This season we were blessed with a large quantity of hot peppers (all from only four thriving plants), so I’ve been busy making hot sauce inspired by the Yemenite hot pepper spread/dip called Zhug. I don’t really have a recipe; just throw a bunch of de-seeded hot peppers, a head of peeled garlic cloves, a bell pepper, some tomatoes, a generous splash of olive oil and salt to taste into a food processor and whip it all up. It makes a fabulous sauce\paste to add to stews, meat and fish dishes, soups, etc.
Unfortunately, it has been a while since I used fresh hot peppers, so I was careless and didn’t use protective gloves. The deception was in the delay: I didn’t feel any burning in my fingers until I was done cutting up the peppers. Then it hit with a vengeance.
Even more unfortunately, my kids, who like to get into anything that goes on in the kitchen, grabbed some peppers too – and touched their faces without even washing their hands. Ouch. It was a disaster – for the next hour, I was dealing with crying, hurting kids. My eldest sincerely advised me to throw the whole bunch of peppers away (“because nobody wants to eat something like this!”).
I’ve tried some of these remedies for stopping hot pepper burn, but nothing really helped us. The kids felt better pretty quickly. I had to endure several very unpleasant hours of burning sensation in my fingers, hands and any part that was exposed to the capsaicin in the hot peppers.
Hot peppers: beautiful but deadly (well, almost)
Lesson learned: next time I work with hot peppers, I’m going to wear gloves and warn my children to stay away.
By the way, I wanted to let you know that The Practical Homemaker’s Companion is now available in a new, extended edition of 90 pages, with added content and photos – for the same price. Those of you who have already bought a copy and are sorry to miss the new edition, don’t worry – simply email me using the contact form, and I’ll send you the updated version. Also available in print. Disclaimer: as the printed version is in black and white, I can’t vouch for its photograph quality. Opting for color print would have made the book too expensive, so I compromised in favor of price.