Author: Ron Miller

Our First Cook

After borrowing Tim’s brother’s brew kettle (yes… it’s a keg. If you get to know us, this will make a lot of sense to you!), we set about learning about online ordering of “large” amounts of ingredients and trying to sync up 3 busy schedules.  We succeeded!

The moment we became real hot sauce makers, and not necessarily popular with the other people renting space in the commercial kitchen, was when we opened the 5 gallon bucket of chocolate habanero mash…

Excitement and awe quickly turned to ridiculous tears and laughter.  Tim demonstrated the worst mistake we could make, luckily only in mime, no trips to the ER this time!

After the breathing shenanigans subsided we got to work with our chopped ingredients and trusty blender!

The scale of our ambitions became clear as we added… and added… and added ingredients to the kettle.

Luckily the kitchen has a rideable sized immersion blender, otherwise we might have a very high death rate of table top blenders.

Sebastian learned the hard way that keeping the sauce moving over the heat is a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG and hot process…  Apparently that whole blood, sweat and tears thing is more about sweat in the hot sauce game… who knew?!?

But… after a few hours, we had made our first batch of sauce!!!  Then we learned that shrink wrapping involves more sweat…

SUCCESS!

It felt good to finally have product to show after years of testing, rewriting recipes, planning, and false starts.  We hope you enjoy this sauce as much as we do!

Prost!

Sourcing Peppers for Our Sauce!

We should have known from the ominous sky that this weekend would be… exciting!

Ron and Sebastian set off to Asheville, North Carolina to meet Smoking J, Joel himself, from www.smokingjsfieryfoods.com and the people behind our peppers.  Driving through the Smoky Mountains from Maryland was an adventure in and of itself.  The weather refused to give us more than 30 minutes of peaceful driving at a time through all the exciting, and even in the rain, beautiful, twisty mountain passes.

Joel and Co. were amazing.  We could not be happier choosing them to exclusively grow our peppers for us.  What a professional, kind, friendly, and fun group of people!  After introductions and discussions about the pros and cons of working with insanely hot peppers we were invited to follow in the deluge to the farm from the production facility.  So we hopped in our submarine…

Upon arrival at the farm we were given a tour of some of the muddy fields and a greenhouse.  Apparently we were all supposed to be grateful for the rain as there had been drought conditions up until a few days prior…  We begrudgingly agreed to be very happy about being under water.  The pepper plants:  Happy!  Our shoes?  Not so much.

Sebastian, being in charge of product development, communed with the plants… They may or may not have inspired new products.  You’ll have to wait and see!

All in all, this trip was a raging success!  We made new friends, learned a TON about peppers, saw how stunning this region of the country can be (even in the rain), drank a ton of amazing beer in Asheville… and most importantly: got a 5 gallon bucket of pepper mash for our next commercial batch of Death by Chocolate! Also some other goodies to experiment with!  We can’t wait to visit the farm again in the fall, nor can we say enough good things about Joel and the gang at Smoking J’s Fiery Foods.

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