Before you report me to CPS, please know that this mystery food was not intentional. Ghost peppers are nearly 500,000 Scoville Heat Units, which is twice as spicy as a scotch bonnet. To give you some perspective, after handling an open chili with bare hands and scratching my nose, both my finger and my nose were tingling for 30 minutes.
So clearly I wasn’t trying to feed this to my children. But if you’ve seen my weekly CSA posts, you’ll know that each week I set out our vegetables on the ground for an aerial snapshot of each week’s box. It just so happens that my kids – for better or for worse – are now much more adventurous eaters than they were a year ago. Prompting two little ones to take it upon themselves to sample this week’s produce before I had a chance to pick up our loot. Which led to some interesting mystery food discussion….
EMMA: Aaaah!!!!! Aaaahhh!!!! It hurts, it hurts!
ME: What hurts?!
EMMA: My mouth!!!! I’m crying! It hurts!
SAM: Aaaahhh!!!! My mouth hurts too!
ME: Guys, what happened?! Oh my god, did you eat a spicy pepper? Which one?
SAM and EMMA: (crying and drooling)
ME: Lauren, which one? Which one did they eat? Did they eat the ghost pepper?
LAUREN: Which one’s the ghost pepper?!
ME: The small one! The small red one! Where are the peppers?
LAUREN: I don’t know!
ME: We need to find them, hurry, this is really bad if they ate them. They could have really burned themselves!
ME: (Searching uncovers the peppers, one with a large bite out of it)
SAM: It hurts mommy (drooling)
ME: Guys, you need to drink something – here, drink this…where is it….here, drink this…it’s LEMONADE!
EMMA: I hate lemonade!
ME: Oh my god, guys, eat these hamburger buns – it’ll soak up the spiciness. Hurry!
SAM & EMMA: (Eating, and spitting out big clumps of chewed hamburger bun, crying and drooling)
ME: Is it better?!
SAM & EMMA: No!
ME: Oh my god, I’m going to have to call poison control. Guys, you could have burned yourselves!
POISON CONTROL: Hello, this is poison control. Can I get your name?
ME: So my kids just ate a bite of a ghost pepper, is it possible that they severely burned themselves?
POISON CONTROL: No, but you should be aware of vomiting and diarrhea.
ME: What can I do to reverse things? I’ve been giving them bread to soak it up.
POISON CONTROL: The active ingredient is capsaicin – do you have milk at home? Ice cream also works.
ME: OK, I’m going to try it. So there’s no way that they actually burned themselves with this?
POISON CONTROL: No, just keep them upright this afternoon in case of vomiting and diarrhea and I’ll call you in an hour to check in on them.
….. (20 minutes later)
ME: Guys, is the ice cream helping?
SAM & EMMA: Yes.
EMMA: I don’t like those peppers. Take them back to the farmer’s market!
SAM: Yeah….Throw them out!