Jalape… No. Just No.

I like spicy foods. I like jalapenos. But this weekend, they put a bit of drag on an already-tight schedule.

Upstairs shower in the rental house (before the floor was done)

Things are moving along at the rental house. The restoration crew has the whole place painted, tile is done, and now they’re working on trim and accessory pieces, such as the #shiplap in the first floor bathroom, and the handrail along the stairwell upstairs.

The latter needed to be stained. That’s one of the tasks I’d agreed to take on to rein in costs when we found out we were going over budget. I found out about this on Thursday night, and they wanted it done and back by Monday. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t have been a problem, but this weekend, I needed to do a Cooking Day. We were out of frozen meals, and I didn’t want to put off Cooking Day, as that’s my best shot of keeping healthy dinners on the table, especially on weekdays. I was already having a busy week due to it being the beginning of the month (meaning an evening of paperwork for rent deposits from our apartments, and another for bank statement reconciliation). I hadn’t even put the grocery order in yet for my husband to pick up the following day.

I did the grocery order Thursday night, after DH & I got home from our regular date night (we picked up the stairwell railing on the way home). I figured if I was going to stain and poly the railing, I might as well do our mudroom shelves and bench, and kitchen shelves too. On Friday, he picked up the groceries. As soon as I got off work, I cut the mudroom & kitchen shelves, and put on the first coat of stain on one side. After that, I did the food prep–mostly cutting vegetables.

Shelves and a handrail – so far, so good!

One of those was Jalapenos. I’ve chopped jalapenos many times before, and have never had a problem. But these must’ve been extra spicy, because wow, did my left hand burn afterward! It didn’t really become noticeable until an hour or so later, when I was watching TV. I had to keep running into the kitchen to dip my hand in milk. By the time Gold Rush was over, my hand felt fine, and I stained the other side of the shelves and rail before bed.

I slept great (for once). The next morning, I was all ready to get going with the second coat of stain and then cooking, but once I got out of the shower, my hand decided otherwise. HOLY COW MY HAND WAS ON FIRE!

I got the stain on, but it was a challenge. I kept having to dunk my hand in the bowl of milk I’d brought to the basement with me. I’m talking like every couple of minutes. It must’ve taken me twice as long to stain those five shelves and handrail.

I tried everything I could find online to soothe the burn–milk, heavy cream (more fat content), rubbing alcohol, vinegar… none was helping much. I slowly got a couple of recipes put together in the same way I’d stained the shelves, taking breaks every now and then to soak my hand for several minutes. I’d found an article that suggested lime juice–and what do you know, I had some extra limes from my cooking day plans. It took several times of rubbing my hand on the lime for a good several minutes, but gradually, it worked! I only had four of my recipes done by the time I should have had all eight. But at least my hand had stopped burning. I eventually finished my cooking day and got the second coat of stain on both sides of the shelves by the time I called it a day (and night).

The biggest irony here? I had a whole box of disposable gloves in the basement that I’d been using for staining! You can bet those will be used next time I have to cut jalapenos. I sure hope those recipes are worth the pain they put me through. Going by the little taste I took of one, I think they’ll be good!

What I’ve Been Reading: three short stories from Smith’s Monthly #40 by Dean Wesley Smith. Three of the stories were from series of his I’m familiar with and enjoy; the other I couldn’t quite get into. That story was intended to be humorous, and as a writer, I know how tricky that can be as humor is so subjective. So I skipped it and moved on to the novel. More on that when I finish it.


What I’ve Been Writing: As you might guess from how my week has gone, nada. Which is a bummer because I have the next scene in my head, it’s just a matter of sitting down to write it. So that is my goal for this week.

What about you–ever had a bad experience with food prep? What have you been reading lately? And how are you doing with whatever goals you might have, whether writing-related or otherwise? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

7 Responses to \

  1. Oh man, that’s crazy that the jalapeños burned your hand like that. As I was reading this, I couldn’t believe my eyes! I’ve never heard of them burning skin like that! Burning our mouths, yes. And limes make sense because that’s what people use when they’re doing shots sometimes. I’m glad you finally got some relief from the burning. You’re such a trooper. What a busy weekend. I’m going to do a happy dance for you when all the work on your rental is behind you. Hope you have a wonderful week, Jennette!

  2. Oh, my goodness. That must have hurt! Y-ouch! But, you still were crazy productive. Sheesh. I feel like a bum. I did write or finish writing 5 blog posts and I worked an 8-hour shift at the local pet rescue shelter and got most of the laundry done. Shrug. My weekdays are plenty busy. Today’s a writing day and another 4-5 hours at the shelter plus running my husband to an appointment. On top of that I had a sick dog at home to clean up after and an old dog who is getting so senile I have to help him figure out how to get out of the house and back inside again. Hope your week follows your plan more closely that your weekend did, Jennette.

  3. I, on the other hand, do not care for spicy food. Well, my stomach doesn’t anyway. I rarely chop peppers of any kind. Maybe you had a small paper cut or something on your hand that the juice settled into. Seems weird that you’ve never had this reaction before.

    On the plus side, maybe that’s why you slept so well. Try it again maybe? No. Probably not.

    I’m glad everything got done. Good for you for persevering on.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  4. Lynn, I’ll be glad when it’s done too – then I get to dive in to planning my new house! And yeah, those peppers – arrgh! Never had that happen before.

    Lynn, that sounds pretty busy to me! I usually don’t do much during the week because I’m tired by the time I’m done working. Thanks!

    Patricia, the burn was all over, and concentrated on my thumb and fingers I was holding the peppers with. Never had that happen before, but I looked it up online and apparently it’s common enough that people recommend wearing gloves before chopping those suckers. LOL I might try doing the cooking day and working on house stuff in one day again, but I’ll skip the pepper pain, thanks!

  5. Another good reason I don’t like spicy foods! Won’t get my hands burned. 🙂
    I wrote today. Yay! That makes two days in a row. I’m on a roll. At least I hope so.

  6. It sounds weird about your hands burning like that, but I can believe it could happen.
    My son is allergic to eating fish, but some days just handling them causes him to have breathing problems (and the idiot loves to go fishing!), and other days catching fish doesn’t bother him at all. So, it could be anything. But certainly gloves next time aren’t not going to be a bad idea.