Last night, as I was scooping out the insides of 12 jalapenos, it did not occur to me to protect my fingers from the seeds in any way. I wasn't eating them. I was taking them out of the peppers as a preventative measure to avoid a burning mouth. I thought jalapeno peppers were only hot if you ate the seeds. Well, I was wrong. And let me just tell you how wrong I was.
The burn on the fingers was not sudden. It came on slowly, about an hour after fixing the jalapeno poppers ( I later learned hot water can activate the burn). At first, I just washed my hands again with some warm water and thought that would be the end of it. I was wrong...again.
The pain was awful. I couldn't get to sleep (and I was actually in bed early last night). I kept getting up and running my fingers under cold water. That helped tremendously, but only for a minute. All I needed was for it to stop, or at least become tolerable, long enough to fall asleep. It wasn't happening. I even wrapped a cold wash cloth around my fingers at one point. I didn't work. So what do you do when you need to find some answers? You go to the Internet.
A quick search assured me that I was not alone. Hundreds of pages offered home remedies for what I was experiencing and I was willing to try them all at this point. Here's what I did:
1- Rinsed my fingertips in rubbing alcohol. FAIL
2- Soak fingers in milk or sour cream. WORKED, I guess.
At 11:30, exhausted and annoyed, I fell asleep with my left hand in a glass of milk. Afraid I would spill the milk, my husband took my hand out and set the glass on my bedside table. That woke me right up. The burn came back! So I slept with my fingers in that glass of milk until around 3am. At that point, I was cured! It's about flippin' time, don't ya think?!?!
Had the milk not worked, the other option was to scrub my fingers with dish soap and soak them in olive oil. I hope I never have to find a solution to this problem again. I won't even get into what it felt like taking my contacts out. Not cool.
The lesson learned here; never underestimate the power of the jalapenos hotness. Wear gloves or keep plenty of milk and olive oil on hand. It's like putting your hand on a hot stove; you only have to get burned once to know never to do that again. At 30 years, I am still learning the rules of the kitchen; another thing Kimber and I have in common.
Thanks for letting me share this learning experience with you. Be careful with those peppers!