Recently, I revived (and redesigned) my Hey, Adam Roberts blog, the blog I created when, two years ago, I got my first job as a TV writer and decided to throw in the towel as a food blogger. I wrote a post called “Blogging in 2017,” linked to it on Facebook, and suddenly got this huge gush of support from readers who’d been crouching in the dark, waiting for just such a dispatch. Turns out, people missed my blogging voice. That was very nice to hear. I resolved to keep blogging on Hey, Adam Roberts.
The next post I was going to write was, in fact, a recipe for Pappa al Pomodoro soup. I was all set to type it up and everything and then I remembered something: I have a food blog. A blog that I created (back in 2004!) to share just such recipes and cooking experiences and all other things related to food. Why would I put a recipe for Pappa al Pomodoro soup on a not-food blog? That wouldn’t make any sense!
[When I wrote my cookbook, I had the pleasure of meeting and cooking with Tim Artz, the self-described “Sultan of Scratch” who grows and cooks almost everything that he eats. One of his signature specialties is hot sauce; and here, in this post, he describes his love for the stuff and offers up an original recipe. Take it away, Tim!]
I love hot and spicy foods. I crave bold and lively flavors. Not to say that I don’t care for mild, savory and nuanced flavor, but given a choice, I would opt for hot.
I never experienced any hot foods as a kid growing up. Maybe the hottest thing I ever had was some red pepper flakes sprinkled on a slice of pizza or some cherry peppers on a hoagie. I remember all of my first truly zesty bites: hot mustard on an egg roll in a Chinese restaurant, Indian curry when the first Indian restaurant opened in my home town in Pennsylvania, and the cayenne peppers my dad decided to start growing in his garden while I was a university student.
Today’s the Jewish New Year–Happy New Year, you Jewish people, you–but it’s also, basically, our two-year anniversary of moving to L.A. Last year, around this time, I wrote a post called “One Year in L.A.: A Reflection.” It’s a pretty fascinating thing for me to re-read because, at the time, we were about to go back to New York for Craig to shoot The Skeleton Twins and I could barely contain my excitement. The gist of that post was: L.A. is fine, but I’m a New York boy through and through.
The letter was in an envelope in my pocket, folded in half. Even though I knew this would produce a crease, I figured a crease was better than walking into my professor’s house holding a mysterious envelope, especially with three other classmates arriving with me. “What’s that letter?” they would probably ask and what would I say? Which is why the letter was in my pocket.
The house was handsome, made of brick, and shrouded by trees. I arrived early (as I tend to do) and sat in the car for a bit killing time rather than be the first to ring the doorbell. Did I bring a gift? I wouldn’t have brought wine because I wasn’t old enough to buy wine yet. It’s possible that I showed up empty-handed, except for the letter.