Eating The Hottest Pepper
Schadenfreude: My son’s shaky cam
Yuri treasures my tears. This doesn’t make him a monster, but he is a hunter. From nerf gun wars to jiu jitsu I’m setting up outlets for this aggression so he doesn’t skin me in my sleep, and gains self control for school.
My wife and I disagree about him taking joy in another’s agony. Whether a pepper, a choke, or a soft dart in the eye, I take the pain with a father’s pride.
He’s eight and half-way through third grade, and I see more of myself in him every day.
Family Of Foodies
A bag of ghost peppers from a farmer’s market made me brave. They were small and yellow. I didn’t notice them burning much more than habaneros and felt a little cheated.
Where was the fire of this former world champion?
Yuri, my son, took it as a challenge and sought out more heat the next time. An assortment was laid out, including larger hotter ghost peppers. This post’s featured picture is a sampling of this bounty.
Chop a pepper instead of salsa or sauce
I put them on pizza slices, in every sandwich, and even nibbled on them to show off.
Yuri even had a bite of a ghost pepper burger by accident and said it wasn’t too bad. Had the hot hype outpaced spicy delivery?
Then came the bag of legitimate Carolina Reapers.
My wife made some thin crust pizza for a movie night, and I cut a tenth of a blood red Reaper for my slices. She demanded that I wash the knife and cutting board before getting comfortable. I hadn’t before with the ghost peppers, and she’d tasted pain after cutting an apple on the same board.
I rinsed with hot water and wafted the metal under my nose. The steam was like chemical warfare and made me jerk away.
That was a fair warning, and I was cautious with my first pizza slice. But a few minutes in, I felt okay and dumped the rest onto the second thin piece.
There’s a thing about the Reaper Pepper. It’s heat increases and compounds. I ate a bowl of yogurt and set the bag of death aside.
Looking back, I remember pain and my son laughing.
No idea what movie we saw.
Time for Reaper chili
I use uncured bacon ends from a hipster grocery store, enough to kill someone on heart medicine.
The pork lard needs to sizzle and release a layer of oil across the whole pan. Pull it out, and pile in twice as much beef in chunks or ground. Push it around and add onions and garlic, enough to make more tears than a Reaper Pepper and to kill a glittering vampire.
The mess of cow and alliums is dumped into a crock-pot with the bacon. A dark beer is wasted deglazing the pan. When the alcohol froths away, upend it into the pot too.
The Internet is arguing about bean farts, to soak or no soak.
Leave them under until a beaver would drown and then spill the beans into a pressure cooker. An equal time later, plop them into the crock-pot.
Stirring, always stirring.
Ready a brick of cocaine-sized can of diced tomatoes. Spill that in with a coke can’s worth of sweet corn and another of baby corn.
Lick lips and dribble in enough apple vinegar to flavor a cucumber but not to pickle it.
A quarter mug of cumin, and all the chopped pepper.
Then a habanero: This beautiful orange pepper is my favorite overall. Potent enough to kick me no matter the Ghosts or Reapers I’d been sampling.
Next, a Ghost Pepper: One of the proper big ones from the second trip. This is my favorite pepper for tuna sandwiches.
Finally, a whole Carolina Reaper: Red and bumpy, it intimidates. I won’t consider using it in quantity for anything. One pepper for a batch of chili is plenty.
After fourteen hours slow cooking in our crock-pot, I invited a friend to share the spicy meal with us. He brought a couple of Reaper Madness chips and lucky for me some Pepto-Bismol to ease the capsaicin.
Now that my son’s shaky cam has been uploaded, he can treasure our tears forever.
Spicy tuna sandwich lunch
I buy the best tuna. Wifey makes the best bread.
It is glory.
The pepper and cheese. The garlic and lettuce.
It is holy.
Ginger beer bubbling and a freshly picked Fuji apple
My perfect lunch.
Quality food matters
I heard about Safe Catch tuna when binging Shark Tank on YouTube. It is the tastiest canned tuna I’ve ever had and the healthiest. Too bad, the only stores carrying it price the cans like purses of pearls. I get mine down to a decent price per can by buying from their website in bulk and on sale.
Reeds Extra Ginger Beer is my favorite for quality at a reasonable price. It went well with my spicy tuna, giving my mouth an extra kick and extending the tingle. Not recommended to pair with the One Chip Challenge. For that, I’ll stick to Pepto-Bismol.