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Amelia + Mike, Making Hot Sauce

 

And no, that's not an innuendo. So, you know by now that I love food, and I love photography, and there's almost nothing I love more than putting the two together. So this was totally up my alley, and I didn't even come up with it!

Amelia and Mike live in Illinois now, but are getting married in Milton, MA next week (thus, the unprecedented early blog post), and are here in MA prepping the last minute stuff. And one of their last minute "stuffs" ... is making and bottling home made hot sauce to give away to their 250 guests!

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So Amelia invited me over to document the process. Two hundred and fifty guests equals 14 (large) mason jars of hot sauce in varying levels of spiciness, which equals a whole lot of peppers and other fun colorful stuff.

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Mike and Amelia have been making hot sauce for about two years now. Mike is the hot sauce lover - Amelia actually can't take a lot of spice, but she likes being in the kitchen, so she's still very involved. They started out with a basic hot sauce recipe and have since moved on to creating their own varieties. Amelia got a kick out of the red pepper and the "mini red pepper" (a habanero, I think?) To make hot sauce (the basic version) - fill a mason jar with peppers, tomatos, garlic, etc., (Mike made one with serranos peaches in it!), top it off with a lot of white vinegar and let it sit over night to steep all the good stuff into the liquid. The next day, boil it up, strain it or blend it, and bottle it up! As if I was like, really shooting a Paula Dean show, Amelia and Mike had prepped three bottles of hot sauce the day before so we could include the boiling process in the shoot. Amazing. While we waited for the batch to boil, we had a little fun with the ingredients.

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Of course, my new obsession with black and whites. It's a good obsession - it's made me even more crazy about beautiful light. 

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Ready!

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And of course, taste test!

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Amelia made these - the after and before photo of what this particular (mild) hot sauce was.

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So, I had a blast. By the time we got to the end, my eyes were burning a little from all the peppers, (so Amelia and Mike, good luck with the rest of your, what, eight more jars to go?) but for food and the food making process? Totally worth it. I feel like this guy: 

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