Glenda (at age 6) in her racing dress with her daddy's porsche

I grew up on a steady diet of hot cars and hot sauce. My Dad (Robert Gelles) was very active in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and the Porsche Club of America (PCA). Dad was often the Chief Steward (top official) of any given SCCA race weekend at Texas World Speedway. His nickname was “God” and I was “God’s shadow”.

One of my best friends at the track was Mel Godbold, an EMT on the San Jac Rescue Team. Mel was wicked smart, dangerously funny and downright heroic in his ability to keep racecar drivers safe. I would often sit with Mel and the rest of the Rescue Team (in their emergency vehicles) during the races. We’d tell stories, play jokes on each other and wait for the last checkered flag to go down so we could tap the keg. And as if Mel’s tall tales weren’t spicy enough, he would always have his homemade hot sauce and a bag of corn chips to share with the crew.

In the heat of the summer, surrounded by smokin’ hot cars and concrete, there was nothing better than hot sauce, chips and an ice cold coke (or beer, if the last race was done). After much pleading and begging, Mel finally shared his hot sauce recipe with me.

Mel Godbold’s Picante Sauce

  • 1 large can of whole tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 jalapenos (chopped fine)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbs black pepper
  • fresh cilantro

Throw all the ingredients in the blender. Blend for about 5-10 seconds. Don’t over blend, because it is best when it is still chunky.

Adjust to suit your own taste. My favorite ingredients are the cumin and the fresh cilantro.

Thanks to David Miller for asking for the recipe today. I’ve since tracked down Mel Godbold on Facebook. Gotta love the internet.