O'Hara mom creates sauces for slow cookers
You can cook meat and top it with barbecue sauce, but a condiment like that might not hold up well in a slow cooker over several hours.
That is the idea behind an O'Hara mother's new creation: Jesben Slow Cooker Sauces, designed for meals you make in a slow cooker.
Susie Schwartz — who named her company as a hybrid of her kids' names, Jessica and Ben — decided to make the sauces professionally after hearing so many friends rave about her slow-cooked meals.
“It's my original sauce that I would use for my own slow cooker,” says Schwartz, 51, a clinical psychologist. “I always got a lot of compliments on it.”
She told her family and friends: “I don't know why they wouldn't make something like this. We should sell our own sauce.”
Schwartz searched for a professional kitchen to cook and bottle her sauce commercially and spent a year sending samples back and forth, to get the homemade sauce recipe just right.
“We kept comparing until we got it to match exactly,” she says. “People say it has a very homemade flavor, like something their mother would make.”
Jesben sauces — which come in Original BBQ and Italian Tomato, Peppers & Herbs — are a bit thinner than regular condiments, and the vegetable chunks melt into the sauce during cooking to enhance the meat's flavor rather than overtaking it, Schwartz says.
Schwartz, who is now working on three new sauce flavors, says that the sauces have many uses: barbecue sandwiches, chicken, sausage and tofu, for vegetarians.
Preparing meals with a slow cooker gives Schwartz opportunities to prepare meals for her family — husband Aaron, and Jessica, 13, and Ben, 11 — more easily and conveniently, she says.
She tested out the Jesben sauces at the 2012 Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C., and got great feedback. The sauces — available at area Giant Eagle stores and online — have attracted a solid customer base.
“We're just pretty blown away with response to this,” Schwartz says.
“It's such an amazing learning experience,” she says about her journey creating the sauces. “I've been a foodie for quite some time even before I knew that was a word.”
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7824.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Identity of Route 30 suicide victim revealed
- Starkey: Penguins’ season impressive so far
- Pittsburgh diocese eliminates fees for marriage annulments
- VA, police looking into suicide by veteran outside O’Hara facility
- Penguins a love affair for Evancho sisters
- Controversial McKeesport building destroyed by fire
- Firefighter hurt in 3-alarm fire at Jefferson Hills restaurant
- Ferrante won’t get new trial or conviction overturned
- Big names highlight Three Rivers Arts Festival’s 2015 musical lineup
- Hornqvist’s net-front presence with Penguins could be valuable asset
- Judge dismisses transgender man’s discrimination lawsuit against Pitt