I guess it all started back when I was a server at the Charleston Crab House in Columbia, SC. (I know, Charleston Crab House in Columbia... it doesn't make sense -maybe that's why it's not in business anymore, but I'm getting sidetracked already). So...It started at CCH. During those late nights after we closed, I would feel hungry and would ever so sweetly put on that southern charm (which doesn't work as much in the south as it does outside the south) and ask the guys who worked in the kitchen if maybe they had some leftover fries or potatoes. One guy named Stephen said, 'girl, you need to learn what it's like to eat real soul food. Here is some collards. Go grab that red stuff...NOT THE TABASCO, the other stuff. Put a whole lot on these here collards, and you tell me if they ain't the best things you done ate in a long time."
I was clearly challenged. Being the competitor that I am, I took on that challenge determined to tell him that his soul food was NASTY and to give me those fries right now. I took the greens. They looked pretty sad, all wilted and laced with pork pieces. I got the red hot sauce with the name Texas Pete on the bottle. I doused a little section of these greens with the Texas Pete, took them on my fork and put them in my mouth....
Heaven, I tell ya. That guy was right! I should have known. He had a belly on him that gave away the fact that he knows what good food is. (Advice: never take restaurant advice from a skinny guy. Go ask the guy with the belly where to eat, and you won't be disappointed.)
So...Ever since, I've loved, maybe even slightly been addicted to, both collard greens and Texas Pete. Especially TP. I eat it on almost anything. Eggs. Popcorn. Vegetables. Meat. Soup. Cereal (not regularly, but I have tried it). Grits. Potatoes. Sonic breakfast burritos (except there is only one sonic in southern California, and it's about1.5 hours away). Chili. Casserole. Everything.
When we arrived in L.A. we went to the grocery store for our essentials to begin building our kitchen. Of course, one of the first things on my list was Texas Pete. We walked up to a looming hot sauce-laden shelf. Suddenly, I stopped in my tracks. It wasn't there. I asked Brandon, "do you see it?" I searched. I moved the other stuff. HOW COULD THEY NOT HAVE TEXAS PETE?!?! I said, "Brandon, we have to leave right now, and go back to South Carolina to get the Texas Pete." We asked people if they knew what it was. Blank stares. No one knows! Can you believe it?
I sent out an S.O.S. to some of my girls who know the intensity with which I love Texas Pete. I got two responses, both positive, saying "don't worry, we've got you covered". Phew. I anxiously awaited a TP-sized box to arrive in the mail any day. Finally, one came. My best friend, Claire Eckert had come through for me. I opened it up. I was like a kid at Christmas tearing into that box. Finally, I broke through the wrapping...WHAT?!?! Tabasco?! Surely this is a dream. I mean, she's my BEST FRIEND. She knows everything about me. She knows I like Texas Pete, not nasty Tabasco. The two are not even remotely in the same category of goodness. I talked to her a day later and told her that I appreciated the gesture, but was a little confused about the Tabasco. She seemed genuinely embarrassed that she forgot. I forgave her and told her that I would survive, but please don't ever tease me like that again.
A few weeks later, Claire called again.
"Did you ever get the second package I sent you," she said.
"Well, I sent you two packages. One right after the other. The next package was supposed to get to you the next day. It had Texas Pete in it!"
"What? No, I never got it."
Now some postman from the south is enjoying my Texas Pete... Good joke, Claire. Ha ha. :)
A few weeks later, my friends Jodi and Josh were coming out for a conference in L.A. Jodi called ahead of time to ask if she could bring me anything from home that I needed. Of course, all I asked for was Texas Pete. "That's all?" she said. "Yes, that's all I need." "Okay, no problem."
They arrived and we all enjoyed each other immensely. However, at one point she gasped. "OH MY GOSH! I forgot your Texas Pete! I'm SO SORRY!"
So, I've come to the conclusion that all of my friends and family back home have been playing a trick on me by not helping a sister out with her addiction. PLEASE HELP!
You can send Texas Pete to:
670 N. Hill Ave. #3
Pasadena, CA 91106