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Friday, July 8, 2016

Hot Stuff!

I am not sure how many of you are from the South or not, but if you are I am fairly sure you will recognize what is in the picture.  For the rest of you let me explain. This is a jar of what we call pepper sauce, not to be confused with the red stuff that we call hot sauce. This is one of those condiments you will see on the table at every "meat and 3" joints in town.  For those of you unacquainted with the term "meat and 3" it refers to restaurants or diners that serve an entree plus 3 side vegetables. (For the uninitiated, mac and cheese, rice, and cooked apples are all "vegetables". For reference I am copying and pasting the veggie menu from Mary Mac's in Atlanta.  It is one of the South's best known "meat and 3's".)

Side Items

Extra vegetable or side $3.50 each

* Indicates one of our Vegetarian Friendly Items.
  • Apple Sauce*
  • Baked Potato*
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Broccoli Soufflé*
  • Brunswick Stew
  • Butter Peas
  • Carrot-Raisin Salad*
  • Cheese Grits*
  • Cheese & Vegetable Soufflé*
  • Cream Corn*
  • French Fries*
  • Fresh Fruit*
  • Fried Green Tomatoes*
  • Fried Okra*
  • Cole Slaw*
  • Dumplings
  • Collard Greens with cracklin’ cornbread
  • Cornbread Dressing & Gravy
  • Green Beans
  • Hoppin’ John
  • Macaroni and Cheese*
  • Okra & Tomatoes*
  • Pickled Beets*
  • Potato Cakes*
  • Potato Salad*
  • Pot Likker
  • Rice and Gravy
  • Spiced Apples*
  • Squash Soufflé*
  • Vegetable Soup*
  • Whipped Potatoes*
  • Steamed Cabbage*
  • Steamed Carrots*
  • Sweet Potato Soufflé*
  • Tomato Pie*
  • Turnip Greens
  • Vegetable Medley*
On this menu you will notice, black eyed peas, collard greens, turnip greens and pot likker.  All of these are rather bland or bitter cooked as is, but add a healthy dash of pepper sauce and you are in food nirvana.

You can purchase pepper sauce at any grocery store here, (The most popular brand is Texas Pete green pepper sauce)  but why buy a small bottle for nearly 2 bucks when you can make a quart for a dollar.



Wash a quart mason jar, (sterilize it if you want to be safe, unlike me who is willing to live on the edge) Pack with as many washed hot peppers* as possible in a quart mason jar.  Bring 2 1/2 cups of cider vinegar to a boil in a small pan.  Pour over the hot peppers, put a lid on the jar and let it cool for a bit.  Then put it in the refrigerator.  After sitting for a few days this is ready to enjoy liberally on your favorite veggies.

By summer's end I will have about 12 quarts of this made which I will can using the water bath method for longer storage.  When I return home from Oregon vegetables will be at their peak and I will get started processing! Can't wait?

* You can use whatever your hot pepper of choice is, but remember the hotter the pepper the hotter the pepper sauce! Caution, my friends!

24 comments:

  1. When I go out to eat, I always laugh and comment about the "vegetables" on the list. I guess they are the "sides." Believe it or not, I have never had pepper sauce or hot sauce. Blackeyed peas and greens are delicious to me like they are. I am surprised pot likker is a side to itself.

    Good post.

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    1. There is a little meat and 3 in Homewood that sells Tee shirts which say "Yes, mac and cheese IS a vegetable"

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  2. We might all speak english, but goodness how different it is. I think your entree is what we would call a main. Entrees here are served before the main dish.
    And peppers if they are as I suspect bell peppers are capsicum here. And I don't think are eaten nearly as often. And most often raw in salad or stuffed.

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    1. There are a number of vegies on your list I don't recognise, and others I would classify as vegetarian. Or are they cooked with bacon and miss out on the vegetarian star for that reason?

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    2. Entree is probably an overstatement, but it would be a main course. Here at restaurants we have appetizers or a light soup before the meal (well, unless you are at a multi course restaurant and then everything changes). However a meat and 3 place is an entirely different animal. Some have a traditional sit down service and some operate more like a cafeteria with steam tables and servers behind them. It is by far a more relaxed and informal dining experience. Infinitely cheaper also!
      If they don't have the vegetarian star they are either cooked in some pork product, (ham, bacon, pork belly) chicken, or beef.

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    3. The peppers are not bell peppers. These are a hot variety of banana pepper (or there was some confusion with cross pollination from a totally different hot pepper planted nearby) They are slightly hotter than a jalapeno.

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    4. Thank you. And we would call those peppers chili peppers. Language is a tricky beast.

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    5. E.C.-I'm from Chicago and I get lost sometimes. LOL

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  3. So is the sauce the liquid or do you eat the pepper?Confused northerner.

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    1. It is liquid. I have chopped bits of the pepper into black eyed peas but mainly I just pour it over peas green and cornbread

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  4. Charging for pot likker? They've got some nerve...... 8-)

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  5. I only wish I liked hot, spicy food. However, I have never gotten past the burn. The rest of the family has, though.

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    1. I like the hot stuff. Too much probably!

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  6. My daughter is a fan of all things hot! I should give this a try with jalapenos. Ummm, what is a pot likker and why should it be free?

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  7. Pot likker is simply the liquid that greens or peas cook in

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    1. Water flavored by what it cooks! I hate pot likker on my plate, so I take a paper napkin and sort of soak it up so it does not run under everything.

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  8. I've got cousins from Mobile that just shake their heads at me. I'm like, I know you said something but I ain't got it yet. LOL
    You bring my family back to me with your posts. Love ya.

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    1. We do use language differently here. For example" I'm fixin' to carry Mama and them to the Pig" translates as " in a little while I will drive Mother and her friends to the grocery store"

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  9. I'm sure you've been to Fried Green Tomatoes in Hoover where Schlotsky's used to be...

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    1. I've been so often they know to comment if I get something different from my usual

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