You will never appreciate how well-stocked your kitchen is until something disastrous happens to you. I do not recommend you go that route to test how complete your pantry is, but it can be telling how much crap you’ve got in your house.
So last saturday, I had a brilliant idea that I would like to make dynamites. Okay I realized that sounds bad just when I was typing that. It’s nothing of the terrorist kind. Dynamites are chili picantes stuffed with meat and cheese, wrapped in lumpia skin then deep fried. It’s a popular bar chow, and understandably so, because the slight kick with hearty meat and salty cheese would just cut through the alcohol. And since I thought it was just a simple deep fried pica pica, I didn’t do my usual google/youtube search on how to do it. It was just a matter of buying some ingredients at the grocery and just frying the shiz up. Nothing to it, really.
Please consider that I was doing this for the first time. One day, I just woke up and decided I would cook some dynamites. That kinda happens a lot. So I was hallowing up some chilis and then even took the extra step of letting them steep in milk just so they wouldn’t be as hot. And these were big chilis which I mostly associate with sinigang. They’re not supposed to be that hot.
The dynamites turned out great — at least my resident taste tester said so. I tasted one and it sure tasted like how a dynamite’s supposed to taste. I took on making the rest of the real dinner which was chicken rice and got done and then my hands started burning. It wasn’t a low burn. It didn’t creep up on me. It’s like in one instant, a couple of hours of hallowing up the chili picantes and the pain, on a scale of 1 to 10, was an absolute 10 bordering on 11. It was seriously one of the most physically painful episodes I had in my life. Apparently, even though chili picantes have only but a small kick left in them, they’re still peppers therefore, still have capsaicin.
If you’re a fan of Orange is the new black, there was an episode where Piper tried to make amends with Red by chewing on some peppers to do some sort of rub to alleviate Red’s bad joints. Capsaicin is like nature’s Bengay. Now, I can only describe the pain as a super strength Bengay to the 10th power. I couldn’t explain the pain to my confused husband, who touched my hand and felt nothing. I was in serious pain — this close to tears — and I was actually considering having them cut off just so they wouldn’t burn anymore. And what truly hurt was that I couldn’t blame anyone but my own stupidity. And this was completely preventable! Gloves! I should’ve worn gloves!
So, short of cutting my hands, I went on to what was the next most logical thing to do — search on Dr. Google.
Thankfully, there were some equally bright minds like me who ended up in this situation and I found a thread with a 21 page long comment section. In a crowd sourcing effort in an unfortunate circumstance, here’s a collection of things that may help, and which I tried.
Dip your hands in ice water – No. There was temporary relief but once you get your hands out of the water, it’ll start to burn again.
Dip your hands in milk – No. Milk would be effective if you ate the peppers. Burning hands, no.
Slather yoghurt to your burning hands – No. It had that yucky feeling and the rationale would be the same with milk. This did not work.
Wash your hands with olive oil – No. The logic being capsaicin is it’s fat soluble. Olive oil would dissolve the capsaicin and then you wash it off with soap. Ran thru half a bottle of olive oil when I realized this is doing nothing for me.
Play with some tomato – No.
Run your hands thru hot water. – The idea is the capsaicin is in your pores causing the pain. The hot water would open up the pores, release the capsaicin and then you can wash it off. I did this and I swear this is bat shit painful crazy. If there was a completely masochist person out there, you can find your fix by rubbing your hands in pepper and dipping it in hot water. And no, it did not work.
I was 10 pages in when somebody suggested the most universally stupid solution to all stupid completely preventable pain. The poster said, “It ain’t over until you peed in your hands.” Ammonia in the pee would dissolve the capsaicin. They claimed it worked for them. I passed.
I was nearing 4 hours into the ordeal and was losing hope. I was looking into a sleepless night because the pain was still a solid 10 and Im sure it would not let me sleep a wink. (Should I pee in my hands now?) Nineteen pages in and somebody from the forum suggested Epsom salts.
Epsom salts. By some weird reason, I have that in my house! It was another painful episode where I thought I was passing stones. And again because of Dr. Google, I found a natural concoction that would help you pass stones with the help of epsom salts. Well, whatever was passing thru my body did, and I never get around to doing what the internet told me to do. But I still got a big carton of Epsom salt in my pantry.
You immerse your hands in a liter of water with 2 tablespoons of epsom salts for 30 minutes, and pray. And it effin’ worked! Well the pain went from a 10 to maybe a 3. I’ve read some comments in the forum where they had to endure 9 hours of it and had to resort to Benadryl to knock them out and after waking up, their hands were still burning. People’s only solution was drugs, mehn. I was pretty thankful I am a pack rat and I have weird shit in my house. With all the stress and spent energy, I can already sleep with a 3. I’ll take a freaking 3.