Red hot chilli poppers

I bought some habanero chillies the other day. Here’s how you’re supposed to prepare them.

* Cut them open
* De-seed them
* Toast them
* Soak them in just-boiled water

Here’s how I prepared them.

* Cut them open
* De-seed them
* Watch with mild interest as clouds of smoke come from the chillies in the pan
* Stand in the kitchen, coughing like I’ve got late-stage tuberculosis
* Turn the cooker hood on full blast
* Career around the kitchen, coughing and weeping
* Blink away the tears as my wife enters, clutching her throat and panicking that she’s having some kind of horrific allergic reaction
* Open the back door in a desperate attempt to dispel the fumes
* Soak the chillies in just-boiled water
* Wonder if I’ll ever be able to speak again
* Eat!

There’s such a thin line between “making lunch” and “suffering a chemical attack”.

9 replies on “Red hot chilli poppers”

Call me a phillistine, but I prefer Hellman’s to home-made.

I do make my own ketchup, though. Fantastic, as long as you don’t mind your entire house stinking of vinegar for days.

I recall a Nick Nairn cooking program years ago where he had some Chilli oil and some other kind of oil next to the cooker and put the wrong one into the frying pan.

The rest of the show consisted of them all peering into the kitchen from the back garden until he man’d up, re-entered with a wet towel over his head, and managed to switch the heat off. Then they just had to wait for an hour or so…

Come to think of it, it’s probably the only cooking show I can rememberer for longer than my stomach rumbling, so it wasn’t all bad.

I miss the little pepper spray keychain I had in the US (they are commonly sold there for female self-defence.) Nothing makes you feel safer when walking down a not-so-safe street by yourself than knowing you have the power of 2,000 raw chillies in your hand.

The Met actually send officers round to give talks to American students newly arrived at London universities to tell them pepper spray in particular and self-defense in general are illegal over here. They have plenty of time to do this due to the lack of crime in London.

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