Hooray! It was touch and go there for a while, but I can now officially announce that I survived September!!!
In other news…
A few days ago, my mom dropped off approximately two tons of tomatoes and a ginormous bag of peppers. Since I was smack dab in the middle of running the school book fair, I didn’t take the time to even look at them until yesterday, when I decided to turn them into one last batch of salsa. Because as I have mentioned before, we drink salsa around here. Real salsa. That stuff that you buy at the store? NOT salsa. It’s more like glorified ketchup.
Anyway, after boiling, peeling, and chopping 24 million tomatoes, I turned my attention to the peppers. Hmmm….I saw bell peppers, and Anaheims, and jalapenos, and???? There were some peppers that I couldn’t classify. Hoping to identify the mystery peppers, I called my mom to ask for her assistance. “Good luck,” she said helpfully. “All I know is that they are supposed to be really hot.” We both agreed that it would probably be best NOT to use all of the peppers, and I went back to my salsa, determined to be sensible about the peppers.
Except. I am not sensible. And it had been a really long time since I had made a truly hot batch batch of salsa. I like hot salsa. I really do. I like spicy food in general. PF Changs? Make that sauce HOT! El Gallo Giro? Hot, please. I’ve even developed a tolerance for hot Indian food. YUM! I made an executive decision. All of the hot peppers would be used. There would be no wimpy mild salsa for the James family this year!
I put the boys to work sorting and washing the peppers.
They took their job very seriously.
Then I started to chop them. With my bare hands. Because I always chop peppers with my bare hands. Gloves are for wimps.
Soon, a gigantic pot of salsa was boiling on the stove. It smelled HEAVENLY.
I began cleaning up the kitchen.
And then I felt a tingle in my left hand. The tingle started to feel a bit warm. My right hand started to tingle.
OH THE HUMANITY!!! My hands were burning like hot lava!!! (Did you catch that one, Sarah?)
At first, I reacted calmly by running around the kitchen yelling, “Ow ow ow ow ow!” while waving my hands in the air. The pain only intensified. I ran to the freezer and grabbed a handful of ice, which evaporated instantly upon contact with my sizzling hands. I grabbed more ice. It melted. I thought my hands were going to spontaneously combust.
It was time to eat dinner. I couldn’t put the ice down long enough to pick up my hamburger. I didn’t even attempt the pineapple and corn.
I was starving and my hands were threatening to incinerate anything they came in contact with.
“Daniel, go google how to heal a hot pepper burn,” I pleaded. He rolled his eyes at me and continued Facebooking his friends. I always knew that Facebook was evil.
I googled “jalapeno hands” all by myself, somehow managing to type in my search terms without melting the keyboard.
I soon discovered that there are many, many people throughout the world who have encountered similar situations. There are also many “cures” for jalapeno hands.
Soaking my hands in milk. It didn’t help.
Rubbing oil all over my hands. Nada.
Dawn dish soap and hot water. Are you freaking kidding me?
Vinegar. Now I felt like a hot pickle.
Lotion. Don’t ever try that one. Trust me.
Even though MANY people swore it was the only thing that helped them, I did NOT pee on my hands. A girl has her limits.
My hands had now been burning for almost four hours. Finally, FINALLY, I found a suggestion to use Fast Orange. We had Fast Orange in the garage. “Todd, GET THE FAST ORANGE!” I wailed. He rolled his eyes, too. But he obliged. And guess what!?!?! It worked!!! For about five minutes. The burning returned while I was doing my happy dance in the kitchen. I reapplied the Fast Orange. It gave me just enough relief to wash my face and brush my teeth. Then I crawled into bed with a bag of frozen corn clutched between my smoldering hands and fell asleep, dreaming of fire and brimstone.
I am pleased to report that this morning I woke up with only mildly hot hands. And 27 pints of seriously delicious salsa.
I donned a hazmat suit before cleaning the kitchen. Because as I have clearly demonstrated multiple times now, I am all about taking proper safety precautions.