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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Well That’s One Way of Keeping Warm

The sun, having heard, perhaps, that Minneapolis has cast furtive glances at its Tupperware-ed  stockpile of cozy sweaters and corduroy pants, has cooled in her affection for us.  The temperature drops daily, and the citizens of Our Great City rub their hands together, exhale hotly onto their exposed fingertips.

Summer!  Oh, summer.  I only sunburnt once this year – just a little bit! – and I never did get a tan.

There is nothing I can do about it now. 

The seasons change, and we head to the cookbooks.  Indian, Thai, Mexican, anything where the tongue can be fooled into thinking that it may have struck out on its own, perhaps flown off to somewhere warm, somewhere where dark-eyed men with enterprising moustaches offer bowls of fragrant happiness…

Three jalapenos, the recipe said.  Cored and chopped, seeds are optional.

Optional?

Optional?!!  Say no more, my good man.  Any time a recipe suggests “optional” to me, I suggest that it does not know who it is dealing with.  Optional?  The word tastes bad, and I’ll have none of it.

I chopped three jalapenos.  Cored and chopped them.  Kept their little seeds.

Optional.  Why I oughta…

Of course, it is not long after that, whilst brushing my hair from my face, that I notice my cheek is burning.

And my left ear.  And the right side of my chin.  And the center of my chest.  And a portion of my forehead.

And it occurs to me, something that I read ever-so-long ago, something about wearing rubber gloves when dealing with jalapenos…

But!  But!  These were grown in Minnesota!  Surely a little home-grown vegetable wouldn’t burn like one grown in, say, Texas?

Right?

For a bright woman, I am surprising stupid at times.

I go into the bathroom, look in the mirror at the red splotches on my face.

They will burn for hours.

I made salsa to remind me of summer.

And just like that, summer is back.


31 comments:

Delores said...

If you close your eyes and try real hard......you can ALMOST imagine it's summer again. I wouldn't advise digging out the bathing suit though.

Pearl said...

Delores, wearing a bathing suit while almost criminally white is like a punishment...

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I don't do jalapenos, but I am definitely looking at soup and chili recipes. And I am sorry about your pepper burns. Find a better way to stay warm, okay?

Me-Me King said...

Oh, those jalapenos, they'll get'cha.

Patricia said...

I happen to know that smearing sour cream on your parts will quickly cool down any jalepeno burns. Don't ask me how I know this... MWAH!

GTChristie said...

As Red Skelton said once, those jalapenos can be jot as jell.

Pearl said...

Blissed, It's a good time of year for lasagne as well...

Me-Me, the little buggers snuck up on me!

Patricia, that is delightfully weird. :-)

GTChristie, :-) Never heard that before!

Joanne Noragon said...

I do not have the gasto fortitude for hot peppers. I do enjoy watching the blaze spread over my brother-in-law's face, and over his bald head. The sun at noon pales in comparison.

Shelly said...

I have done that more times than I can count. Jalapenos don't burn me anymore, but habaneros most definitely do. I raise my bowl of salsa to you~

Daisy said...

Ouch! That's one kind of heat you don't need!

jenny_o said...

Good thing you didn't need to touch your eyes; I can't even imagine how much that would hurt.

joeh said...

I agree, optional usually means add more...but jalapenos? Good luck!

I like when the chef tells me, "I use cheddar, but you can use any cheese you want."

Can I? Really? Why thank you!
When I read cheese I see Velveeta!!

A frig without a brick of Velveeta is an empty frig.

Did I get off track? Sorry...Funny stuff as usual.

fishducky said...

Joe, Velveeta is plastic cheese!!

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

You had me at "dark-eyed men with enterprising moustaches."
Hope your burning sensation goes away, Pearlie!

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

I always read "optional" as "if you want to get done sooner don't do this".

Which of course means I never do the optional.

Suldog said...

"enterprising moustaches"

You do have a way with the vocabulary. By the way, Patricia didn't specify exactly WHAT parts to smear the sour cream on. I, uh... need to be alone for a bit...

Elephant's Child said...

My partner once (and only once) made a curry named Malaccan Devil's Curry. It called for forty chillis. He told me it gave him a whole new understanding of 'Burning Ring of Fire'. Getting the juice on your face, in your eyes, in cuts is not a reminder of summer but a foretaste of hell.

Margie said...

A friend once fooled me by telling me the chili hot peppers he had cooked up were mild, well they were not, the burn in mt mouth was so intense I cried out loud and it was not a nice word...

Gigi said...

And that would be why I leave the cooking to professionals. Because without a doubt, I would have rubbed my eye and been blinded.

River said...

Mmm....dark eyed men...where was I? oh,jalapenos...I don't do any kind of chillies which is just as well, I can't chop with gloves on. Even mild chillies burn me from the inside. After eating them, I can feel my face swelling and cheeks burning hot pink. The swelling disappears overnight, but the colour stays for days, so no chillies for me ever.

I hope your burning didn't last too long, a bag of frozen peas held there might help, or rub on a cut tomato to take out the sting, same as for sunburn.

Daisy said...

I put a Tiajuana Brass cd into the player and dream...

Hope you are once again very "cool".

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) said...

My, that gave me a visceral reaction, thinking of the last time I had a few too many chili seeds in something I ate. I don't do chili seeds anymore. Nor do I order anything described as "hot" in a good, traditional Thai place. That was a painful lesson to learn. Quite literally.

I hope the burning splotches didn't last too long.

jeanie said...

I am thinking perhaps you need an enterprising moustache for that chilli burn.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Enterprising mustaches....I love enterprising mustaches from now on. I'm sure I'm going to think of it whenever I see a mustache. "Well", I'll think, "there's an enterprising mustache", or, "Well, now that's not a very enterprising mustache, now is it?" Stay warm, Pearl. But not jalapeno warm.

Rose L said...

That's a different way of getting a sunburn. LOL

Geo. said...

There are elements in my extended family that enjoy a feast of jalapenos, followed by smoking exploding cigars --after which they all go outside and take turns rolling off the roof. I have, in recent years, declined their invitations. They call me "chicken", which I actually prefer.

Kymbo Whitford said...

I chop chillies with bare hands too.. but now I go to the toilet with rubber gloves.... ;-)

Mitchell is Moving said...

Such a clever woman... although I would think burning cheeks and red splotches would make you think of menopause and not summer!

As for the word "optional" in recipes, I never quite get that. Given me an "option" assumes I know what the hell I'm doing in the first place.

Sioux said...

Pearl--Your post made me think: maybe it's not menopause...Perhaps it's not hot flashes? Maybe it's the salsa?

I guess not.

Linda O'Connell said...

Pearl, you know, it could have been a lot worse, depending on which other parts you scratched. You can always make me laugh.

Britta Hill said...

Dear Pearl, I liked your post! And 'optional' is so - noncommital. The autumn is nearing in Berlin too - and yes: I bought 2 cookbooks - both by Yotam Ottolenghi - will take care when he recommends jalapenos :-)