Something peculiar has happened to me over the last few weeks. For most of my life, I have avoided super spicy foods. The thought of actually eating a jalapeño pepper never came close to entering my mind. My mother was a plain cook, and I was comfortable with that eating style.
I guess it began with lunch at MCC. For some strange reason – embedded in many conflicting rumors – peppers of any kind were not served in the Highlander Cafeteria. So, we formed a pepper club, and regularly brought fresh peppers for snacking. One day, a certain Mr. K joined us for lunch and asked about the peppers. We told him the story, and a good laugh was had by all.
Several days later, he delivered a bag of what I thought were tiny, home-grown bell peppers. I bit into one – almost half, mind you with seeds and all. Then, the heat began, and someone said, these are not bells but habanero peppers
Here is a link to a YouTube video, which will give you some idea of what I went through. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8ip5oGlMfU
Of course, I was not so loud or dramatic, but it took every cell in my body to resist a display like this. I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and my burning face and ears. The more I washed, the more I burned. I swore off peppers of any kind forever! That video has over 1 million views, so I guess I am glad I restrained myself.
But then, I began eating curry dishes at Bangkok Royale. I loved them all, and I kept asking for the dishes to be hotter and hotter. Then we ate dinner at Buzzard Billies, and I ate an “armadillo egg,” which was a piece of chicken stuffed with cheese and jalapeño slices all wrapped in bacon. I LOVE these things.
Last week, while shopping, my wife bought a tray of six halves of jalapeño peppers stuffed with sausage and cheese and – you guessed it – wrapped in bacon. I loved these. So what did I do next? Of course, I went to H.E.B. the other day, and bought 6 large jalapeño peppers, some sausage, cheese, and bacon. We had company for dinner on Friday night, and I used three of them for the appetizer. We each had two, but our guest declined, so my wife and I had three each. I loved them! Except we removed the seeds and veins, so they could not really have been that hot, right?.
But I still have three peppers, some cheese, some bacon, and some sausage. Hmm. What should we have as a side dish for dinner tonight? And, more importantly, should I take out the seeds and veins this time?