This is a true story from over 30 years ago. I enjoy hot spicy food, but only when it adds to the overall flavor of the dish. Innocent Chicken Wings swimming in some red sauce that is off the ‘Scoville scale’ is just a boring and pointless adventure that usually ends badly in the bathroom.

In the mid 70’s I left home and moved to London. I ate out a lot, but not for the reason you might suspect. I was more than capable of cooking, from the age of 10 I had taught myself how to cook. My parents were often busy running the pub, so if I wanted something different or in addition to what was on offer, I made it myself.

Sure there were a few hiccups along the way, my first attempt at BBQ was a little suspect, I will try and find the story.

The real reason for eating out was twofold, one I just basically hated British food, it was bland and soulless. Three summers spent in Germany had shown me that food was not mere nourishment for the body, it was nourishment for the soul, a delight for all of the senses. Breakfast was often simple but so elegant, Dark sliced bread, local butter, cold cuts, and something I have never seen before. Warm soft boiled eggs with the shell removed. To this day I can’t get the shell off a Hard Boiled egg without destroying it, so how Frau Zimmer did this, remains a secret to today.

My second reason for eating out was very much driven by my first. I wanted to explore the foods of the world.

I recall one evening helping a client that had a problem with deck of Punch Cards

I fixed it and he insisted on buying me dinner. We went to a Hungarian Restaurant and had Goulash. Oh not the sort that North Americans call Goulash, throw everything you don’t want in your refrigerator into a slow cooker and leave it there for 8 hours.

Real Goulash is a complex dish with prime beef and Smoked Paprika as stars.

The cuisine that I fell in love with was Indian. Yes some of it was hot, but the heat never got in the way of taste. A good Indian meal appeals to all of your senses. For every hot dish there is something to take the heat away. In some countries this is called Ying and Yang. A way to find a balance and harmony in what you are eating.

OK, I see I have got completely sidetracked, lets get back to the importance of cleanliness when cooking. Exactly what I was making is lost in the annals of time, but it was most probably Indian in origin. The recipe required a small amount of some insanely hot green chilli.

And I had found the exact item.I used my insanely sharp knife to cut some insanely thin slices of the insanely hot chilli

By this time I was just about ready for another beer, but knew it was also time to get rid of the last one. So off to the little boys room I went.

If you have been dealing with super hot veggies it is very, very important to wash your hands BEFORE touching your wienie!!!!

Yup it made my eyes water, and of course I rubbed them. Another huge mistake, even after washing my hands.

Hot spicy things have no place near the more delicate parts of your body. Maybe I should write a book? How to cook without pain…..

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