Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Capsaicin or the Jalapeños' Revenge

Sunday, I decided to make salsa. This year, my tomato plants are producing like they've never produced. It's great. I love it. What the hell do I do with all of these tomatoes? My answer: fresh salsa. But I've never made salsa before until a few weeks ago where I made one batch that was yummy but pretty mild. It was agreed that it needed a bit more spice. The next time, I determined to add another jalapeño or two. That first session, the jalapeño I had cored, seeded, and diced only stung my fingers a little. Still, I made a mental note to wear gloves the next time.

Fast forward to yesterday. Somehow, my brain didn't access the mental note about wearing gloves. Besides, I have chopped three jalapeños before with very little issue. A little bit of a sting, but not much. I didn't need gloves, right? Right?

Holy Mother of God on a pogo stick! Gloves! Why didn't I wear those damn gloves? Don't rub eyes; don't touch privates; keep your hands away from anything you don't want to burn.

The burn came on slowly, insidiously, until I thought my fingers would spontaneously combust. I wanted to cut my fingers off, but that really wasn't an option, as attractive as it seemed at the time. At one point when Charlie was trying to "help" me and telling me what I could do to ease the pain, but not helping me get things together, I did consider rubbing my burning hands all over his private parts. (Okay, I really didn't. There are few people I would wish that pain on, although if I thought about it long enough, I am sure I could come up with a few names. Grin)

I tried nearly all of the suggestions on how to get rid of the burn: rubbing alcohol (never again), cold water for 20 minutes (feels lovely, but it returned a few minutes after taking my hands out), hot water (that was worse than just leaving it alone), lime water, milk, sour cream, honey, sugar and olive oil (my hands haven't felt this soft in a long time, but, boy, did it burn while rubbing this concoction on my throbbing fingers), and a few others I just don't remember any more. I did draw the line at dipping my fingers in bleach. That sounded like a very, very bad idea.

And then there were the smart alecks who suggested putting on gloves before cutting the peppers. Thanks. That was so helpful.

Some people said that organic peppers and onions make things worse. Whether this is true or not is moot. I did use organic of peppers (also organic onions and garlic), but I won't be trying it again without gloves even if I use regular. And what might have started it all, besides not using gloves, right after cutting everything up and finishing the salsa, I washed dishes in... hot water.

Yes, let's open the pores so the capsaicin can go as deeply as possible and create as much pain as possible.

Oh, yeah, baby! That's what I'm talking about!

It is something I never want to repeat... ever.

Ultimately, though, I won. Sure my fingers burned for several hours (over eight), but the salsa is delicious! And I will be enjoying it for days to come.

That being said, maybe next time, I'll just make stewed tomatoes.


Faith said...

Oh, God bless your heart! You should've emailed me before staring the salsa. I would've warned you!

Valerie Mann said...

Been there, own that T-shirt. It's a mistake few make again. In fact, you'll remember it every time you look at a hot pepper. Trust me on this.

Anthology Authors said...

I should have known better, Faith. It was just one of those stupid moments. LOL


Yeah, even though I said I will eat the salsa, it remains to be seen. LOL I didn't wash my hands with hot water for until this morning for fear it would activate the capsaicin again.

Jim Greer said...

You've been pepper sprayed! Yeah, about four hours after I got it in the face during a fight the sensation started to subside. But, good salsa is like good sex. There's a price, but ultimately it's heaven.

Anthology Authors said...


One of the suggestions was to mix baby shampoo, sugar and water as a remedy. (Supposedly, that works with pepper spray.) By the time I had all of the stuff for it, I just wanted to go to bed. LOL

Hm... I think the salsa is going to be good. As good as sex? I'll have to let you know on that one. :D

Jaime Samms said...


Jim Greer said...

Marci - standing by. :)

Anthology Authors said...

Yeah, Jaime, it definitely was an ouch!

You are sassy, Jim. ;)

Robyn M Speed said...

And THAT is why I don't like chillies!!!! I don't trust them! They lull you into this false sense of security, acting all mild and innocent...and then the next time WHAMMO! They get you! They burn you to a crisp!

Nope...I just don't trust them!

Anthology Authors said...

LOL, Robyn! They are sneaky. That's why next time, I wear gloves. :D

Janice Seagraves said...

Ooh. *winch* I remember making salsa and then made the mistake of rubbing my eyes.

I thought the pain would be the death of me. That's a pain that stays with you a while.


Anthology Authors said...

Oh, Janice, that would smart! I don't know if I could have taken it had my eyes burned as bad as my fingers did.

RuthZ said...

Your story brought back my bout with poison ivy. And there were many who said, "You should've worn a long shirt or sweatshirt, too." Well, that didn't even enter my mind on the 100 degree 4th of July morning. Then there were all the remedies. Many worked but only for minutes at best. In the end, like your hit with the burning fever, spreading like fire skin irritation, it had to run its course. In my case, a full week of itching, disturbed sleep and nearly scarring my skin. So, DO ENJOY your salsa.

Anthology Authors said...

Oh, Ruth, I am so glad I didn't have to endure that for a week. I don't think I could have made it that long without killing something. :D