First, thanks to Nicole, I was led over to Weasel’s place where her take on the Osama picture should make any American adult demand to see the photos. I wanted to share one profound nugget, then you need to run over and buy lots of her shit.
[Obama] doesn’t own those photos. We do. We were wronged as a people and we have the right to see justice done. We watched office workers jump off the top floor of a skyscraper — jump rather than burn — and we have a right to see the dead face of the monster who ordered it. – Stoaty over at Sweasel.com
Thank you, Stoaty.
The Cleansing Fire.
I eat chilies daily. Without them life would be a dreary barren place devoid of color and life.
I love them all – from the sweetest Bell pepper to the Jalapeno to the Serrano to the Cayenne to the Bird’s Eye to the Scotch-Bonnets and Habaneros and Red Savinas.
All of those chilies have their places. Stir fries, soups, omelettes, salsas, sauces – all benefit from capsicum.
Thai food is a blessing in this world largely due to chilies, a culinary newcomer to the Thai, and they have done wonders with them – all the curries and noodle dishes and sweet/salt/savory flavors punctuated with fire tantalize the taste buds.
Endorphines are released when capsaicin in the chili burns the tongue and mouth, and the rush that follows the heat is better than Taco Bell after sex. (To quote Aggie Sith: Stop judging me!)
Imagine my joy that day when Cruel Wife brought home some Bhut Jolokias for me as a gift a number of weeks ago. It spoke volumes to me – she in essence said, “I am in tune with your needs and what makes you tick.” The bag of peppers had this scent of smokiness and danger. You could feel the crinkle of the cellophane packaging as you squeezed the package and the aroma of peppers was lofted, given wings so that it might caress your sinuses.
So last night I was watching Dexter – for some reason I get hungry when I watch Dexter- and I said to Cruel Wife “Got any plans for that can of chili in the pantry?” She said “Nope.” and bade me goodnight. Then I cooked up a sausage, threw the chili in there, and made up a quick quesadilla. So far, so good. I wolfed all of it down. It was really quite tasty.
As I put my plate in the sink I noticed a glint of light from between the flour jar and the food scale. “Ho ho!” said I, gently teasing the package from it’s hiding place.
I shook a pepper out of its packaging and held it up.
It appeared much like any typical dried pepper. It was not much bigger than a man’s thumb, was of a dark chocolate coloration, and had that unmistakable smell of smoke and heat. I put it down and trimmed roughly a third of the pepper off with my chef’s knife. There it lay, a pepper divided, next to a few seeds that had spilled out onto the cutting board. I lifted the pepper, gave it a quick visual inspection, and popped it in my mouth.
As I have said, I know chilies. I knew it was a dried pepper and that normally one would reconstitute it or cook it into a dish before consumption. In this case I decided I’d chew it up and savor it as it softened.
Although the timing from thought to thought varied, my thought processes proceeded like this:
Mmmm. Nice smoky flavor, not fruity like a habanero, some sweetness but more of an earthy tone.
Not a lot of heat though. Hmmm. Well, every batch is different.
Oh, there we go, nice! It’s a delayed sneaky heat – I love those! Heat and flavor still playing nicely… that there is some serious gour-may shit.
Wow! Zippy! I gotta tell The Dude about this tomorrow.
Huh. That’s a longer burn than normal. Maybe these aren’t such a wimpy batch after all.
Hoo-hoo! Mr. Toad’s wild ride! Hold on to yer butt!
Uh… wow. Just… wow.
Uh… ow. Damn, these are vicious. Aren’t you fellas cute?
Holy ****. Stop the ride, I want to get off.
JESUS CHRIST. LIKE DRINKING ****ING BATTERY ACID.
(grunting, and the sound of flesh bubbling)
WHERE THE HELL IS MY TONIC WATER?
OH **** ME. Carbonation makes it WORSE. I KNEW THAT! Am I… sweating??? I am! Oh, this is bad.
(mewling noises and faint popping sounds as tooth enamel shatters)
Okneedaglass. Wherearetheglasses? Needaglassnow. NOCLEANGLASSES, SH*T. DIRTYONEWILLDO! What is that in the bottom?? DOESN’T MATTER!
MILKMILKMILK, FORTHELOVEOFGOD MILK. POUR, DAMN YOUR EYES! POUR FASTER! Does milk even have eyes? POUR FASTER!
(willing milk to pour faster, now hissing with the sound of gravel on a metal rooftop)
(chugging sounds and the very audible hiss of milk flashing into steam)
Okay. Calm. Be calm. Be cool. Little Fonzies. We got this shit cool… Ow Goddamnit! Be cool…
(glass shatters on floor)
IT’S NOT WORKING!! WHAT NOW??? AAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHH!
(the smell of scalded burned milk grows stronger)
SUGAR! ALTON BROWN SAID *SHUUUUUGARRRRRR*!
(Hands scrabble through the utensil drawer, narrowly missing sharp edges on items and tossing them on the floor: Peeler, a grater, a cheese slicer, an apple corer, a meat thermometer sans cover, a bread scraper, and a pair of food shears sharp enough to cut through steel siding – no blood, no wounds – out comes a 1/3 cup measuring cup)
(pour contents of sugar container into cup – never mind asking why the sugar container could not have been tipped up in a pinch)
OK… whew! That was sure lucky that it…
(spleen and eardrums burst and starts bleeding profusely)
Oh damn. That isn’t working either. OW!
By now, ten minutes have elapsed, and it was still getting hotter. At some point the brain ceases to register pain in a linear fashion and everything goes mute, the brain having overloaded and blown a fuse. This is not a circuit-breaker. We are talking about honest-to-God old-style screw-in fuses and in order to get any use from one’s brain at this point requires removing the fuse and inserting a penny into the socket, then screwing the fuse back in. That is the only choice beyond just waiting it out and going stark raving bugshit. At least bypassing the fuse allows some mental capacity – enough to babble to one’s self, much like babbling to one’s wife when your child is being born. It gets you there and seems ineffective at the same time and you have no idea what you said later on. Yes, bypassing the fuse may cause the house to burn down. It is a calculated risk and I’ve also stretched the metaphor beyond the breaking point so just let it go, ok?
25 minutes after the event known as The Cleansing Fire the heat subsided to a painful fire and by 35 minutes the ordeal was over.
Exhausted by the ordeal, I slept like a baby.
I woke with the worst case of the “zactlies” I have ever had, bar none. The “zactlies,” as a friend once put it to me, is where you wake up and your mouth tastes zactly like an old tractor tire with lots of little furry things living in it. My stomach, esophagus, nose, and mouth hurt.
This morning I discovered that your alimentary canal can move food through your system in eight hours or less if it really is motivated to.
Still hurting around lunchtime I went with The Dude as kind of a going-away lunch and ordered a ten-star thai meal (they only go to four or five stars on the menu but will “kick it up” if you ask them to). I figure if your stomach hurts you – you just hurt it right back! Fire with fire, I say!
I had mashed potatoes and pork for dinner. The butter was a little spicy but I ate it anyway.