This day in 1991, the musical greatness (and smokin’ hotness) that defined my youth, influenced my future crushes and was the soundtrack to a very special summer, was released – praise be to Pearl Jam and the album “TEN”!!!

I had some pretty embarrassing and stalker-like crushes and song obsessions (“Blaze of Glory – I’m looking at you), but when this album dropped my sights turned almost exclusively to Mr. Eddie Vedder (and to a lesser extent, Stone Gossard – who rocked the half up ponytail/bun waaaaaaay before Jared Leto and the gross hipster fashion trend upon us now). I remember a certain birthday slumber party that drove my parents to a motel as my ladies and I (OK, mostly me) watched the “Jeremy” video on a loop swooning between head bangs.

My first big concert was Lollapalooza II. Perry Farrell still ruled as Supreme Concert Promoting God offering some sweet ass talent like Ice Cube, Ministry, Lush, George Clinton, Sound Garden and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Eddie praised Canada as the place he wanted to raise his future kids (he meant to say our kids), stopped the show to pick up a guy as he got trampled in the mosh pit and climbed the massive scaffolding walking across to the other side a good hundred feet above the swirling crowd – who were more than ready to catch him – or at least break his fall. I saw PJ play four more times after that and was super stoked to see them with Neil Young jamming out to “Keep On Rockin’ in the Free World” (thanks Marlene and Geoff!)

Those were the days. I worked at the CNE that summer in the infamous food building with my cool as shit gf Vanessa – she was waaay ahead of the curve on music, fashion and could match me quote for quote from the movie “Heathers” (“CORNUUUUTS” and “Fuck me gently with a chainsaw…”). My brother was helping to run the rock climbing wall which was right out the door from the building where I was. It fuelled my summer, bringing free frozen yogurt to his friends and my most lasting crush – who incidentally looked just like Eddie! I have the gushiest memory of a sudden torrential downpour sending us all running for cover. My crush (aka Brian), draped his jacket over my shoulders and pretty much gave me something to fantasize about for the next ten years. (I’m going to catch serious flack for this since I know for a fact his sister-in-law has read this blog.)

That was the summer of The Wild Bunch – a group of extreme half pipers – boarders, BMXers and roller bladers – who I also be-friended and to a lesser extent dreamt about. Those were the days of skaters and grunge and sewing our own clothes. I’d take the GO Train to the Ex and listen to “TEN” the whole way there and home again. That was the summer I coveted a sweaty and smelly piece of T-shirt my friend ripped from Eddie’s body in a mosh pit.

I don’t know where I’m going with this other than I got swept up in another teenage flashback (see 90s Nostalgia) and wanted an excuse to Google YouTube videos of Pearl Jam. I could try and tie in this fiery hot sauce recipe by mentioning scorched schoolgirl loins and the woozy tummy I still get watching Eddie do his thing…. but I won’t. I’ll just leave you with this: how charming must you be to convince the record label powers that be to produce an all ukulele album?… I’ll always love you Eddie xo

 

THREE PEPPER CARROT AND CITRUS FIRE SAUCE

3 pepper citrus hot sauce

This recipe is adapted from one of my favourite food blogs – Happyolks. Being brand spanking new and searching for my voice, I have spent a lot of time sifting through the Webisphere finding sites I admire for one reason or another. Some have beautiful writing, others have killer photographs and some are super creative in the recipe development department. There are a rare few that have all three – Kelsey Boyte’s is the holy trinity (along with husband, Shaun, taking the stunning pictures). It’s daunting comparing yourself as an upstart to some super polished individuals, but ultimately it’s all about being yourself – I wouldn’t have a hope in hell of pulling off the graceful and dreamy thing she’s got going.

I crossed paths with her recipe for a Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce back in May when I was wading through the final days of design on my blog. I bookmarked it knowing I’d be making it as soon as humanly possible, which turned out to be much later than I hoped – such is life. I had various other peppers that needed to be ustilized and not enough limes, so I supplemented with what was in house. I will definitely be making this on a regular basis giving her beautifully simple version a try. Kelsey’s quantities are at least double mine – she warns to go big with it and I should have listened. I have given away just about as much as I’ve used. This will be a regular in our kitchen, without a doubt.

Pick up some mason jars and make this in the biggest pot you can. Kelsey – my scrambled eggs thank you, my tacos, my burgers and pretty much anything I can dip or smear thank you… but my tum and bum might not…

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1 head of garlic, separated into cloves and unpeeled

1 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

2 large onions, peeled and chopped

10 habanero or scotch bonnet peppers, stems removed

6 large jalapeno peppers, halved with stems removed

5 whole dried chile peppers, stems removed

1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (white, white wine or rice wine vinegar work too)

1 1/2 cup water

4 heaping tbsp sugar

4 heaping tbsp salt

1 tbsp each ground cumin and coriander

juice of 4 limes

juice of 2 lemons

juice of 1 orange

Dry roast the garlic cloves over medium heat in a large pot or skillet for 10 – 15 minutes until soft and beginning to blacken. Remove garlic to a small bowl or cutting board.

In the same pot combine the rest of the ingredients reserving the citrus juices. Peel the garlic and add. Partially cover and simmer about 15 – 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

Add the citrus juices and blend until everything is smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add water a little at a time until it suits you. Taste for seasoning adding more salt, sugar or lime juice if you like.

Store in glass jars in the refrigerator or share with friends.

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PJ encore please…

 

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