I suppose it starts with my mother’s cooking. She made basic bland Midwest dishes. There was no hotness to them. Lawry’s seasoned salt was the most exotic spice in her repitoire.  I found Midwest cooking uninteresting. In the kitchen was a spice rack but it was never used. It’s jars of strange sounding powders and herbs  seemed downright magical; tarragon and oregano could have been eye of newt for all I knew.

When I started cooking, I was keen on making things as hot and spicy as possible. No one else had any interest in spice; this reservation was attributed to my father’s dislike for anything exotic. To this day his idea of exotic food is Italian.

I like my dishes hot like my men. I continually try new hot sauces; I seem to want hotter ones every year. I generously pepper almost anything that can stand it.  Bring on the curries, the habernaros – more more more I am still not satisfied !

Despite my lust for exotic herbs and spices, they don’t like me. I never learn there is a price for the jalapenos generously scattered across the pizza. My GI tract does a conga whenever I imbibe; it keeps me posted at all times the location of the cayennes. I vow ‘never again’ – or least to cut down the heat – only to do so again with the offer of ‘Thai hot?”.

When you are tired of Tabasco, you are tired of life.

Anyone have a hot sauce they can recommend?   My favorite is Melinda’s –  complex, tangy, hot but not overpowering the vegetable ingredients.

‘Tis mother’s milk to me!