Monday, October 25, 2010

Jalapenos and other household hazards

I heard a few weeks ago on NPR that in Mexico, some people put cooking oil on their hands when handling chili peppers in order to protect themselves from the capsaicin. I have had unfortunate run-ins with this nefarious chili component in years past. I love making chili, so this easy remedy sounded like the answer to all of my pepper problems.

In fact, I tried it just after hearing about it. And sure enough, voila! it worked like a charm. I even put it through a truly rigorous trial and handled the peppers as I was cutting them! No burning! Success! That is, at least, until I washed my hands and handled the unwashed-jalapeno-cutting knife. :-(

So anyway, today I decided to make my signature chili. I always make a gigantic batch (8 cans of beans! 3 cans of tomatoes!) and therefore am not shy about adding plenty of jalapenos.

Today I searched the fridge and found only 1. :-( Oh well, it was nice and juicy and I just love that little zing! I neglected to use the oily hand method, and opted instead for a plastic bag. Unfortunately, this gave me less control of the knife, and as mentioned, the pepper was juicy and by the way, did you know that juicy peppers can squirt when cut?
"AUGH! Mr. A.H.! I just got squirted in the eyes with capsaicin!!!"
I ran to the sink and quickly doused myself with water. I could tell that my supportive and very sensitive husband was suppressing a laugh. I then ran to the bathroom sink, because of course that water is much better for this type of emergency. Mr. A.H. quickly followed. I looked up after my curative efforts and *FLASH* Mr. A.H. to the rescue!

Instant karma, however, is still alive and well:

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