Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Red (and not so red) hot peppers

On Tuesday afternoons, I pick my niece up from preschool. This week, someone set out a box of jalapeno peppers, chili peppers and tomatillos with a sign that said free. So, we took one of each; we're studying Mexico right now.

The peppers were setting on the counter this morning when my girls decided they needed to see how hot they really were. I warned them not to try it, but you know how much Mom knows! So, my sweet, precious, very sensitive 6 year old took a bite right off the tip of the pepper, seeds and all.

Didn't take long for that sweet, precious, very sensitive 6 year old to recognize her mistake, but it was too late. The fire was already kindled. To the refrigerator she ran, grabbing the milk and quickly filling a cup with the white flame retardant. To her credit, she didn't cry. That was a big accomplishment, since the last time she tasted a hot pepper, she cried for 20 minutes!

Before the morning was over, I'd also tasted one of the peppers. Though it was hot, I only touched it to the tip of my tongue, I didn't bite, chew or swallow. So, my experience was very brief and relatively painless. But, when Dad returned from work, the girls greeted him with a report that Mom had tasted the pepper.

I've been accepted into the Rodgers' Red Hot Pepper Club! And, I learned a very important lesson; when you touch chili peppers, DON'T TOUCH YOUR EYES, NOSE OR MOUTH! Needless to say, I learned that from personal experience! Whatever it is that makes them hot (the capsaisin?) gets on your fingers. Yikes. Those peppers are HOT, and they just keep giving, and giving, and giving. But, at some point either my eyes and nose will become immune to their effects (from frying the nerves in said areas) or the hot stuff will wear off my fingers. Hopefully that happens before it is time to take my contacts out tonight!

Just consider yourself warned, though. If you come to our house in the near future, you will be offered a pepper, whether it is on the menu or not. It will be hot, and an innocent, precious six year old will say, "Please bite it. I did." Just say no!

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