In November, as the farmer's market season was winding down, and as there were fewer and fewer vegetables available at farmers' booths, we bought the hot sauce that would change our lives. Jim, the creator of the hot sauce, had sold us some of his jalapenos, which were some of the spiciest I've ever had; he also usually had a good variety of peppers available. And it was just something about that cool and cloudy day that prompted us to try some of the hot sauce (he dripped a little onto our fingers with a pipette); after one taste, we were hopelessly hooked on the stuff. It had a pleasant spiciness that intensified after a few seconds, and a slightly sour/complex taste that often accompanies fermented things. The flavor was also bright and tangy, and slightly sweet. I couldn't imagine 1) that I'd gone through life without this stuff and 2) that I used to not like spicy things.
I liked the hot sauce so much, I knew that I had to try making some of our own, so we got some Tennessee cherry peppers from Jim. At his instruction, we went and bought a decent bottle of riesling, made a brine using the wine, and fermented the peppers in that brine for two months. After two months, we split up the peppers into 3 groups: one was frozen for later use, one went into making a simple hot sauce, and the third was blended with peaches, molasses, mustard powder, and other delicious things to make a sweeter, more complex hot sauce.
Hardly a savory meal goes by without us using one of the hot sauces. Even though we made at least a quart and a half of hot sauce, we have gone through half of it already, and I'm glad that we have some peppers frozen, should there come a day when we run out.
Tonight, we doused our southern-themed (sauteed collards, barbecue tofu steaks, and pumkin cornbread) dinner in the plain hot sauce. If you've never considered making your own hot sauce, I