10 Country: Wade's Hot Collection - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

10 Country: Wade's Hot Collection

South Georgia-- Why people collect what they collect often remains a mystery, and it seems people will collect almost anything. One man collects something he can only see and appreciate, but can't fully enjoy.

A happy marriage often requires compromise to succeed, and in the Hobbs' home, role reversal works naturally for them. "Been cooking as long as I can remember," says Wade Hobbs remembering when he was a child and helped cook during family gatherings.

He enjoys cooking Japanese food in particular since his aunt originally came from Japan and showed him how. His Wife, Debi, welcomes his interest in cooking. No threat to her. "I was always good at eating and not preparing. I really never learned," says Debbie as she poured iced tea into a glass. They cooked up their working agreement years ago. "I cook three or four nights a week. The other nights we eat out," says Wade, as he prepared twice baked potatoes.

Debi backs him up, cleaning what he uses to prepare the meal, something Wade doesn't like doing at all. Wade Hobbs likes to experiment with ingredients to make the food taste better, but some things he won't consider adding even though he can easily reach them.

He collects bottles of hot sauce. "I've got around 50, 50 or so bottles," says Wade, standing back to see all the bottles on shelves near the ceiling of his kitchen. The bottles have very interesting names such as Triple-X Quest for Fire; Chesapeake Fire; Four-X Sauce; Iguana Triple-X Pepper sauce.

But why, of all things, did he choose to collect pepper sauces? "I think it's neat how someone can take one general idea and come up with their own ingredients, their own labels, their own bottles, their own sayings, names and everything that goes with it," says Wade, as he grilled steaks for his guests.

One container included a fuse on top that makes it looks like a big firecracker. One hot sauce, in particular, became a family historical marker. "The Boar's Breath is the first one I bought when Debi and I went on our first vacation," says Wade.

He gets help from several people since most of Wade's friends know of his love for collecting hot sauces. When they go on vacation, they often bring him back a bottle of hot sauce like one that came from Barbados. Ironically, Wade can't fully enjoy them. "I have acid reflux and I can't eat hot foods or spicy foods," says Wade.

But he can enjoy the creativity, wanting as many as he can collect. Wade and Debi Hobbs don't have to worry about having their dinner invitations turned down. People know of Wade's reputation for cooking good food and feel thankful for a chance to eat with them.

Wade feels thankful for an understanding wife who doesn't mind his hot love for something.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com