The History of Heaven Made Products
The story behind “Heaven Made Products” which I developed several years ago goes like this. It was in the year of 1990. I (Michael Pitre) was new to Texas. I was going to a new church and I had some new church friends. It was at Thanksgiving that year that I found myself in a strange situation with a new friend who was originally from New York, I am from Louisiana, born and raised deep in the heart of “Cajun Country” around Elton, Basile, Eunice, Mamou, Opelousas. I later moved to Lake Charles, then onto New Orleans (the “Culinary Mecca” of Louisiana). What was so strange was that during the 29 years I lived in Louisiana I had never heard of “Cajun Deep-fried Turkey” and here I was helping a guy from New York fry a turkey injected with “Itallian Salad Dressing” and calling this “Cajun Deep-fried Turkey.” Boy! Right off the bat I knew something is not right with this picture. And so my search began for a true “Cajun Deep- fried Turkey Recipe” that would make Louisiana Proud.
I want to give credit where credit is due and tell you how I came up with the brand name of my products. As I’ve already stated, I was new to a church. I had started going to church and trusting in the “Lord” for all of the help I needed. You will never know just how much help I needed back then. Anyway at that time and ever since “God” through my prayers, has helped me so much. I firmly believe God gave me the idea to make a better product than I could find. I firmly believe God gave me those two recipes back then and the recipes I’ve created lately. So it is only fitting that God gets the credit. I truly depend on God now and I asked him for help with everything I need and want to do. Well once I got the recipe for my first product which was a Buttery, Garlicky, Injectable Marinade, I wanted to come up with a catchy name. If I were to give God the credit which was rightly his, and he being in Heaven even though he is “Omniscient” (being everywhere all of the time at the same time), well I figured I could actually say the products were “Heaven Made”; After all the Bible says “God gives ALL WISDOM” and deep down inside I knew I didn’t have much wisdom to start with. Perhaps I waited too late in life to ask. So I knew he had to have given that wisdom to me, so with all due respect to God my first product was appropriately named “Heaven Made Marinade” and from there came the brand name “Heaven Made Products.”
My search for a true “Cajun Deep-fried Turkey Recipe” started with a desire for a marinade that would be something “Grandma” would love, something traditional, with garlic, butter and spices to enhance the flavor of the turkey and not to over power it with something like the “Itallian Salad Dressing” or anything else like that. Wait a minuet I know what you are thinking that Cajun cooking involves “Hot, Fiery, Cayenne and Tabasco Pepper” so that the food is burn your mouth hot. Not! That’s a misconception brought on by foreigners, those people who live outside of the country of Louisiana, they’re trying to capitalize on the Cajun Food Craze that has been sweeping the world for many years now. But seriously Cajun food is not meant to be “Hot” although a few dishes are hot, most of our food is just “Spicy” meaning in the Cajun term: Flavorful, not in the Mexican term meaning: “Hot.” So next time you eat some Cajun food and it sets your tongue on fire keep in mind what I told you and you’ll know it’s probably not an original Cajun recipe.
I began my search at the local grocery stores, then onto sporting goods stores that sold cooking equipment and seasonings to go with the equipment. I purchased everything on the shelves and tried them all. Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas I would go to these stores and purchase everything new that I hadn’t tried yet. But everything I purchased over the years just did not fit the criteria, there was always some foreign unnatural after taste lingering on my tongue or worse, and I’m telling you I got a lot of “or worse,” one of the “or worse” incidences was the year I hit the jackpot with my recipe in one turkey and another turkey was one that gave his life for naught, because I used an injectable marinade named “Red Wine” from the most popular injectable marinade company in the USA. This marinade was nothing more than watered down Worcestershire Sauce, it was terrible, it was awful. Needless to say the bird went in the trash and so did the “Red Wine” marinade from the Injectable Marinade company (it was discontinued). It’s a tragic shame that so many turkey’s gave their lives for experimentation only to wind up inedible in a trash can.
Well the day finally came when I completely gave up trying anything off the shelf that said “Good for Frying Turkeys.” I now spent countless hours searching Cajun Cookbooks and searching the internet for recipes. Several recipes that I tried I didn’t like. Most of the recipes I looked at I could tell from the ingredients that this would be another turkey that would be giving his life for naught, so I didn’t even go there. It is amazing what people will put in a turkey and call it “Cajun Deep-fried Turkey.” Thank God most of those fellows were not from Louisiana. They were from places like New York, California and some other states far away from Louisiana.
After a few years had gone by I found myself getting very good at frying a turkey, much better than the guy from NY with the “Itallian Salad Dressing Fried Turkey” I wonder what would have been appropriate to stuff that turkey with, Salad? You know, come to think about it, I should have sold that recipe to some famous chef in France, it might have been a hit over there. One day I finally came to my senses, Ok, God finally sent me the “Wisdom” I so desperately needed, and when it happened my brain said to me, “Hey why don’t you search for some flavors and spices and formulate them to your own liking?” Wow, when that crossed my mind that day it was like “Duh” why didn’t I think of that sooner. All I was really looking for was a Garlicky, Buttery, well seasoned, flavorful turkey like Grandma used to make, I did and WoW! it is sooo good, and ever since the day I put that marinade together, every Grandma that has tasted one of my turkeys has really liked it, a lot! Little did I know, but I wasn’t finished yet, God had something more for me which was my Heaven Made All Purpose Seasoning. The seasoning development came about after I read about some guy or chef with the bright idea of sprinkling his seasonings on the outside of his “Raw” turkey and then frying it. This guy wrote about how it added more flavor to the outside of the turkey. Well guess what? I got to thinking again (I should have prayed). This sounded kinda good so I tried it one time when I was frying several turkeys for some folks. When I got to my last turkey I could tell right away that the guy with the bright idea, he didn’t get his wisdom from you know who. Man I had a whole lot of burnt seasonings at the bottom of my pot full of precious, expensive “Peanut Oil” Boy was I mad, I was so mad I wanted to send him a bill for some new peanut oil. Well that little lesson got me to thinking, Ok already, God sent me some more wisdom, it might have even been a little common sense he threw into my head, but never the less I thought, what if I sprinkle some seasoning on the outside of the turkey after it’s cooked, right after I pull that turkey out of the hot peanut oil? Well that just made all the sense in the world to me. So I tried it that way and it worked, it worked very well, so I started frying all of my turkeys that way from then on. But I had a problem. I was buying seasoning off of the shelves, and what I found out was that everyone of the more popular Cajun seasonings on the shelves had way too much “Salt” in them for my liking. That’s when I discovered that they are all “Salt Based” and I knew I didn’t want all of that salt in me, nor did anyone else for that matter, after all who wants to eat turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas and because of all the salt they just consumed they swell up just like a turkey? No not me for sure, I’ve been blessed with enough plumpness. Hey I think I made up a new word? So I wanted a seasoning to enhance the flavor of my “Cajun Deep-fried Turkeys” but all I knew was that I didn’t want mine to be salt based like theirs.
So with taking a lesson learned as stated above, I didn’t go buy anything else off the shelves. I didn’t even go looking for any recipes on the internet (maybe a few) nor in any books (ok, but it was only a couple). I just got the spices and ingredients together. I wanted my seasoning to taste like and I worked for a couple years on perfecting the right combination of ingredients until I finally got it right. My Heaven Made All Purpose Seasoning was the result. During the many years that went into the development of Heaven Made Products I developed a cooking method that worked perfectly for my “Cajun Deep-fried Turkeys.” I have had a residential remodeling company for years (Strictly Quality Remodeling) and every year I would cook & personally deliver the following items to my really good customers: (1) Cajun Deep-fried Turkey, (1) Large container of the best Cajun Rice Dressing in the world (it has 7 different meats in it) otherwise called “Dirty Rice” and (1) Crunchy, Carmel, Pecan, Apple Pie (to die for). I delivered this wonderful package to half of my customers for Thanksgiving and the other half for Christmas. I had so many customers that just absolutely loved me, it made me feel so good even if they only loved me around the Holidays. Our company got to be very popular around the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays that I got too busy to have time to do all of the work it took to make my customer appreciation packages. So I haven’t done this since 2002 What I learned from delivering all of those customer appreciation packages was my special cooking method. I have already told you I tried some of the recipe’s I found in a few of my cookbooks. I am a cookbook collector and I have a collection of over 1,500 cookbooks that I purchased over the past 5-6 years. I also tried a few of the recipes I found on the internet. You know a recipe always includes the cooking temperature and the time you need to cook the dish, so like a good cook looking to learn something new, I followed the recipe to the letter and to my dismay, the first couple of times I fried turkeys all I got was a “Burnt Offering” and again I could tell those guys didn’t get their wisdom from the same place I got mine. Another factor causing these chefs to specify a high temperature and a long cooking time is this “Lawsuit Happy” society we live in today where you can be sued for anything. So if one of these chefs tell you to cook a turkey at a certain temperature you can best believe that the temperature he will tell you to cook it at will “Cook” everything inside of whatever it is you are cooking including all the wonderful juices, which will be so scared of that high temperature that they’ll all just run out and give their life for the gravy which you’ll definitely need to help choke down the dry turkey breast. In the end that chef or recipe writer knows you will not get food poisoning from their recipe. I’ve already told you that God was kind enough to send me some “Common Sense” and at this time I was even starting to feel special cause I got to thinking to myself, this common sense God gave me, well it wasn’t too common with a lot of them other wanna be chefs. So I used the full benefit of my “God given Common Sense” and I got the bright idea that if I was burning my turkeys either the oil was too hot or the length of time to cook was too long or a combination of both, so like any smart guy with some new “God Given” common sense I made some adjustments to my cooking method and changed the temperature and the cooking time until I hit on the right combination and thank God from then on my turkeys were so proud to sacrifice themselves for our holiday meals. Then I started delivering these wonderful gifts to my customers I ran into my final problem. What I discovered right of the bat was by the time I cooked the turkeys, seasoned them on the outside, wrapped them in foil, packed them in an insulated cooler and delivered them, the last few customers got an over cooked turkey. I found out this was because of something I learned (you know from where) called “Carry Over Cooking” my turkeys were cooking the whole time I was delivering these gifts. So I learned (you know where) to under cook my turkeys, season the outside wrap in heavy duty foil then place in an empty, insulated cooler for at least 20 minuets. When the time is up and you unwrap that turkey, boy let me tell you, you got your self a well seasoned, flavorful, juicy turkey that everyone loves including “Grandma,” “Maw Maw,” “Nana,” “Me Maw” or whatever you call her.
Ok I know about now you are ready to fry a turkey or fry anything for that matter so don’t worry, my recipe and cooking technique are posted under the “Recipes Link.”
“Please enjoy our Seasonings & Marinades.” “They’re a gift from “God.”
Credits: I want to give Credit where Credit is due. I would have never gotten this far had it not been for “God,” running out of my old favorite seasoning and for Glen and Honi Boudreaux. They have been customers of my remodeling company for many years now. I had run out of my favorite seasoning and didn’t want to run to the store to purchase more, so while looking thru my seasoning cabinet I came across my “Turkey Seasoning” as I used to call it. So I said to myself, self, it’s really good on the outside of a turkey let’s try it on this chicken, and so I did and to my family’s surprise it was very good and we started using it on several chicken dishes. One day I thought that the seasonings were good enough to sell so I ordered some seasoning bottles. Once I got my bottles in, I mixed up a fresh batch of Heaven Made All Purpose Seasoning and filled up some bottles. I printed some seasoning info on small pieces of paper and I taped them to each bottle. I gave Mrs. Boudreaux some of my seasonings at that time which was a couple years ago and since then she has urged me to get my seasonings together to offer them to everyone. When she ordered 200 bottles for her customers I finally listened to her and so it is because of her “Persistence” conquering over my “Procrastination” that I am now able to offer my seasonings to everyone. Thank you “God (Jesus)” and thank you Glen & Honi Boudreaux for having faith in me and being the friend and wonderful customers you have been for many years now. The two of you along with God are such a “Blessing” to me along with the many others that God has placed in my life including my wife Sabrina and my five children (Britney Nicole, Ryan Neil, Michaela Alyse, Alanna Paige and Brenna Nicole Pitre). At this point in my life I am working on many products and believe within the next year I will have 20 wonderful products which will enhance the flavor of the food we all cook taking the ordinary to extraordinary.
To be continued......