Posts Tagged ‘peppers’

The heat was on.

A few days ago I was talking to The Brains at work, a couple of cool PhD’s in Things That Involve Math. One is a good friend and the other happens to be the VP at my company.

Suddenly Prime Number says to Hot Pants (the VP’s name as a result of this very story) “Hey, show Lemur the pic of your neighbor’s kid!”

Hot Pants whips out his smartphone and shows me where the kid had all manner of burns around his mouth and head. He ate a Bhut Jolokia pepper at school, got fried, and then rubbed it all around his face and head, unaware that the stuff burns skin, too. Then the kid went home for the afternoon.

I told Hot Pants that the ghost pepper is pretty damned hot and not to be screwed around with. Jokingly I said that I had some and I would bring them in if he wanted. He said absolutely.

For rough reference… Habanero is a quarter million Scoville. Red Savina is half a mil. Jolokia is a cool one mil. Roughly.

Yesterday I brought them in and taped them to my doorframe with a post-it note that said “Hot Pants… This is your destiny. – LK”

Around lunchtime he came in and there was a gathering of five of us to watch, with Rectified Diode being the most excited. He was really looking forward to watching it.

HP took a bite and I started describing to him what he was about to experience as he munched.

“Ok, it should start out with a nice smoky flavor.”

“Yeah, it is smoky… Nice.”

“Ok, now it should start to build slowly in heat but there are some other nice flavors there.”


“Ok, now it should pick up speed…”


“Ok, now it is going to feel like you drank battery acid.”

(Dawning expression) “Yeah, that describes it pretty well.”

He gave a pained expression and was flushing red.

“Ok, now it will continue to get worse for the next 30 minutes. A lot worse.”

Then I took a picture of him holding up the bag, in pain.

He deliberately made a point of taking additional bites. See, when I ate one, I ate all I was going to eat in one go. He had rabid wolves eating him and he was egging them on.

So I sent out an email to a large number of people to give credit where it was due, with pics.

Subject: Mr. Vice President, Sir.

The man is tough. Continued to finish off the pepper even as it was attacking him. He dominated that pepper. Had I eaten the one I did in stages I doubt I could have kept chomping on it.

You have my respect, Hot Pants.

We should probably get some “fire eaters” shirts.


Note: I do not give out compliments lightly, so this was a highly unusual email for me to be sending.

Later, Prime Number, HP, and I met with a customer. Old Man (our president) attended.

When it was over, Old Man looked directly at me and said “Stop trying to kill my employees.”

Apparently Hot Pants had spent an hour curled up on the floor of the locked men’s room in agony.

He still has my respect. I think I even felt a bit of guilt but it passed quickly and I at first mistook it for gas.

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(The Home-made kimchi part of the post is a bit lower down, just after the paparazzi stuff…)

Why, there’s just nothing better than fresh paparazzo blood on the beach. It does my heart good to see this. In fact, I’d like to see more people go out of their way to smack a pap more often. These vermin are nothing more than stalkers and are given a pass because it’s “free speech”. My ass. Harassing people day and night is not free speech. It’s called being an ass, even if it is a bunch of actors getting abused.

Around 12 photographers were on the beach in Malibu this afternoon trying to get shots of Matty hitting the surf, when an all-out smackdown was laid on the pappers by turf-protecting surfers.

One pap was hit in the face and we’re told suffered a broken nose, while another was thrown into some rocks and had his camera smashed. McConaughey was not involved in the ruckus.

Police tell us a battery report was filed by one photographer and no arrests have been made.

Cops: Can you describe the perpetrator?
PaparASSi: Uh yeah, he was wearing a black neoprene johnny suit, had blonde hair, and he was really tanned. And he kept saying “Let me hit him again, dude.”
Cop: (puts away notepad) Well, we’ll get right on this and get back to you. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

Update: More details on this celebrated event…


Made some kimchi tonight. A word to the wise…

  1. You are working with salt, lots of it
  2. You will be washing your hands, a lot
  3. You will be working with a bit of vinegar, by itself no biggie, but it adds up with the rest
  4. You will be using ground korean red pepper, a hell of a lot
  5. Your hands will hate you

Now, I thought I was tough. I work in an office but I got callouses on my callouses. I work in the garden w/o gloves, when I am physically able (read: not this last 18 months) I lift weights w/o them. I handle hot skillets and corningware without mitts.

Callouses will not help you. Got that? Your hands will burn as if you got caustic grout on your mitts. You cannot handle 3 cups worth of ground dried red pepper and not feel it later. Especially the webbing betwixt your fingers.

Use gloves if you can get them. I’m sure a lot of koreans down through the centuries have said much the same thing and then determined that nevermore would they make a load of kimchi without latex gloves. Powder-free latex gloves, of course.

Wash the bejeezus out of your hands afterwards if you don’t have gloves. Trust me, your nether regions, eyes, ears, and face will appreciate it. Your girlfriend will appreciate it. Perhaps your wife, too.

Use cutting boards and utensils that are still just fine if they are cherry red. The red pepper in kimchi will stain everything an off-red forever. More permanent than permanent marker is this stain. The wooden spoon I used for pushing the kimchi down into the jars with… it’s fire-engine red. Washing is pointless.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my hands are starting to swell a bit or maybe it is just the skin is getting tight, but my fingers look taut and shiny, and feel tender – I’m off for the night. 🙂

Kimchi recipe and information may be found on this page – be patient, it is there…

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