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The nose

by VM Brasseur on January 27th, 2007

I’m out for most of the weekend but I still need to have food for lunches and maybe dinners next week. Considering my schedule of late the chances that I’ll have time to cook during the week are (a) slim or (b) none. Since I’ve other things which need my attention and I can’t be hovering over the stove all afternoon (alas), while at the gym (love my gym; love love love) earlier I decided to throw together a big pot of four bean chili. Tasty, easy, keeps well, even good for me. And there are the beans to recommend it. What’s not to love?

Pick up the ingredients on the way home. Start the chopping while on the phone with my folks (bless the inventor of the bluetooth headset). Chop chop chop. Onion, a lot of garlic, four different chillis: jalapeno, anaheim, serrano, and something red that’s the size of a jalapeno but a different shape. The serrano was the last to be chopped. While cleaning up from that, I itched my nose.

Five minutes later my mistake made itself readily apparent.

Ouch ouch ouch! My nooooose! How could I have been so stupid? What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking. How do I make it stop? How how how? Make it stop! So if you eat it and it’s too hot they say you should drink milk. Dairy is the sworn nemesis of capsaicin. Should I sit nose down in a bowl of milk for a while? No, that won’t work. Besides, I don’t have any milk. Yogurt, yes. Milk no. And the idea of sitting nose down in a bowl of any sort of dairy product is not an appealing one, even if no one is here to see me. I mean…ewww.

I quickly get off the phone with my folks, who, I’m sure, are enjoying the schadenfreude of my situation. Rushing to the bathroom I try giving my poor nose a shower in the sink. I blow it. I shower it again. It doesn’t seem to help though, so I give up and decide to tough it out.

The nose is taken for granted. It sits there on the front of your face, receiving sensory input for processing by the brain. Fairly innocuous. Few people realize how sensitive it is. How you really need to treat it with respect. How it can make your life a living hell for a while if you don’t.

That “while” in my case ended up being about half an hour. The burning subsided with time, first calming down to a dull roar and now is all but gone. Lesson learned: watch what you’re doing when cutting chillis. Ya’ll ought to learn from my mistake so you never have to consider the possibility of soaking your schnozz in organic nonfat plain yogurt. Learn, Daniel-san. Learn.

From → Food, Main

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