Friday, June 5, 2009

Red Hot Chili Peppers

On one of our last days in Germany, Nathan was going to make enchiladas for my nephew Bryce's birthday. He couldn't find all of the ingredients that he is used to using here in the States, including chili powder. So, adventurous guy that he is, he decided to make it himself. He found some little dried red chili peppers at the store and bought a package for only 1.99 Euro - for a lot of peppers! I was going to help him prepare them, so my assignment was to slice them open and take out the seeds, then he was going to blend up the rest into a powder. Merani came in to help me as well.

We knew that the seeds are the hottest part - that's why we were taking them out. But apparently I have not been sufficiently warned about how careful you need to be with those suckers! When working on the first pepper, I had sampled one seed and just a small speck of the pepper. A little hot, but manageable without any liquids to drink. So I didn't think they were any big deal.

Merani was playing in the bowl of seeds while I worked. After doing 10-15 of the peppers, I was noticing that my nose was starting to burn. Like, my nose was running just a little, so I was doing a lot of sniffing, which was bringing this burning sensation up farther & farther into my nose.

Before long, things were way out of hand. We were trying to get Merani & I out of the kitchen and cleaned up before Merani touched her eyes or anything, but we were apparently too late. Her eyes were burning, and both of our lips and noses were burning. We both drank some water (which yes, I remember hearing now that you're actually supposed to drink milk instead of water)... and we were advised to rinse our hands with lemon juice, which we did. And it was suggested that if Merani could just keep her eyes shut, that would help the most. Luckily, it was late anyways, so I decided to just nurse her down to sleep. I'm sure the nursing was comforting for her mouth & throat, while it also allowed her to close her eyes and heal before morning time. I also got a cold wet washcloth that we both held onto our burning noses. :(

That night, taking my contacts out burned just a bit (since there was still a bit of oil on my hands, I guess), and I wondered how it would be to put my contacts in the next morning. Well, if there's ever any question, I'd recommend AVOIDING trying it! Since I didn't have an extra set of contacts, I rinsed my contacts well both at night & morning. And of course they soaked all night long. And I made sure to wash my hands well again in the morning. But sure enough, as soon as I put the first contact in, I was screaming my head off and trying to scrape my eyeball out. I couldn't keep my eye open long enough to remove the contact! Oh, the torture!! I finally got it out and someone brought me a wet washcloth and later, an ice pack. I shed lots of tears, pitched those contacts, and decided I'd be wearing my glasses for my last couple of days in Germany.

The enchiladas turned out great though - not too hot at all. It was all worth it in the end. Especially to provide an awesome Happy Birthday dinner for Bryce! ;)

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