One of the unfortunate side-effects of my job is my new intolerance for preparing hot peppers.
A couple years ago I joined in the pepper frenzy of our state and bought a bushel of green chili peppers. For three hours that night I cleaned, seeded, and froze my peppers out of which I made rellenos and green chili sauce the rest of the year.
Then I went through Basic Training at the DOC Academy where I became certified to carry OC. That meant I had to enter an OC filled room and disperse my spray at the target. You’ll understand why I volunteered to be one of the first. Those who went last had to endure a higher concentration of the stuff. I passed. Then I became really sick. Besides a few embarrassing minutes, I didn’t think much of it.
It was chili season again. Again I faithfully drove out to one of the farms and picked up my bushel of fire roasted chilis. Not even a quarter of the way through, I had to put my bag in the refrigerator. Snot was pouring down my nose and I was tearing up like a baby. It took me four days to freeze my bushel. With my peppers safely in the freezer, I found myself reluctant to touch them for anything.
At Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law assigned my brother-in-law to smoke a turkey. He’s never made any meat I didn’t devour, so I looked forward to the spicy, nontraditional recipe he brought with him. Then he made the brine which calls for a 1/4 C of dried pepper flakes in warm water. It didn’t take long before I was coughing like crazy, but it wasn’t until the entire house was doused with the effects of pepper in the air that he took the brine out in the garage.
I love chili peppers, and I am very sad as I look at my bags and bags of frozen peppers that I am reluctant to touch them now all due to a certification that took me less than a minute to complete.