I have this garden in our front yard which I grow
most years; it’s filled with cherry tomatoes and peppers. The cherry
tomatoes are there so people walking by can help themselves: neighbors,
the trash collectors, me – I encourage everyone to eat liberally from
the tomatoe vines which are prolific.
My pepper plants are mostly jalape�os with a couple of
serranos. There are always more than I can eat in the summer and so I
freeze them so I can have heat all winter long.
This year I decided to be creative and make some jalape�o jelly –
spicy and sweet. I have never canned before but that didn’t stop me. I
was inspired by a good friend who always gives me a few treats this
time of year, like his strawberry-lemon preserves or pickled spicy
sunchoke. So off I trundled to the star to buy some ball jars, pectin,
and all the supplies for the recipe.
I left all the seeds and inner membrane in my pepper jelly to make it
extra spicy and when I was done I was on a jag. So, I thought I would
pickle some peppers, too. I had alot of peppers left so I started
slicing and scooping out the seeds for my pickling project. Of course I
didn’t wear gloves.
When I was done my hands began to burn. Then I remembered having read
once upon a time how important it is to wear gloves when slicing and
dicing peppers because the capsaicin, the stuff that makes them spicy,
can get all over your skin and cause some havoc. My hands began to heat
up and that’s when I hit Google to find a solution.
Turns out it’s not soap and water because capsaicin is not water
soluble. On the advice of many who had been burned by experience I did
some serious handwashing with olive oil, dishwashing detergent, and
vinegar. My hands were really starting to sting and so I washed three
or more times in each of those . By the time I got through and it was
bed time my hands were starting to calm down.
If you are going to get into hot stuff, be ready. Next time I will wear
gloves, but I am thankful for the wisdom of the masses that resides on
the Internet – saved my hands last night!