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Seriously? Again with the Peppers?

December 30, 2012

You know. All things considered, I would say I’m a fairly bright person. Maybe not a genius, but pretty darned smart.

And then, I go and do something stupid.


I’ve already learned the hard way that rubbing my eyes after handling poblano peppers is a bad idea. But, apparently, I needed to teach myself this lesson again except with way more dramatic results and an audience too.

On Christmas Eve, I was dicing celery, poblanos, garlic and onions for a jambalaya that I wanted to share with my family. You know, so I could show off this fun recipe that I make for myself all the time with like zero problems. Things were going along just swimmingly until I got to the supposedly mild onion after dicing two supposedly mild poblano peppers.

The onion was so strong that I swear it could’ve peeled paint from the ceiling and it left me crying so hard that I couldn’t see to cut the second half of the darned thing. There was no way to keep dicing the onion without splashing my eyes with water to clear them.

Big mistake. Huge. Ginormous.

Because I was splashing cold water all over my face and eyes with hands that were covered in poblano pepper oil. Instead of finding relief, I very nearly burned my eyes out of my head.

But did I even realize why it was so bad? No. I didn’t.

Instead, I walked as calmly as I could to the bathroom to try to wash my eyes out a little better because I figured I had smeared my new mascara into my eyes and was having a bad reaction to that. And when I couldn’t even open my eyes, I thought that maybe the hard water at my parents’ house wasn’t helping things and could even be making things worse.

It did not even occur to me that I had poblano oils all over my hands.

My poor parents. I may have totally freaked them out when I ever so calmly asked them to bring me a wash cloth and cold, bottled water to me. Especially since I was standing at the bathroom door incapable of opening my eyes with a flaming red face and swelling eyes.

By the time I figured out what was what, I had managed to get poblano oil all over my face. So… Just imagine how it feels when you get pepper oil in a tiny cut on your hand… Okay. Now imagine that multiplied by about a 1000 million along with a panicky moment of worry that you’re going to spend Christmas Eve in the emergency room.

Luckily, I finally got it together and figured out what the heck I’d done to myself. And here is what I learned.

1) Wash your hands with soap and water to get the offending oil off of your hands.

2) Neutrogena’s Pink Grapefruit Face Wipes cut right through the oil and will bring you sweet, sweet relief. The bonus is that it’s safe to use on your face and eyelids, and easy to get out of the package even when you can’t open your eyes.

3) Cold wash cloths soaked in water help reduce the redness and pain.

4) Cold wash cloths soaked in milk are even better.

5) The show will go on.

No, really. Dinner had to get done. And I wasn’t going to be a big baby despite the fact that I had just been in so much pain I couldn’t cry. Instead, I got right back to it. My mom had finished dicing the onion for me, but I got right back in the kitchen and finished preparing the rest of the dinner.

It turned out okay, but very, very, very spicy. Stupid “mild” poblanos. Nothing that a glass of milk couldn’t fix though.

Oh. And maybe a threat or two that everyone was going to like dinner no matter what since it was filled with the tears of my suffering.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2012 12:46 pm

    This post is why I adore you! You’re hilarious, honest, driven, and a kickass storyteller.

    • December 30, 2012 7:32 pm

      Thank you for such an awesome compliment, Stacey. I’d say I was blushing, but that could just be the lingering effects of pepper all over my face. =)

  2. Nicole permalink
    December 11, 2014 8:52 pm

    First time I have ever gotten pablano pepper oil on my face…. tonight!!! How could this happen!? Pablanos are the green pepper of the mexican world (I told myself)! My face , right now at this very moment, feels like it was doused with gasoline and lit on fire. I’m writing you, blinking profusely, through tiny slits in my eyelids. They are almost swollen shut. The rim of my nose is burning and my eyes are still tender :( I googled to make sure I wasn’t having an allergic reaction, but found your blog. Im sure I will find this post amusing in the future and will laugh about it too. However, as of right now…. Thank you for the informative post. I too was “blinded” and had to feel my way to the bathroom as calmly as possible. Dang, they’re just sweet little Pablanos!!! Arghhhjh!

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