Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Yesterday, in a fit of culinary enthusiasm, I made a big pot of White Chicken Chili. I’d been invited to a potluck Broncos party, Authentic Mexican Food theme, and I wanted to bring something truly tasty.

Fortunately, I allowed for enough time, because this was a very labor intensive recipe. I stewed a whole chicken and then tore all the meat off of it, chopped onions, and oven roasted the corn. The recipe called for a tablespoon of ground cumin, and my house still smells heavenly. But it also included peppers; bell, Serrano, and Anaheim peppers. Typically, these are not “hot” peppers – the Bells are sweet, and the Serrano and Anaheim are generally considered pretty mild. I busily sliced, stemmed, and seeded these peppers and put them under the broiler to blacken, then peeled and chopped them up, and added them to the bubbling pot. Yum!
An hour later, my hands were red and painful. Washing did nothing to alleviate it, and all night, my hands burned. I woke up to burning hands. This morning, barely awake, I rubbed my eyes, and my eyes started to burn, although not for very long, thank goodness! So, this morning, I googled my affliction, and found this:

“The perception that peppers are "hot" is not an accident. The capsaicin key opens a door in the cell membrane that allows calcium ions to flood into the cell. That ultimately triggers a pain signal that is transmitted to the next cell. When the cells are exposed to heat, the same events occur. Chile burns and heat burns are similar at the molecular, cellular, and sensory levels.”

Nice. The chili turned out wonderfully, by the way.


  1. SEE! Yet another reason to add to my list of excuses to avoid domestic goddess-ness. It's FAR too dangerous!

    But that chili sure does sound good!

  2. OMG, that sounds miserable! And all in the name of football!

    I made White Bean Chicken Chili a few weeks ago but my recipe is insanely simple! But then again, it's not authentic Mexican. It's more like authentic trailer park.

    It seems like I read somewhere that you have joined Facebook. Very interesting... ;)

  3. Mala: I am a seriously gifted domestic goddess, and I've fought it every step of the way! Somehow I thought it conflicted with feminism... I know; it took me a long time to figure it out.

    Samsmama: I love to cook. And screw the football, it was all about sharing the food. And I happen to have time on my hands at the moment. ;)

  4. The chili sounds yummy!

    My dog used to beg when I'd be making nachos. I let her lick my fingers after slicing the jalapenos. She never begged after that.

  5. this happened to me when I made Chili this past weekend. Next time I will wear gloves.

  6. yummy! sorry for the pain (and all the work) but it sounds lovely :)
    now what's this about facebook?

  7. Ouch! However, that chili sounds divine... totally worth a little pain, yes?

    Bev likes her chili spicy! ;)

  8. At least you didn't touch anything more ...erm...delicate...

    Hot peppers and I have an up-and-down relationship in our past. Enough said.

  9. Elliott: I know! I read about that when I was researching my condition. Thank GOD it was only my hands!