Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hot! Hot! Hot!

As a wise man once said "My lips hurt real bad!"

I felt at one with this wisdom last night. You see, I realized that though one of my greatest dreams is to have a small flat screen TV in the kitchen, so that watching Law and Order reruns and making dinner are not mutually exclusive, I probably am better off giving my full attention to what I am doing in the kitchen, especially if it involves hot peppers and sharp knives.

Since, as you may remember, it was balls hot yesterday - and I had soup-making on the agenda (An overabundance of awesome sweet summer corn + "the cleanse" = roasted corn soup) and decided that I would do as much of the prep work as possible in the living room where the AC is. So I dragged in a tray table and a cutting board, my knife, all the veggies that needed prepping, a bowl for the trash and a bowl for all my choppings. I settled on the couch in t he AC, turned the TV on and began chopping.

Everything was going swimmingly until my fatal error. I had just finished dicing two fresh jalapeno peppers and had moved onto mincing garlic. The garlic, however, smelled kind of weird. I picked up a small piece to taste test it and as soon as that little piece hit my tongue a fiery hell of sensation zapped through my tongue.


1) I had chopped the garlic with the same knife I had just chopped the peppers with and 2) the chopping board still had a few rogue pieces of the pepper on it.

Holy Hell.

My mouth afire, I leaped up and into the kitchen to get an ice cube to suck on. They helped marginally but even as the heat on my tongue was somewhat abating the heat on my lips and lower face was infernal. I felt like I had a second degree burn on my lips and chin and frankly? Wanted to die.

Clutching an icepack to my mouth I ran back into the living room and one-handedly typed "JALAPENO BURN ON LIPS" into Google where I learned that this is not a rare phenomenon. And in fact most people know not to put raw jalapenos on sensitive spots like your lips.

Well golly gee.

The universal remedy seemed to be sour cream our milk. Anything dairy. Which is NOT exactly useful to someone who us on a vegan cleanse and has absolutely no dairy in the house. I cursed myself for throwing that half full container of sour cream out the other day. DAMN ME!

I tried some of the other remedies. Lemon juice? Didn't work. Rubbing alcohol? Felt somewhat cooling for a few seconds but didn't work. The only thing that seemed to work at least a little was toothpaste. So thank you, person on British "cooking with peppers" forum that reccomended this, if you were to have come to my apartment between 7 and 7:45 last night you would have been greeted by me, covered from my nose to my chin in bright blue minty Crest.


After about an hour and a half total the pain did wear off...right about the time when the burning in my fingers started, particularly in my thumbs. AWESOME. Jalapeno's revenge, part deux. That lovely burning, searing sensation kept me up late into the night until finally I wrapped both my thumbs in an ice pack and went to bed. Adam got home from hockey an hour or so after I was asleep, thumbs still encased in ice packs, toothpaste smeared over my face, and tried to take the ice packs away from me at which point I awoke and snarled at him so he decided I could keep them if I wanted.

Wise choice.

And here it is about 12 hours later and my thumbs STILL BURN though not nearly as much. But still.

I think the moral the story is clear.

If you are going on a vegan cleanse and decideto make a roasted corn soup that has chopped jalapenos in it even though it's 100 degrees out, have at least SOME form of dairy in the fridge. Your lips and thumbs will thank you.

Or, more succinctly and I think more universally: wear gloves when you are chopping hot peppers.


GS said...

It could´ve been worst, imagine you forget all that and rubbed your eye!! not that it has happened to me or anything...

The One and Only Kristy J said...

atleast you didn't cut yourself...can you imagine THAT pain.
i'm glad the searing pain has ceased. good luck on the cleanse. there's NO way i could go 21 days with no wine.

Sarah said...

Thanks! I also love me some wine and don't often go a day without having at least a few glasses. I have to admit last night I was CRAVING an ice cold glass of sauvignon blanc!

Traci Anne said...

Oh HONEY. I did that once when I was a vegan, but thankfully, we had some milk in the fridge for K!