Wednesday, November 06, 2013


As much as I wanted to call this post chopped I equally wanted to avoid a second Cooking Channel show reference within a week despite the topic being all about related to cooking. Upon reflection, the event leading to my whine did not live up to the billing of being “chopped.”

After picking nearly a peck of unpickled fresh peppers from my garden on Saturday, I set about chopping some for the dishes I was making - chicken soup and Mexican rice. I am much the same way with peppers as the rest of the world is with bacon - everything’s better with peppers (Yes, even chocolate cake and fruit cobblers.) I can be a bit of a heat freak, but mostly, I enjoy the flavor of peppers. When you get past the idea of “oh, it burns!” the flavors in pepper make the dishes as distinct as they are.

Typical for my time cooking, I had a sports show on in the living room television that I watch from my prep station (kitchen counter). I quickly looked up to watch a purported “spectacular highlight” and I swiftly brought the knife down across the end of my fingertip, cleanly removing a chunk of nail and flesh.

I love sharp knives; the cut itself did not hurt. But in the days since, EVERYTHING that makes contact with the exposed nailless tip of my finger reminds me just how vulnerable we are when our defenses are down. Even typing - maybe especially typing - proves painful because it is my middle finger with the most popular letter on the left hand its responsibility (at least 21 poundings in this last sentence alone).

I know from experience that one must pay close attention when dealing with sharp or hot objects in the kitchen. I earned every scar on my hands and arms. Now that the surface has mostly healed and can possibly survive the flood of capsaicin from the fresh hot peppers, I need to finish preparing them for a vacuum seal that will allow me to continue using them throughout the winter months when my peppers slow production

This time I am thankful that I was only nicked as I chopped the peppers.  

And I never found the nail or the finger tip so you may want to avoid this batch of Mexican rice.

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