Today, for lunch, I decided that I would make a Cream of Vegetable and Rice Soup. I proceeded to put my rice on and chop my cabbage, green pepper, tomato, and onion and put them all on to boil. About ten minutes later, after putting the finishing touches on my soup, I began to feel a strange sensation - one I had only felt one other time in my life. My hands began to burn like hellfire...much like they did the first time I ever cut up hot peppers and didn't know that I should wear gloves. Although I had touched no hot peppers or chili oil of any kind, this was a very recognizable pain. I proceeded to run my hands under water, wash thoroughly, submerged in ice water, submerge in milk, and dab with freezer-chilled wet clothes... All of which provided little to no relief.
Daniel came home as I was sitting on the bed, with my hands out in front of the fan, meditating away the pain. I told him my terrible story of woe while trying to deduce where the pain was coming from. First, I thought that perhaps one of the vegetables I had used in my soup had travelled with some hot peppers and gotten oiled. But I quickly remember that it was the inside of the pepper that was the problem. And then it came to me. Perhaps my green peppers weren't green peppers at all. My current terrible cold would keep me from telling by smell while cutting them up...
Daniel then went to eat his lunch and confirmed that there were, indeed, chili peppers in the soup. So, mystery solved; problem not-so-solved. My hands still felt like I was holding them over a Bunsen burner. I browsed the internet for ways to treat a hot pepper burn (cause by the oil Capsicum) and came across a suggestion of using rubbing alcohol to soothe the pain. At that moment, I was ready to try anything. I went to our med kit containing about 100 alcohol wipes (which I swore when I packed them that I would likely never use) and got to rubbing. And "VOILA!" it did cut some of the pain. Lucky for me, the burning mostly subsided within a couple of hours. It seems a burn of this nature can often last up to 24 hours.
So, I went about my business, booked our holiday trip (more about this is my next post), and came home to get some more soup. While carrying my soup, my gimpy and still somewhat burny hands failed on me and my soup made it all over the kitchen floor. Although I did wear gloves while cleaning it, it still managed to seep through and my hands began to burn once more. This time, a soap and water scrub and alcohol swabbing did the trick quickly.
Later, it was time to make supper. I chopped and put potatoes on to boil and, while reaching for the cover of the pot, lost my grip resulting the glass cover flying across the room and landing in tiny pieces on the floor (and in my potatoes). This would not have caused me too much strife until I suddenly noticed that familiar sensation. My hands were, once again, on fire.
I though to myself, "What the hell?! I was only chopping potatoes!" and then I realized that in my haste to ease the pain of lunchtime, I had not washed the cutting board. As a result, my potatoes picked up the leftover oil and transferred it to my hands. This time, the alcohol trick did not work. Nor did a good washing. So, here I sit, typing with hands of fire.
The one good thing that came from this experience, was a wonderful soup! For anyone who would like to try it, here is the recipe:
Hands of Hellfire Soup (Clever, eh?)
1 cup cabbage
1 medium onion
1 medium sized green chili pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 250ml bag of milk (could be substituted for canned milk if you're not in China!)
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp pepper (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
Chop all vegetables and garlic. Combine chopped mixture and just enough water to cover in pot. Bring to boil on high heat. Add milk, thyme, pepper, and rice. Turn to low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve.
Contrary to what my story may portray, the soup is actually rather mild and very tasty. So, for all of you soup lovers - Make and enjoy. Just remember...wear gloves!