This post written by the original Ebby.
This year’s garden was a failure, for the most part. The beans did fine, but the tomatoes suffered from all the rain, the potatoes never grew bigger than golf balls and there wasn’t one zucchini or cucumber to be found in all that mess of vines.
But the peppers. Within the last few weeks the little suckers have proliferated faster than my growing cat population.
Last spring I poured over seed catalogs, finally settling on Georgia Flame peppers because they carried a heat index rating of four on a scale of five. I fancy myself quite adept at handling heat, so I was eager to see what these little red beauties had to offer.
Since I didn’t have much time for cooking last week, drying them seemed like the best solution.
So they’ve been hanging out on my counter, slowly shriveling. The lazy woman’s way to dry peppers, I thought. But Friday night I noticed mold and I panicked and decided they had to get in a warm oven at that exact moment or the world might come to an end.
The faint of heart recommend wearing gloves when handling hot peppers. But I am a seasoned pro, having chopped hundreds of jalapenos without incident. I laugh in the face of extreme heat.
My first indication that these Georgia Flame’s were a different breed entirely came when I sliced them in half to remove the stems and seeds. I thought it somewhat odd when the tips of my fingers began to burn. But whatever. I was facing mold and would not be deterred.
Just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things I touched the tip of my tongue to the tip of my finger. I was rewarded with a searing pain.
Working quickly I rinsed off the seeds. Cough. Whew. Strong fumes.
Rinse, rinse, rinse. Cough, cough, cough.
Burning in my lungs was never a problem with all those jalapenos I’ve cleaned. Hmmm.
Suddenly I started coughing so violently that I almost vomited right into the sink. I couldn’t breathe and the room started to spin. Then I yelled a few bad words.
Aborting this mission was sounding like the smart thing to do, but I was so close! I threw those varmin in the oven and tried to forget the whole thing ever happened.
Then I washed my hands. And then I washed them again before I ate supper. Then again as I did the dishes. And one more time, just to be sure.
While settling in to watch a movie, I noticed my eyes were really feeling dry. Normally I would have left my contacts in for several more hours. But my eyes were starting to itch. I realized I would never be able to enjoy the rest of the night until I had those contacts out.
I washed my hands once more, and then it was time.
Lest you think I am a complete idiot, I did hesitate for a second, giving thought to what I was about to do and the consequences I could possibly face.
The important lesson I learned is that Softsoap does absolutely nothing to remove the scorching heat of Georgia Flame peppers off one’s hands. And any heat that is on one’s hands is transferred one hundredfold to the eyes. I also learned what it feels like to fear for my life for a solid 10 minutes. And then fear for my eyesight for another 10 after that.
I’m all for excitement on a Friday night, but I’d rather the excitement didn’t involve severe threats to important parts of my body.
But I recovered. And then I realized how dry my left eye still felt.
Repeat aforementioned scenario.
Thirty minutes later, with my eyesight intact, I decided I needed some nachos. I got right back on that horse and topped them with fiery salsa.