Monday, October 22, 2012

Straight From Satan's Garden


There is a bigger bastard of the produce section than the tiny white onion (see Channeling Julia).  It is called the jalapeno pepper.  If you didn’t know this, jalapeno peppers are delivered to you grocery store straight from Satan’s organic garden.

Like every year on my childrens’ birthdays, I tell myself I will keep it simple.  Every year I end up making appetizers any way.  And this leads to the making of even more food.   Then before you know it I have a whole menu planned and am panicking the night before.  Thankfully, I have an awesome best friend and a kick ass sister-in-law who both came in the night before to help me prepare for Kenzie’s party.  This year the devil himself reminded me that I should have listened to him when he was on my shoulder telling me to take the easy route of put up bouncy castle, order pizza, call it a day.

One of the things I decided to make was jalapeno poppers.  Cut jalapeno in half, scoop out the guts, spread cream cheese, wrap in bacon.  Sounds simple right?  It would have been simple had the jalapenos that we ended up with not been delivered up from the depths of hell where they were injected with the fire before landing in our shopping cart.

I got up early in the morning to start on them.  I cut the tops off, sliced them in half, and scooped out the seeds.  My ring finger started to get a slight burn.    I finish the first batch of peppers and my finger now feels like it has been dipped in hot tar.  I curse my eczema thinking it has just flared up again and go to put on more steroid cream.  When I come back to the kitchen I scoop the jalapeno guts into the garbage disposal and turn it on.  This is a bad idea.  Now the fumes have permeated the kitchen and my eyes are burning and tearing.

Enter my sister-in –law, Kristin aka victim #2.  She makes it through half a batch before her nose is on fire and her eyes have teared so bad she can’t see.  Victim #3, Ann, finishes the batch with the same results. 

At this point we all decide to shower to cleanse ourselves of the potent jalapeno oil.  I carefully wash my face with my palms to avoid touching my eyes with my fingertips.  The devil, however, is crafty and has made sure that his homegrown vegetable has oil with the ability to migrate.  I know this because despite my careful attempts, it feels like someone has poured acid directly into my eyeballs.  As I am scrambling for a towel, I somehow must have managed to touch my lips as they now feel like they have suckled from a dragon’s teet.

I desperation, I use my medical background to do a google search for “how to remove the searing pain caused by jalapenos”.  The answer: lemon juice.  I go upstairs to relay this information to my fellow victims.  Ann comes out of the bathroom wearing glasses, one eye bright red and tearing as the jalapeno has poisoned her contact lens.    Kristin just briskly walks downstairs as I am talking to head towards the kitchen.  We then stand at the kitchen sink pouring lemon juice over each others’ hands and in my face rubbing it directly onto my lips.  I’m sure chefs do this all the time.  It did help though.

Now thinking about it some more, it is possible that this was a stern sign from God instead.  In our family, Kenzie’s nickname is Tasmanian devil because of her propensity for constant motion and ability to completely destroy whatever room she inhabits.  Maybe this is God’s way of telling me that referring to my daughter as a devil is just not cool.  

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