I have a philosophy: if a meal doesn’t cause me physical pain, it’s not worth eating. Otherwise, how will I know I’m eating anything at all? Spice makes me feel alive, man.
I bopped around Europe for a bit this summer, and spent many-a showers crying (I cry in the shower so God can’t see the tears). But I wasn’t gushing saltwater vulnerability because I was homesick, or because I was anxious, or because I felt like an idiot for being unable to work a bidet — no, I was crying because nothing was spicy enough for me.
That’s not an exaggeration.
Two of my roommates in Prague heard my crying one night so they surprised me with a bottle of red pepper flakes that were, unfortunately, mixed with sea salt. I dumped out the contents on our glass table and separated the salt chunks from the pepper flakes like lines of cocaine. After an hour of grueling labor, I finally returned the flakes to the bottle. Let me tell you, I carried that bad boy with me everywhere I went for the rest of the month. Even when I was clubbing, I kept red pepper in my bag. Just in case.
Like a criminal systematically burning off his fingerprints, through years of masochistic eating I think I’ve finally destroyed the last of my taste-buds.
I really, really, really like spicy food.
One thing I don’t like, however, is Sriracha. There, I said it. Sriracha tastes like vaguely pepper-flavored vinegar. It’s just too much. And this is coming from a girl who washes both her hair and face with apple cider vinegar regularly.
So this year, we had a bumper crop of hot peppers. I decided the time had come to make my own hot sauce.
- 4-5 c. chopped hot peppers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 2 c. water
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 c. vinegar
- 1 tsp. salt
Makes 1 pint hot sauce
Prep. time: 30 min
Vegan, gluten free
- Pick a peck of non-pickled peppers and don your thickest haz-mat suit.
- In a large pot on the stove, combine chopped peppers, garlic, onion, oil, and water on high heat. Allow to boil until the water is almost gone, about 20 minutes. Make sure your kitchen is well-ventilated for this.
- Allow peppers to cool to room temperature.
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients.
- Filter solid mush from liquid fire with a fine mesh sieve. With a spoon or a jar or something, push down the mush so every last drop is squeezed out.
- Pour into a sterile glass jar and let sit in a refrigerator for at least two weeks before using.