mother Carey.”
The response of the tars is tremendous. They shower her with grass skirts
and invasion money. They cable orders for yellow roses to be sent to her, they write devastating love letters. The little blonde isUncle Sam’s best answer to Tokyo Rose. But, where the latter siren used to make the men homesick, Jill’s trick is to make them feel at home wherever they are. Perhaps she knows how because she has a husband in the Army and a three-year-old daughter at home. She devotes half the day writing her scripts and answering thousands of letters.
Jill made her first broadcast overseas for the OWl in 1942. Col. Thomas H.A. Lewis happened to be listening in, decided then and there that she was to be our reply to enemy broadcasters. The next year, she became a full fledged employee of the Army. If the doughs and tars go for her opening remarks, there’s hardly a one who isn’t stirred when she signs off wistfully:
“Till next jive·time, this is your GI gal Jill
saying good morning to some of you –
good afternoon to some more of you-
and, to the rest of you… good night.”
She’s saying it to them – and to her husband,- but, for millions, there’s the
nostalgia of home and a personal call to keep their chins up until V-J Day.”