as printed in Today's Horse Magazine - June 2016 issue
We are branding tomorrow.
This means there are lots of last minute things to get done and I have a lot of work to do in the kitchen. I don’t mind. I believe I got my love of cooking from my Grandma June. My mom is also a good cook and enjoys it so perhaps that part of me just comes through my heritage. I have had very little kitchen incidents, which truly is amazing in my opinion over all these years. I’m not saying that everything I make is worthy of Food Magazine, but I’ve only ever made one thing that was truly inedible (that’s another story and it’s one my husband won’t let me forget). I smile remembering that. We learn from our mistakes, don’t we? I definitely learned a lesson this morning.
I’ve been scurrying around my kitchen all morning. I have 2 pies in the oven and 4 more waiting on standby. I have the meat marinating, corn thawing out, and I already did the baking of my Crispies days ago. Brandings take planning on all accounts. I actually love that because I’m a planner by nature. I drive my husband crazy with that side of me, but I’ve learned through the years it’s best to over-plan than to under-plan. Plans change, but all the same I love it. I plan out my branding dinner a month in advance. I get groceries over that month. We live 30 miles from town so running in for a forgotten item the day before branding isn’t something that is smiled upon. The past few years I have served Stuffed Jalapenos wrapped in bacon for our mid-morning snack. The cowboys devour them every year. So, I decided to up the quantity. Making these little buggers isn’t for the faint of heart because of the danger that goes along with them. Yes, I said danger (I hadn’t really experienced this danger until today).
After rinsing and drying the peppers, I cut the tops off and split them down the middle. I then take a strawberry huller and strip out the seeds and membrane into the garbage can. I used to wear gloves while doing this, but I decided to throw caution to the wind this year. Boy, I wish I wouldn’t have done that! I got through the process with ease. After I was finished I washed my hands with warm water and plenty of soap to ensure that I got rid of all the jalapeno oils. I checked on my pies and made a phone call. About an hour later I rubbed my eye with the back of my hand (after all, it hadn’t touched the peppers)…..BIG MISTAKE!!! OWWWW!!!! The burning that ensued was insane! I was in pain and I needed help fast! I was the only one home so I did what any modern day cook would do….I Googled for help! Instantly milk showed up on my screen. MILK?! I didn’t even question it. I couldn’t see and I could barely open my eye! I ran to the kitchen, flung open the fridge door and grabbed half a gallon of milk. I spun off the lid and without even thinking I put my eye to the lid and tipped it fully up! Yes, I was that desperate! I did this three times. Surprisingly, the burning subsided. I honestly couldn’t believe it, but milk was the answer I desperately needed. How incredible! As I sit and write this the skin by my eyebrow is still tingling, but I can see and I’m not blind. Thank goodness!! So, if I needed another reason to love cows I now have it. A word to the wise…..never rub your eye after working with peppers (or any other part of your face for that matter)……and always have milk on hand! :) ~Cheyenne