Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A not so chilly chilli

So, what with the baby and all, I decided to cook the parents a couple of meals for when they get home from the hospital. That way, they don't have to bother with cooking for themselves for a few days.

On the weekend, I'd cooked up some Siciliana pasta sauce for a dinner party, so I cooked up double, to give half to my Bro and SiL. The other things I wanted to cook for them was a chicken in green curry, and shephard's pie. Well, I started cooking yesterday afternoon, and I did manage the chicken curry, but didn't get to the shephard's pie.

I made up the paste for the green curry, success! Well, apart from squirting myself in the eye with lime juice. I was zesting the lime, and it squirted up a bit of juice from the skin straight into my left eye. Let me tell you, that hurts. Nothing like a bit of citric acid to wake you up. It quickly passed though, and I thought, amusing, I can post that on the blog as a cooking tip, don't lean head to close to the lime when zesting.
Little did I know that that pain was just a taste of what was to come.

Now, I'm not a complete rube, I know you are supposed to wear gloves when cutting up chillies. But, apart from one or two occasions, I've never had a problem cutting them bare handed. The other occasions I got a bit of a burn, which went away reasonably quickly after dunking my hands in icy water.
Not this time.
I had to cut up nine green chillies for the recipe. Once I finished, a stinging started in my fingertips. Geez, I thought, musta been a strong hot chilli, that smarts. Thinking not much of it, I went and ran my hands under the tap. Ah, that's better. Not quite.

A couple of minutes later a searing pain ran through my fingertips. Damn, it hurt. I grabbed an ice pack from the fridge, and finished making the chicken curry, alternating between cooking and cooling my hands on the ice pack.
Thus began five hours of burning pain. Five.hours.
I had relief if my hands were in a bowl of iced water, but as soon as I lifted my hands out, the pain would leap back up with glee.
By the end of four hours or so, I was in tears. The pain just wasn't going away, and I had to get to bed. It took another hour or so, and three Aspro clears, then directing the fan at the end of the bed to my hands, but eventually the pain abated, and I was able to get to sleep.

So, here's a warning to you folks. If cutting up a chilli, watch out for your fingers.

This morning I woke exhausted from not enought sleep, and my fingers are stiff. Amazingly I can still feel heat radiating off them, but at least the pain has gone.


Blogger Gretchen said...

Oooh, hope your hands aren't permanently traumatized! :)

(If you like cooking so much, you could always send some of that chili my way. Guess it wouldn't be too good by the time it got here. Maybe I'll make some of my own....)

10:17 am  
Blogger Amanda said...

You'll be happy to know my hands are all better now, and yesterday I bought a box of disposable gloves to wear in the future!
I'd love to send you some food Muppet, but I agree it may not last the distance :) I guess you are just going to have to come over and visit!

12:43 pm  

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