Cottage Lane Kitchen was founded by me in 2010, and it isn't only my business name, but also refers to a secret lane in Chapel Hill, NC where our family homestead was built in the 1950s. Four generations of my family have cooked and preserved spicy peppers out of love and tradition in that kitchen.
The last homemade batch of my family's spicy pepper relish was made by my Grandfather in the early 1990s. He grew chilies around the outside of the house and harvested and pickled them during my summer visits. I remember him watering the empty tin cans he buried beside each pepper plant.
I’m originally from the Midwest and growing up, all we really focused on growing was tomatoes. Once I got to grad school and a real house, I started a bigger backyard garden, expanding beyond tomatoes, to cucumbers, squash, corn, herbs, and peppers.