I made a delicious soup tonight with sausage, beef, beans, vegetables, and Serrano chiles. Now, I’ve lived in Colorado most of my life–I grow my own chiles and I cook with them all the time. I grow ridiculously hot ones for my husband. I know how to handle them. However, even with years of practice, we all make mistakes. So, tonight, as I prepped my soup, I must have gotten the juices from the chile under my fingernails, because despite washing my hands, I briefly wiped the hair from my face and smeared the juice into my right eye.
Milk is the antidote to chile oil on the skin, so I splashed milk around my eye, but there was still a substantial amount on my skin. I wiped it off as best I could, and rubbed whipping cream on it (it stays on better) There were more traces of the oil, though, because I ended up with it on my lips and nose. I was out of whipping cream, and milk wasn’t doing it, so I got some sour cream and smeared it around.
My daughter came in from playing and looked at me, dripping with whipping cream and looking like I was foaming at the mouth, and said, “What are you doing?”
“Cooking,” I replied.
“Oh,” M said, shrugged, and walked off, which tells you how often things get weird in this house.
The sour cream did it, though, and I felt much better, so I washed it all off and had dinner. The soup really was great, but there were still traces of oil somewhere, because my skin stung periodically. I went to get a shower and rid of it, and while I was trying to scrub away hotspots, I managed to splatter soap into my remaining good eye.
Some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.