So, yesterday, feeling much less worried about the level of spiciness of the peppers, I picked a few red ones. I was still cautious, cutting them with the stems still attached so that my skin would not be in direct contact with the fruit itself. I grabbed a few leeks, too. I thought I would slice and sauté some sweet red peppers with one Rocoto chili pepper to infuse the caramelized flavour together before adding it to the more subtle leek and potato mixture. I didn't bother with the whole soaking-in-vinegar step this time since the whole idea was to spice it up a it. Well, as the pan was sizzling, the room started to fill with smoke... I felt my throat constrict making me cough, my eyes started to burn and my nose instantly became decongested, clearing whatever sinus issues my allergies were causing. I opened both the front and back door to get a cross breeze in hopes of clearing out what I could only imagine tear gas would feel like. Kevin was sitting on the couch at the time and he started to feel the effects of these noxious fumes, too. I couldn't believe it. One little red chili pepper... I can't begin to speculate what kind of damage the smaller, dark green one would have caused.
I had read once that to subdue any kind of spiciness, milk should be added, not water. So, in an attempt to dilute the potion, I added some milk... had a little taste to see if it worked... my lips stung... so I added A LOT more milk, some tomatoes and cucumber... anything to help diffuse this culinary bomb. Finally, what was supposed to be a soup for two filled a huge pot... I could have invited the whole village and we probably would have had some leftover, and although it still provided quite a kick, it was now edible. It was actually quite tasty in the end. Kevin only managed one bowl though... with three pieces of bread to dunk into it. I ended up having three bowlfuls. My mouth was tingling and I was a little afraid of what the after effects might be, so I stopped. I won't be doing that again! Next time, a little vinegar soaking will definitely be in order. Vinegar is our friend!
I'm happy to report that we've not suffered any ill effects except a tickle in our throats that makes us cough. Phew. I'll tell you one thing, if you suffer from the chills,