Lately I’ve been interested in “back-to-the-land” sort of practices. canning and making jams and jellies and picking or growing all of my own fruit and veggies. So far the projects have gone well, though summer crops are just coming into full swing so the experiments are only beginning.
I’ve never had trouble cutting peppers in the past, so it was without hesitation that I began to cut into the 1.5lbs of jalapeno peppers, washing my hands often to make sure the oils didn’t hang out on my skin for too long. Well apparently I didn’t wash often enough, or perhaps (more likely) the washing did no good and I should have worn gloves. There was a delayed reaction, so I didn’t feel the burn for the first hour, and by the time it started to hurt it was too late to do anything about it. And then how it burned!
Chris helped me soak my hands in icy milk, and I rubbed my hands with lemons and limes and cider vinegar, I covered my hands in aloe and kefir (a sour yogurt of sorts), and I washed my hands repeatedly with every kind of soap I could find in the house, including one with tea tree oil. Nothing worked. The only thing that gave me any respite was keeping my hands in ice water… all night long. Around midnight (8 hours later) I was able to take my hands out of the water long enough to google more remedies and found a suggestions for hot water and a paste made from baking soda. I tried both. The hot water only seemed to make everything seem better by comparison. The pain almost brought tears to my eyes. It burned so bad that I asked Chris to put his hands in the water to make sure it wasn’t actually scalding hot. It wasn’t, but it sure felt like it was hot enough to burn my skin off. After the baking soda paste dried I put my hands back in the icy lime water and took a benedryl. By some miracle, the burning ceased. I went to bed, fingers mentally crossed it would stay that way. Alas, I couldn’t fall asleep before the pain kicked back in. So, another round of hot water and baking soda paste and icy lime water soak (I actually lay in bed with my hands in ice water on the night stand). Finally, around 2am, I passed out, still in pain, almost 12 hours after making the first cut. Fortunately when I woke up this morning it didn’t hurt anymore. My fingers are still a bit swollen and I’m scared to get any water on them because I heard it can bring the pain back.
The best part is, I couldn’t even finish making the jelly, so I have a blender full of pureed jalapenos in the fridge.