My granddad was a famously wacky cook, but he would make his secret and not-so-secret delicious hot sauces seasonally, when his sisters would send him cayenne peppers and bird chiles from their gardens in South Carolina.
- Place all the chiles in a glass jar.
- In a small saucepan, heat all the other ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the vinegar mix over the peppers and let cool to room temperature.
- Let the mixture pickle for at least 24 hours before using.
- The liquid is the sauce and is used as a table sauce and as an addition to soups, stews, and greens.
Therese Nelson is TASTE's Cook In Residence and founder of the website Black Culinary History.