I recently came across a recipe for homemade Sriracha, and because Ray loves the Southeast Asian condiment SO much, I knew I had to make some for him. And the recipe looked fairly easy.
We bought the peppers at the Collingswood Farmers Market on Saturday—I knew I wanted to do a mix of red bell peppers with whatever red hot peppers I could find. I procured 6 "long sweet" hot red peppers from one vendor for $1 and a pint of small red chiles (looked a lot like habaneros) for $2 from a different vendor. I picked up my bulb of garlic and was ready to go (there were already broken down red bell peppers waiting for me at home).
Yesterday I got to work. I roughly chopped the red bell slices, then began breaking down the chilis ... gloveless. I've worked with jalapenos a number of times (even accidentally touched my eyes once after working with them ... ow), and thought nothing of it. Just don't touch my eyes right?
I broke down all the chiles to come up with 12 oz of peppers...not the full pound the recipe called for, but good enough. And then the burning began. I thought it would go away after washing my hands with soap. No. The burning intensified, and left the back side of some of my fingers red and swollen. It sucked.
The pain would blossom anytime I got near the heat of the stove, which was often because I was also making Honey Lemon Apple Jam and Yellow Tomato Soup. Ugh.
Well, it's nearly 22 hours later. My hands feel "warm" and I don't dare bring them near my eyes to wipe away an errant eyelash. One test Ray suggested was to stick a finger in my mouth, under my tongue. If I feel the chili burn in my mouth, the capsaicin is still there. Because I was gloveless AND used my hands to pull out the seeds and ribs, I think my episode ended up being quite unpleasant. Here's hoping it improves (it's not fun wearing a glove to put in contacts.
And to add to your amusement, Ray took me up on the suggestion of comicking my peril. Pain doesn't hurt when it's funny.
Chili pepper image courtesy of flickr user huntz. Some rights reserved.