Yesterday, I was saved by a cow.
I am not exaggerating.
I decided to cook Chicken Chili from a free video recipe that was sent to me in an email from American’s Test Kitchen. According to their website, America’s Test Kitchen is Public Broadcasting’s most watched cooking show, and silly me, who really doesn’t like regular beef chili all that well, said, “Let’s make THAT.”
They want you to be a subscriber for a fee and regularly send recipes to entice you to reach for that credit card and break out of the “free” world.
I have to admit, I was tempted to sign up… until yesterday.
I watched their video on how to make Chicken Chili. It involved three different kind of green chillies: jalepeno, pablano, anaheim. The woman was chopping the poblano and anaheim chillies in what she called a crude chop and then added them into a food processor. She added two jalapeno chillies that she had minced apparently by hand “off” camera into the mix without any explanation of why she didn’t cut them along with the other chillies.
I now know why.
She was probably chopping them with latex gloves on both her hands as that apparently is the only sure fire way to avoid having your hands go on fire from coming in contact with the jalapeno juices.
I noticed the redness right after putting them into the food processor. I tried cold water and that seemed to make it worse. One hand literally was burning while only part of the other. It was red and inflamed and at first I thought it would simply go away. I continued to make the recipe and remembered something about the jalapeno being tricky but, honestly, not having cooked all that much, I didn’t bring a lot of “chili” awareness to this video.
America’s Test Kitchen, on the other hand, is a cooking show. These people know their chillies, one presumes. She didn’t warn the viewer, nor did the host, Christopher Kimball, a bespectacled professorial man who has written many cooking books and is a magazine editor and publisher of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines. He is generally quite genial and if cooking steak, for example, lets you know what part of the cow is being eaten, complete with a graphic.
I had to Google to find what part of the cow was the antidote to America’s Test Kitchen and the jalapeno juice: milk. I had to soak my hands in milk, several times in the course of two hours, before they returned to normal. The antidote came from a woman who had suffered with her hands for over 12 hours until she had finally came across the antidote that worked. It was also clear that if had I gotten it in my eye, I’d have been in an additional world of hurt beyond the powers of milk.
So, my hands were saved by a cow yesterday and they also were saved from reaching into my purse to get my credit card for Public Broadcasting’s most watched cooking show as well.
Maybe if you are paid subscriber they’ll tell you what foods can make your hands spontaneously burst into flames and your eyeballs fall out just in time for Halloween?
©Pat Coakley 2009
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