It was July 4, 1955 in America. Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. Disneyland was just about to open its doors. America’s post-war economy was booming, and backyard grills were sizzling with Fourth of July cookouts. Martin Evers — my seersucker-wearing, Harvard-educated, organic-gardening (before anyone knew what organic gardening was) “Popsie” — was a spice salesman in Dayton, Ohio, and had just developed his own seasoning blend. He’d spent all summer perfecting his grilling technique on his trusty, rusted-out Weber grill, but found that the same old burger just wasn’t cutting it anymore. And just like that, Red Door Farms® Hamburger Seasoning was born.
Popsie and his wife Fran (my “luncheon”-eating, Sherry-drinking, Vassar-educated, always perfectly coiffed “Mimi”) had spent months perfecting the blend, tasting the results, sharing samples with friends, and fine-tuning the recipe. As word spread from kitchen to kitchen, my grandparents’ tiny home-based venture was suddenly inundated with orders from grocers and individual consumers from all over the state, the country and even the world. Through true “word of mouth,” orders came in from major grocery chains in Ohio, from Texas, New York, and Europe.
The people had spoken: Red Door Farms® Hamburger Seasoning was a delicious success!
Fast forward to 2012. My family had exhausted its Hamburger Seasoning reserves, having made no new batches in all the years since Popsie had passed away, and they were clamoring for more. My husband (a devoted carnivore) had never even tasted the stuff! Our daughter had just turned one, but would never know the taste of a real Red Door Farms® burger, which seemed like a tragedy that could not go uncorrected.
Apparently, history repeats itself. After much searching, we found the original recipe, handwritten in Mimi’s perfect penmanship, tucked away in an old cardboard box in the attic. We whipped up a test batch and, with one taste, were convinced (heck, even our toddler gobbled up her Red Door Farms® burger, which is really saying something!). I shared some with friends and family, and they demanded more. Through many more late night taste tests (yummmm…research never tasted so good!), we further refined and perfected Popsie’s original recipe. And now we’re thrilled to share it with you!
I welcome your feedback, thoughts, and questions (email me here) and can’t wait for you to find out what my family has known for generations: the secret to a clean plate is spelled: R.D.F.
CEO, Red Door Farms®