I didn’t start cooking until I moved into my first apartment. My mom doesn’t like to cook and when I became a vegetarian at 16, the few things she could cook became out of bounds for me. She had 2 cookbooks all the time I was growing up, Joy of Cooking and The Betty Crocker Cookie Book. So I wasn’t surprised when she gave me a copy of Joy when I set up my first kitchen. It wasn’t too useful for a beginning vegetarian so it was joined quickly by Enchanted Broccoli Forest and Laurel’s Kitchen.
I didn’t cook with too many exotic ingredients back then – nothing even remotely “different” made its way into my mom’s kitchen so I didn’t have any experience with the out-of-the-ordinary. I don’t remember the first time I cooked with a jalapeno or any other hot pepper, but it’s been at least 30+ years and now they are a staple at our house.
So you would think that I know better by now about handling hot peppers. Just one Mucho Nacho (a type of jalapeno). I cut the seeds and inner veins out, thinking about the capsicum all the while. Then I apparently turned my brain off, because after I dumped the peppers into the pan, I just kept working instead of washing my hands. Within 10 minutes I had touched my lips in two places, licked a finger and gotten the juice under my thumbnail as well. Paper towel soaked in milk helped the lips, held the thumb in the milk for 5 minutes and then drank the rest. Aaaahhhhh.
What lesson do you wish you would learn? Or took you too long to learn?
And does anybody need a hot pepper or two on Sunday???