Hot peppers, pain, and evaporated milk

9 peppersThe end of summer finds piles of fresh hot peppers from farmers’ markets on my kitchen counter.

The best way to preserve them is to roast both sweet and hot peppers and some friendly vegetables in oil.

I slice peppers, a few onions, a tomato or two, and throw in a few cloves of garlic on a parchment-covered sheet pan with a generous splodge of canola oil. Bake (or convection bake) at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes.  Stir every 10 minutes. When the pile of vegetables has reduced by half, and they are fragrant and slightly burned around the edges, turn them into a pan on top of the stove with enough oil to cover. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.  Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator or freeze.

Hot peppers = pain

Every bit of instruction that has been written or handed down from generation to generation says “Use gloves when cutting hot peppers.”  When I cut up a single jalapeno or serrano chili for a dish, I never use gloves. Why did I imagine that I wouldn’t need them for four quarts of peppers? Was it an illusion of immortality? Whatever it was — it was a big mistake.

Cut to the chase (or the pain)

By the time I realized what a huge mistake I’d made, it was too late. My left hand hurt. A lot. It was late at night and I didn’t think that the pain warranted a trip to the ER. The kitchen first aid advice that I found in a one-handed Google search wasn’t exactly a surprise:  Evaporated milk. I soaked my hand in evaporated milk and two tablespoons of sugar for two hours.

It worked.

About susangainen

Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian. Abstract Painter. Writer. Teacher. Explorer.
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