By Cindy Jo Ayers
Gilchrist County native Lyle Horne and his wife KJ have started a pepper sauce making business. The recipe has taken about 20 years to prefect. Horne said the inspiration to make a good pepper sauce was due to arthritis in his hip. After learning that he was allergic to the normal pain medicines given for arthritis, he researched pain medications and learned that it contained Capsaicin. The chemical Capsaicin comes from peppers and can be used as a pain killer according to Horne. So he began to test pepper sauce recipes hoping to get some relief from his arthritis and as the years went on he came up with a recipe that a lot of people enjoyed.
Lyle and KJ enjoy gardening and both grew up on family farms. Lyle lived on a farm in Gilchrist County while KJ grew up on the farm where they live now, just over the line in Suwannee County. They grow sweet banana peppers and hot banana peppers which takes about two months for their pepper sauce. Then the actual cooking and bottling process begins, which takes about two to two and a half hours. It takes constant stirring to make their sauce. The recipe includes the peppers but also quite a few other ingredients. Each batch makes about two dozen 12 ounce bottles. Some 60% of the sauce is actual peppers and that seems to be just enough Capsaicin to make a great sweet and spicy pepper sauce. When describing their pepper sauce, Lyle said, “People who tasted it encouraged us to start selling it.”
The Hornes make their pepper sauce in their home kitchen in a cottage food operation and sell it mostly to friends and neighbors.
The couple have several shared hobbies they enjoy including hunting, growing flowers and growing a huge vegetable garden twice a year. They agree one of their greatest joys is giving away their excess vegetables to their church family and friends. KJ said, “We grow enough for ourselves and everybody else.” She went on to say that gardening and canning keeps them busy in their retirement years.
Those interested in placing an order for Sweet & Spicy Pepper Sauce can contact Lyle and KJ at 386-209-2224.
Hornes bottling Sweet & Spicy Pepper Sauce
By Cindy Jo Ayers