a peek inside the fishbowl

28 Nov, 2006

the one where she almost burned her face off

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

I was holding my tongue under a jet of ice cold water from the kitchen tap when it occurred to me that if the neighbors were looking into the kitchen window they might find this situation rather amusing.

I on the other hand was (a) not amused and (b) already writing the text of this post in my head.

My tongue was very hurt. And I could only blame myself.

But first, allow me to backtrack.

In the last few years I’ve really developed a taste for spicy things.

Perhaps it’s because my tastebuds have deadened as I grow older and they need a real whoopin’ to get me going. Perhaps I’m addicted to the rush of endorphins my body produces when I eat something spicy. I’m not sure what precipitated this change.

1. I suddenly like Dijon mustard
2. I love pickled peppers and spicy eggplant on my sandwiches
3. Horseradish on a burger? Bring it on!
4. Jalapeno chips? Yes ma’am!
5. Tabasco in my Caesar? Oh yeah!
6. Hot sauce on my nachos? Yep!

I also really like cheese-stuffed jalapenos. Not the fried kind (bah, those are for wimps!) but the kind that are offered in the antipasto section of the grocery store. They sell them in sealed packages, floating in oil, at Loblaws. I discovered them recently at Farm Boy, in bulk (!) and since I was shopping on an empty stomach I filled a container of them, along with stuffed mushrooms (whichI don’t recommend unless you like blue cheese) and also bocconcini in oil and peppers.

The jalapenos looked very good. They weren’t as wrinkly. They were solid. Brighter. They held promise.

Tools of the devil

I am fairly certain that the pre-packed Loblaws variety sits in oil and loses its heat. The ones I had just bought were still crunchy. CRUNCHY! That means the oil hadn’t started to leach out the heat.

For anyone who hasn’t eaten a stuffed pepper know that it is the bad big brother of the pickled pepper. In short, you have no idea what you’re dealing with.

I took a bite. And then another. And then I heard a train whistle. My tongue felt the fire of a thousand fires. I gulped milk. And then more. And then held a swished mouthful of it over my tongue. Curses! Nothing was helping!

Sarah was in the middle of telling me something. “Uh, excuse me honey,” I croaked as I ran for the fridge. “Mummy really needs to do something right now.”

That’s when I ran to the sink to run my mouth under water. Nada. And then I dug a soup spoon out of the drawer and fumbled in the fridge for the plain yogurt. The container was surrounded by an aura of golden light and angels sang when I removed the lid. Ohhhh, dear dear yogurt. I didn’t even stir you. I took a huge heaping spoonful to my burning maw wallpapered the insides of my mouth with it.

It’s official. I’ve hit my limit with the hot stuff. But now I have two peppers left. Anybody want one? ;)

17 Responses to "the one where she almost burned her face off"

1 | Marla

November 28th, 2006 at 10:39 am


Have you discovered the other side effect of eating hot foods? I.E. WHAT HAPPENS AT THE OTHER END?!

You were smart to get the yogurt! Those of us who have eaten in Texas know that water only spreads the heat around – that’s why they serve sour cream or guac or cheese – to dilute the heat.

2 | andrea

November 28th, 2006 at 10:45 am


Marla: I am fully anticipating the Burning Ring of Fire.

3 | Mama V

November 28th, 2006 at 11:00 am


OH dear…. I too, share your love of hot stuff… and have far too often paid the price the next day, but damn, it’s good stuff, isn’t it?

4 | Hillary

November 28th, 2006 at 11:08 am


Yikes! I didn’t know yogurt was good for that! I’ve always heard bread. Mmm, I like spicy foods, too, but perhaps I’ll stay away from the pepperss! :)

5 | Sily_Kim

November 28th, 2006 at 11:36 am


Ouch! I’ve never seen stuffed peppers like those. Hmm…I’m going to have to go looking for them. The Loblaws kind, I mean!!!

6 | liss76

November 28th, 2006 at 12:22 pm



In recent years I have developed a problem. I refused to admit it, though, until I caught myself adding hot sauce to my extra-hot salsa.

7 | kerflop

November 28th, 2006 at 12:22 pm


Okay, I’m still laughing over how you were blogging in your head with your head under the tap. I totally do the same thing.

8 | Sharon

November 28th, 2006 at 1:14 pm


i’d laugh but I know how much it hurts. MY sympathies.


Sorry it slipped.


9 | DaniGirl

November 28th, 2006 at 2:13 pm


Oooo, I love those stuffed peppers at Farm Boy. Yum!

I once had a similar experience with a home-grown pepper. I tried a few nibbles and was fine, so took a honkin’ big bite and really thought I was going to die. I was so desperate for relief that I stuck my tongue in a jar of mayonnaise. I looked at the half-eaten pepper later, and you could see the capsin oozing in red droplets out of the white – what the heck do you call that white stuff inside the pepper again? Anyway, it was brutal!

10 | Ryan

November 28th, 2006 at 2:30 pm


And they look so innocent, lying there in a bit of oil. You definitely wouldn’t see that here. Argentinians hate anything to do with spiciness. They don’t even keep pepper on the table!

I cracked up at “Mummy really needs to do something right now.” hee hee. What did Sarah think afterwards?

11 | andrea

November 28th, 2006 at 2:39 pm


Ryan, I think Sarah learned a valuable lesson. :)

They don’t like pepper in Argentina? I can’t believe it! Me: I should have a special belt designed for my pepper mill.

12 | CC

November 28th, 2006 at 4:22 pm


I just bought some of those peppers myself this past weekend! I thought I was grabbing the roasted red pepper and discoverred the feta stuffed hot peppers when I got home. There is a warning on the ones I bought. I am not always a fan of hot things, I like hot curry and the like. Anyway, I did enjoy two hot peppers (I made a plate of assorted cheese, pate, crackers, pickled stuff, I’m sure you get the idea)-that is until the next day. Yikes! Nope, not into the hot stuff that’s for sure. I still feel like my stomach is raunchie.

13 | BeachMama

November 28th, 2006 at 5:16 pm


I love hot peppers, I haven’t tried them from Farm Boy, so I should pick some up! Sorry your mouth was burning so badly, but mine is watering just from the picture :)

14 | Steve C

November 29th, 2006 at 10:51 pm


Wow, did I laugh when I read this.

Just because I did the same thing on Friday night. Unfortunately I was at a stag, with only beer around to douce the flames in my mouth!
First one is killer…but then they become addictive in some evil kind of way!!

15 | Lex

November 30th, 2006 at 6:57 pm


Oh dear!!! I once spent a night sitting in with my hands in the bathroom soaking in ice water after making and bottling salsa. I had a presentation in the morning and was trying to figure out how be professional with my hands in rubber gloves filled with ice. We called it Up All Night Salsa.

Here’s another trick for cutting the heat of a pepper – sugar. [food geek alert] In fact, Scoville units (which measure the hotness of a pepper) were originally measured by how much sugar water it took to dilute a pepper extract until the heat was gone.

16 | Christine

December 5th, 2006 at 11:07 pm


LOL! Great post! I LOVE stuffed jalapenos! The first time I ever tried them was a few years ago at my brother’s and his wife’s place in Kingston. I thought they’d be unbearably hot, but they were actually very tasty and not “burns so much I think I fried my taste buds’ hot!

I’m a fan of spicy food, but gotta remember that spicy food burns ya twice…if you get what I mean! LOL ;p

17 | Nine things for Operation Trim: #6 - Perchance to sleep >> a peek inside the fishbowl

September 20th, 2012 at 11:05 am


[…] Post #3 was about healthy treats – I still love treats with heat. And I enjoy my meals more if they’re spicy. I have been buying a lot of these. […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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