My Love Affair with Capsicum
My mother was wonderful and I loved her very much. There are so many things she taught me and was such a great example to me of perseverance and determination. Among the things she taught me, perhaps not quite as inspirational as others, was to love spicy food!
I guess I’ve never understood how people can like mild food that is supposed to be spicy. Sure, I can understand not wanting spicy lemon cake, although the idea intrigues me, but to go into a Mexican restaurant and ask for mild salsa? Why even go?
People who know me well know that I really don’t like chicken, but spice it up, add some veggies and especially peanuts, and I’ll gobble it right up. Kung Pao Chicken, I love you!
One of the ways my mom inspired me to like spicy food was her nuclear chili, made with Gebhardt Chili Powder. It really is the best stuff. My mom made it really hot. We loved it.
Some Spicy Stories
I was backpacking with my scout troop as a Scoutmaster, good old Troop 98. We were going down the Pacific Crest Trail from Timberline Lodge to Eagle Creek Trailhead. We stopped over at Lost Lake Campground to do a little service and get out of the rain for a night. My mom and my wife brought up a large pot of her nuclear chili. We heated it up and served it. I was wolfing it down thinking it was a little milder than usual. After my mom and wife drove away, everyone but me put theirs in the metal dumpster and expressed concern about getting in trouble when the chili ate its way through the bottom.
Back when I was single and trying to attract Barbara, I invited her and her friend, Rene’, over for a dinner I was going to cook them. I decided to make burritos the way my aunt Rosetta showed me. Lots of spice! The two women took one bite and looked like they were going to die. I was so offended I nearly lost interest in Barbara. I forgave her.
Barbara claimed to like my mother’s chili and my mom taught her how. Every time she cooked it, she put in about a third of the Gebhardt’s my mom recommended. She said it was too hot the way my mom made it. The kids and I turned up our noses at it and called it “bean soup.”
Some people claim that people like me have their taste buds so burnt out that we can only taste food when it is spicy. That’s nonsense! I taste food. Just look at me. Would I be this big if I couldn’t taste food?
My taste buds are just fine. I just happen to really like the zing on the tongue, the warmth in the belly, and, well, the rest is questionable. I like the health benefits. I’ve been reading lately how the chemicals in red spicy peppers are a natural antibiotic. It’s always good to find something that you love and is also good for you.
So, all you wimpy people, give spiciness a try. It might take a little getting used to, but it is oh so good!