This afternoon, I collected all of the hot peppers I’ve dried over winter to harvest seed for the upcoming season. Several of the peppers had rotted toward the center. I threw those out. Others rattled so perfectly, I decided to save them for the sheer joy of listening some rainy day this spring. The rest I cracked open and then proceeded to remove the seeds, with my bare fingers. I had forgotten what, no doubt, our ancestors (and all skilled seed savers) would have remembered: Hot pepper seeds are HOT.
And so, oblivious to the fiery pepper dust coating my calloused fingertips, I scratched my nose, then rub my right eyelid. Within moments I was rushing to the bathroom with burning eyeballs and a numb upper lip, convinced my nose was bleeding fire.
Next time, I’ll remember to wear gloves.
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I was just reading yesterday about someone coming into contact with hot peppers and having similar difficulties. The recommended item was oil, leaving it on for an hour or more. There was some discussion about the value of ice cream for lip and mouth pepper burns. (It is the fat in milk that helps counter the burning.)
Ice cream sounds like a good remedy regardless of location of pepper burns — good reason to always keep some on hand.
This is good to know! I’ve heard milk works but I never thought of ice cream. Though trying to keep it on hand might be difficult- it doesn’t last long around here…