Jalapeños, How Wilt Thou Wound 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!