I caught a glimpse of “Good Eats” on the Food Channel tonight. Alton Brown was talking about chile peppers, capsicum and Scoville units. He talked about how capsaicin–the oil that makes chile peppers hot–can lock into your taste buds and stay there for long periods of time. He also mentioned, as he was cutting jalepenos for a salsa, you should also wear plastic gloves when you prepare chiles beause the capsaicin can stick to your hands and stay there even after repeated washings with soap and water–remember, its an oil. I wish I had seen this program before I made my salsa this summer.
I was using fresh jalepenos as well, and as I now recall, I was pretty careful with chile peppers, even though I never used gloves. But this time I kinda forgot about the heat; it had been a long time since I made something with chiles. I cut and seeded the jalepenos using my fingers instead of a knife–WTF was I thinking! Well, as you can imagine, the capsaicin oils began to make their presence known and my finger tips began to burn. I washed and soaked my hands and the burning sensation subsided just a bit. Not a lot, but enough to endure the pain and still function. After I finished preparing the salsa and put it in the refridgerator, I went to the little boy’s room to relieve myself of the beer I had been consuming–maybe that’s why I forgot about the heat. Anyway, in the course of taking care of business, I touched a delicate part of my body with my finger tips–aim is important, y’know. No sooner had I washed my hands and left the boy’s room, I suddenly felt a warming sensation between my legs.
Huh? What the…
The sensation gets warmer then hotter and finally begins to burn. I run upstairs to the master bedroom bathroom, jump out of my pants and run cold water. I stand on my tippy toes and lean forward trying to soak little Charley. No good. I mean, I reached the water, but it still burned. At which point, in walks Musubi-chan.
“What the heck are you doing?” she asks quizzically.
I explain and she starts to cackle, bending over in laughter, pounding the dresser and the wall. Gera-gera-gera.
“Uh, it really hurts….”
“Okay, okay, what do you want ME to do?” She manages to reply shakily, her eyes damp with tears. Then she doubles over and starts to laugh again.
“Ah, forget it…” I said, Charley shriveling up.
So, girls and boys, ALWAYS wear a glove when dealing with hot chile peppers. And remember to take the gloves off before you go to the powder room.