juggling ice cubes

I love spicy food. I love hot, spicy food. The "fire" rating at Thai restaurants, extra-hot salsa, enchiladas swimming in red chili sauce...I can't get enough, (though both my brother and my husband's brother can dump on enough habañero pepper flakes to make steam come out of my ears without either one of them breaking a sweat. They are both just soooooo macho.)

So why am I sitting at the computer juggling ice cubes with a napkin in my lap to catch the drips?

Because the skin on my hands is extremely sensitive to jalapeño peppers and tonight, despite my best efforts, I have once again fallen victim to those little green bastards.

More than once I've made the mistake of handling jalapeños with my bare hands and paid for it dearly with hours of pain. (I think I've mentioned this before.) I have learned to wear rubber gloves every time I dice jalapeños or handle them in any way. I have outsmarted them...or so I thought. Tonight I made black beans and rice for dinner, and threw in a few chopped j-peppers from last weekend's farmers' market. I was wearing gloves, but I still felt a bit of a burn even through the rubber latex! It wasn't bad at first, but it got worse later on as we were eating, and right now, as I type this blog entry in between tossing an ice cube back and forth between my burning fingers, I am in some serious pain. It feels like I put my hands into a raging hot fire and roasted them like a well-done hot dog. I expect this will last most of the evening. I was planning to wash the dishes while Stuart takes Daniel to the park (so we wouldn't have to do them later), but I'm afraid to put those gloves on again, and putting my bare hands in hot soapy water would be excruciating.

I think it's time to admit defeat. I can never again touch a jalapeño pepper with anything other than a fork or tortilla chip unless I have some ultra heavy-duty gloves, like those virus-proof metal mesh kind scientists use when they're dissecting animals that died of mad-cow disease.


jen said…
MILK! Soak your hands in a bowl of milk. You need to neutralize the oils that the peppers left on your hands, and since oil floats on water, while the ice cubes might take some of the pain away, they won't take the oils away. I once made the mistake of rubbing my eye after making salsa, and despite washing my hands afterward, my eye still burned like hellfire. Worst part? I was DRIVING. But when I got to the potluck, the hostess put some milk in my eye and voila! Burnination terminated!
Andre said…
I'm routin' for you! The last few weeks of the DMA program can be really hectic. . just in terms of getting all your ducks in a row. . I may have said this before, but I pissed off a lot of family in the final stages of my degree. . i digress. .if it's at all possible, I hope that you might be able to defend sooner than later. . I can't remember who said something like "works of art are never finished, only abandoned."
all best with your hands!
Suze said…
yes, milk! I tried that once and it did help. I don't know why I didn't think of it this time.
Anonymous said…
I was going to say: don't rub your eyes, but someone beat me to it. And throw away those gloves. Don't try to wash them or anything, just get rid of them.
canadahauntsme said…
Yeah, milk. I'm way too late to tell you this, but milk neutralizes the capsaicin. Milk or pure alcohol. Like, 180 proof... but I doubt you have much of that lying around =/

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