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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Jalapeños, How Wilt Thou Wound Me?

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Jalapeños, How Wilt Thou Wound Me?

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'Tis the season where Bobby and I spend a couple hours each evening cooking and canning things. Tonight's project was barbecue sauce (Bobby) and hot sauce (me).

We are pepper fans, so we grow several different varieties in the garden each summer, including four jalapeño bushes, which around this time of year, start producing like mad. Turning a portion of them into hot sauce is one of my annual jobs.

Once, while eating supper at the late Rocky Run in Columbia, I was inspecting their impressive collection of hot sauces and didn't realize that some had spilled on the side of the bottle. I scratched my eye with that hand and ... and ... ouch. Let's leave it at that.

So I know from painful experience to be careful with hot peppers. And I am, quite ridiculously so. I have elbow-high plastic gloves. I wear a bandana over my mouth and nose while blending the sauce because I've also learned from painful experience that inhaling vaporized hot sauce is Not Good. If I have to itch anywhere on my face, I rub it up and down Bobby's back rather than chancing that I might rub jalapeño juice on myself. That's what husbands are for. :)

Yet I still somehow hurt myself annually each year. This year, I managed to get three-dozen peppers cut and seeded without injury. Bobby had the sink full of tomatoes, so I went into the bathroom to wash my knife and remove my gloves. First of all, I looked pretty cool, like some sociopathic femme fatale, washing a big knife in the bathroom sink with elbow-high bright yellow gloves on and a tight black tank top that I usually wear to skating practice.

Then I had to sneeze. I sneeze a lot. Constant sneezing is kind of a Felagundism.

So I staggered away and left the knife in the sink so that I wouldn't sneeze on it and sneezed three times in a row in the corner. And sprayed some on my face. (Yuck, I know.) And there must have been some capsaicin in it because then my whole face started burning, including my eyes. So now I'm staggering around because I can't open my eyes, trying to find the sink.

Thankfully, my first-cousin-once-removed-in-law (sounds like something off a Hobbit family tree) makes goat's milk soap for her living, and I had a wee itty-bitty sliver of some left in the shower. So I lathered that into a nice foam and rubbed it all over my face and eyelids and let it sit for about a minute, and that did the trick. After about five minutes, the burning was completely gone.

I should email her to let her know of a new angle from which to market her product: for silly people who have proven time and again that they should not mess with potentially harmful vegetables yet insist on doing so. Thank goodness no one has taught me how to prepare fugu yet!
  • I think you should skip the fugu. Just saying... ^_^
  • Step away from the pufferfish

    I've learned that one from experience with serrano and thai bird peppers.

    Not pleasant. Not remotely pleasant.

    • Re: Step away from the pufferfish

      Well, I feel slightly better that I'm not the only one, although it's not something I'd wish on anyone! :D

      We've not yet grown either of those. Serrano is one I've been eying and might consider if we can get away with fewer jalapenos next year (which we likely will, since we've had bumper crops for two years now).
  • (no subject) -
    • Bobby and I are among the only people in our family that like hot food, so we had to learn early how to reduce the heat of hot peppers. (And then they're still too hot! :D) Bobby would eat the seeds straight, I think. He lacks pain neurons in his mouth or something.
  • Ow ow ow ow! Poor Felak.
    Good you had the goat's milk soap though. And that you managed to find the sink without grabbing the knife blade or anything of the sort O.o

    (And what does it tell you about me that my first thought was "BUT THE LANGUAGE! LOOK WHAT SHE DID TO THE LANGUAGE!" before I switched to "Oh wait, Dawn hurt herself, POOR HURT HUMAN". >_>)
    • And that you managed to find the sink without grabbing the knife blade or anything of the sort

      Which is good since I've had ridiculous accidents with knives too! :D I am blessed (cursed?) with unusually fast reflexes, and when I was still a cook, I saw something fall from the counter from the corner of my eye and grabbed it. Yeah. It was a knife. That had been sharpened that morning. Not Good! :D

      Luckily, the fast reflexes helped with that too because I also realized it was a knife and let go before it did much damage. In fact, because it was newly sharpened, it didn't hurt, so I didn't realize it had done any damage until I looked down and my glove was full of blood.

      I'm a blood-phobic so ... Not Good again! :D My family still teases me about that one!


      What, you don't like it?? It's called the Bad Archaic Melodrama dialect. It comes with a fainting couch and heaving bosom. 8^)
      • I am blessed (cursed?) with unusually fast reflexes,

        Jedi Dawn! Well, I suppose at least since it was a very sharp knife the cuts were clean. (I am blessed (cursed?) with my father's sense of humour. He's a surgeon.)
        My husband reportedly did something similar, except in a chemistry laboratory and with glass equipment. Not Good either... >_>

        What, you don't like it??

        I suspect I may spend too much time with the Fëanor muse in my head, who has no sense of humour at all when it comes to language use ;)
  • I've done the eye thing with peppers - first time I ever had to go to an ER as an 'adult.' I'd just turned 18 and was jopping jalapeños to go into pico de gallo and rubbed my eye. Some of that juice ended up behind my contact lens (I was silly and vain enough to wear them back them) and I ended up with a corneal abrasion. My mom was about to sign all my ER paperwork and the admissions people shook their head and said, nope, she's 18, she has to do it.

    So I feel your pain.
    • Oh no! That's worse than mine! I don't have contacts, thank goodness. I'd probably be one of those people who gets it stuck behind her eye or something. Actually, I could never put them in because part of my blood-injury phobia is an extreme squeamishness about eyes. And feet. Weird. :^P

      But between you and Lilith--two smart people whom I respect!--making the same silly mistake, I feel slightly less foolish now. ;)
  • ::winces:: I feel your pain. It's good to know about the goat's-milk soap though.
    • Yes, if you're going to mess with hot peppers, it's good to keep on hand! A friend of ours who is also a hot pepper aficionado recommended washing in milk, and that works too, but the goat's milk soap can be made into a sort of mask and allowed to sit, so I found that worked better.

      (Sad that all of these revelations come from repeated personal experience! :D)
  • This is one of the moments when you should enjoy being a girl. Mom Pony loves to tell me stories about careless men who go to pee with capsaicin-covered hands . . .
    • Oh! LMAO!

      A good male friend of mine had a very negative experience along those lines with a darkened room, a tube of Icy Hot, and an electric vibrating vagina ...
  • Oh wow, you guys can grow pepper! I was nearly thinking that when you said accident, you'd cut yourself with a knife, but then the itchyness coming from the pepper (seeds or also the whole fruit?). Ai Caramba!
  • OMG. To think that I can't even cut onions without nearly killing myself, I don't want to know what a mess I'd create with your peppers... I'm only using dried chilis. It's safer. ;)
  • I treat chilli peppers with enormous respect (having seen first hand their effect on my brother, poor soul!) but it's a dirty rotten trick on their part to make you sneeze...

    *Plans to wear a face mask for pepper seeding in the future.*
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