At last the time has come for the leaves to fall from the trees, the nights grow colder, the night comes at 4:30 in the afternoon. This weekend, we finally admitted something difficult: The green tomatoes left on our vines are never going to get red, and the jalapeno pepper plants probably won't make it much longer. It's final fall harvest time in our garden.

We ended up with a gagillion (ok - about 2 gallons) of jalapenos and I have been looking for weeks for things to do with them. At the end of the day, I decided to try to make my own hot sauce. All the recipes on line seem to call for seedless peppers, but our stock of them are so small at this point in the growing season that taking all the tiny seeds out would take a very long time. As usual, I peeked at a recipe, then made alterations. Here is the result.

Nicole Sauce's Jalapeno Hot Sauce

  • 2 cups chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 1 large tomato
  • 4 teeth of elephant garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Grind all non-liquid ingredients together in a food processor - or chop the heck out of them. Place the mixture with the vinegar and water in a pot. Simmer for freaking ever until the sauce is pasty, like tomato paste but a bit less firm. Allow the mixture to cool. Puree the cooled sauce.

Serve with bread and olive oil, or put it on your next burrito. Heck, we were eating the sauce on our crackers last weekend. Even our friend Richard loved it - he said the balance of sweet, sour and HOT was perfect.

Richard, your Tupperware of sauce will be in the mail after Turkey Day. Happy Birthday!