Anniversary Homemade Hot Sauce

As per our plan, for our one-year dating anniversary, Ryan and I made our own hot sauce. It took 20 roasted habañeros (a.k.a. Scotch Bonnet peppers), four cloves of roasted garlic, and some elusive smoked paprika to blend up this incredibly delicious condiment. (Full recipe below, slightly tweaked from one we found online.) Some of the habs came straight from Ryan’s dad’s backyard garden — part of how we cooked up this idea in the first place.

And after it was finished, we took one of the two bottles on a journey down to the Mission for some pupusas.

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Celebrating an extraordinary year with this wonderful person, near the annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance, I was especially aware of the privileges and basic safety that we enjoy in our loving partnership. We are a legibly cisgender, hetero, same-age couple, both U.S. citizens, living in a time of war but unaffected by it directly. We live in a time and place where interracial relationships are largely accepted and even commonplace; where open relationships are at least acknowledged, if frequently maligned or misunderstood; and where I am not likely, as a woman, to be openly attacked for asserting my own sexuality, and seeking control over my own reproductivity.

I truly wish that loving — and simply living with integrity, with basic safety — did not require so much courage from so many people.

May my life’s work, and Ryan’s, contribute to bringing about conditions that encourage everyone to love in the best ways we know how.


Habañero Hot Sauce Recipe

20 habañero peppers
3-5 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp brown sugar (we used light brown)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder

Equipment: Oven, baking sheet, food processor.

Set oven to 350º.
Peel and halve garlic.
Cut off stem tops and halve peppers (keeping the seeds).
Roast together on an oiled baking sheet until golden brown
and smelling amazing (about 20 minutes).

Add peppers and garlic to the food processor with dry ingredients.
Pulse to combine.
Slowly pour in wet ingredients while blending.*
When you've got a smooth, uniform consistency, adjust to taste.**  

Bottle (we used a couple old hot sauce bottles) and refrigerate.

*Adding liquid too soon may result in splashing, necessitating turkey-baster triage.
**Ignore any eggings-on, and taste only a tiny bit at a time.  Think twice before,
for instance, dipping a hunk of bread in the hot sauce as though it were hummus.

2 thoughts on “Anniversary Homemade Hot Sauce

  1. leorasf November 22, 2010 / 2:48 pm

    oh, I feel so blessed (somehow, by echo, or refraction, or connectedness?) at reading this.

    (and the previous one, too, of course :) )

    let us talk soon my friend. I think of you so often.

  2. nathan November 22, 2010 / 4:25 pm

    have a wonderful day together!

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