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One Mother's Day. One house plant. One crazy year, one crazy story.

Made in a Home Kitchen

Licensed Cottage Food Operator

Certified Food Handler

You’re looking at one of the most improbable projects I’ve ever undertaken. Let me tell you how it went.

On Mother’s Day weekend 2020, just after the lockdowns and quarantines had been lifted in Illinois after the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jenn and I went to pick out new hanging plants for her backyard – a colorful assortment of begonias, spices, and fun additions. She suggested that I get something to grow myself. I laughed and said that I don’t even trust myself with live Christmas trees.

So, remembering my time in Las Vegas and my visits to a restaurant that served a ghost pepper sauce, I picked up a bhut jolokia plant that was a few inches tall. The ghost pepper clocks in at over one million scovilles – roughly 200 times hotter than an average jalapeno.

And in a year where I was working from home, I had lots of time to make sure the plant got plenty of sun and water, in a hot, dry summer. The plants went outside every morning at 7 and indoors for more sun in the front window of my house at 2:30.

But when the plant produced roughly 30 ghost peppers, what do you do? You can’t toss them into a recipe without warning your diners. The Indian army makes grenades out of them for crowd dispersal – as 2020 a concept as any.

I found a recipe I liked, tweaked it, quadrupled it, and got to work. I shipped bottles of hot sauce all over the country. People enjoyed it. They sent me emails telling me what they thought. Many ordered more.

The following year, another Mother's Day trip to the same nursery. This time, a Trinidad scorpion pepper - the second hottest chili pepper in the world. Same ideas as the first sauce, but darker notes. More savory, more smoky - and a great name from my son that made me smile.

Both plants were wildly productive this year. And in this age where a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a phone screen can bring anything from anyone located anywhere in the world to your door, know this: Every single bottle you're about to buy, I -

  • Grew the pepper plant that it came from (if you look at the profile photo, the flowerpot on the left grew all of the peppers for Peaches and Scream and the flowerpot on the right grew all of the peppers for Ghost Painapple Sauce)
  • Personally selected the other ingredients
  • Spent a weekend preparing, mixing and curing
  • Bottled (either with a funnel or a manual filling machine)
  • Tamper-sealed
  • Labeled with custom sized labels that I designed
  • Packaged in a custom sized box with art and logos that I designed

That's my name on the front of it. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I've enjoyed this crazy, serendipitous journey. Thank you!


Prairie Fire Provisions

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