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.