We’ve been blessed with some fabulous weather this week, but that’s all going to come to a crashing halt tomorrow. We’re in for temperatures plummeting back to the 40s and rain rain rain.
April showers bring May flowers? Hopefully?
At the moment, my lips are tingling. I made Smitten Kitchen’s shakshuka for dinner tonight, an Israeli recipe involving eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It is amazingly, stupidly easy to make, yet it’s so incredibly delicious. I’d never heard of such a dish before SK posted it on her site. That’s one thing I love about the internet. I swear, I would not be nearly as good of a cook as I am without the internet. I have probably a hundred cookbooks and booklets and pamphlets, yet I pretty much only cook from the internet.
Which is not to say that I will refuse the offer of a cookbook if you so choose to give me one. I adore the things. I read them, as most people read novels. The American Ethnic Cookbook that my mom got me for Christmas fascinated me to such a degree that I carried it with me, everywhere I went (even the mall!) for a good two weeks. I’m sure Kurt got tired of my reading various blurbs to him over those weeks.
But so anyhow, the shakshuka. It’s really, really delicious. But it calls for several Anaheim chiles or about three jalapeños. Look, haven’t we already had the conversation about not being able to get weird, freaky things at the commissary? I’m still amazed I can get shallots there. But yeah, they don’t have Anaheim chiles. Jalapeños, yes, but not Anaheims. So I picked up a few jalapeños, one of which I needed for another reason. Tonight I deseeded, de-ribbed, and chopped up the remaining two jalapeños for the shakshuka. I toyed momentarily with the thought of grabbing a couple of gloves before I tackled the jalapeños, but I decided it was a little unnecessary.
I did, however, taste the jalapeños before I added them to my food to see how hot they were. Jalapeños are weird like that. Some can be super spicy, while others barely have more kick then a sweet pepper. The one I tasted was pretty darn hot, which was another reason I carefully removed every seed and all the ribs to the jalapeños. That’s where most of the heat resides. I figured with only two jalapeños, it’d be mild enough for my kids.
I was right — but I was totally wrong about the gloves.
When in doubt, wear gloves!
I was sitting at the table, enjoying my delicious dinner, when I felt the urge to rub both of my inner eyes at the same time. I’m sure you’ve made that gesture a hundred times, when you pinch your inner eyes right at the bridge of your nose, just because it satisfies an odd urge.
I about burst into tears at the table. My eyes indeed began watering, and they hurt. The oils that the jalapeños release as you’re chopping them are pretty darn volatile. And they stay on your hands forever. I tried my favorite trick for getting stubborn smells off my hands — by rubbing my soapy hands all over my stainless steel sink (stainless steel breaks the bonds between your hands and the smelly molecules. They sell a block of stainless steel soap for about $5, but I have a sink, which is free. If you don’t have a stainless steel sink, you can achieve the same effect by rubbing a spoon all over your hands. No more garlic or oniony hands!). It didn’t work. My hands are still coated in jalapeño oil. Ouch.
Every time I put my hands near my mouth, which is far too often, as I am a compulsive nail-chewer, my lips begin to tingle once again. If you think this is enough to put me off chewing my nails, unfortunately I already know it won’t help. My parents spent years coating my fingers in that nasty anti-chewing liquid that tastes horrifically, yet I still chew.
Hey, I’m nothing if not tenacious.
Eventually I’ll quit. I have several times before. It just doesn’t bother me enough to struggle through breaking the habit. Although it was quite painful when ME stepped on my finger at the pool on Monday, badly enough to make my finger start to bleed. Ouch. I’m sure if I had normal nails it wouldn’t have begun bleeding, but oh well.
Speaking of the girls, Grace has another ear infection. Bahhh. She had gone five and a half years without a single one — yet now she’s had two in a month. I have no idea why; both my girls have always been as healthy as horses. Oh well. The worst part of her illness, since she wasn’t that sick, was that she couldn’t go to school today. And I know this probably makes me sound awful, but it’s so nice when the house is quiet and I’ve got some time to myself. But since she was sick, I don’t begrudge losing that time.
She could have whined a bit less, though, especially since I know she wasn’t feeling nearly as bad as she was with her first ear infection.
Now let’s hope I can keep my hands away from my eyes for the next week or so…