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Pavlov's chile peppers

Cayenne_3We all have our moments of kitchen idiocy, but usually we learn from our mistakes, no?  Well, no.  Yesterday I was happily cooking away, making salsa and pickling some pretty New Mexico and jalapeno chile peppers I found at the market and -- yet again -- I forgot to put on gloves. When my hands started burning, I went online to see if I could find another remedy than those I'd unsuccessfully tried in the past (soap, milk, yogurt). Google, my default source for most things (also, apparently, John McCain's) had a number of threads on the subject.  After catty suggestions to wear gloves next time, many people recommended rinsing the offending hands in bleach.  Strangely, this worked. Not enough to put out the fires completely, but better than the ice baths and bowls of milk I'd been trying. Anybody have any other suggestions (other than gloves and maybe behavior modification), let me know. 

-- Amy Scattergood

Photo of Windrose Farm's cayenne peppers by Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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If you touch your eyes after handling chili's use woman's hair to rub your eyes and the pain will go away. Men's hair will not work.

The heat, like the flavor, is carried in the oils....try washing your hands in a vinegar water. A dilute vinegar wash (or a small linen towel, soaked in it) is an immediate and easy treatment for sunburn...not sure why it works, but it does.
If you've ever heard of using tomato juice to clean a pet that's been 'skunked', it's the acidity in the juice that cuts the oil, and thus the scent. I found vinegar and shampoo a cheaper and more efficient tool when I had a dog, and lived where there were skunks. Same premise: remove the oil, and the actions of the oil are removed also.


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