by Trent Rosser
Have you ever noticed that different food places have different ideas on heat? Let me set this up for you; I like spicy food. Most of the time, I am getting chips and hot sauce for an appetizer. Not too spicy though, I like to be able to taste what I am eating. For instance, I was at a cook out last week and they made jalapeno poppers. Just in case someone does not know what a popper is; it is cream cheese stuffed inside of a jalapeno pepper with bacon wrapped around it. I love these things. Let me let everyone in on a little secret. You need to take the seeds out of the jalapeno before you stuff them. Do you want the best peppers without being hot where even a child can eat them? Boil them for about 30 minutes after you clean the seeds from them. Then when they cool down, stuff them with cream cheese, and wrap them in bacon. Now here is another kicker. Please for the love of God, use bacon. Real bacon! Not turkey bacon or organic bacon, real greasy, fatty bacon. After that, season them and grill them until the bacon is done, remove from the grill and eat!
Now, the other day when I was at the cookout, I took a bite of the pepper and it nearly floored me. They stuffed them with the seeds still in the pepper and did not boil them so the pepper themselves were still hard. But what really got me is when I took a bite of turkey bacon. The shock just about killed me! Now, I know the old saying, “To each their own.” but at least warn a feller about what kind of meat you are trying to feed him. If I would have known that it was turkey, I would have become allergic to it right before we arrived there. I was only able to take 1 bite and that was it. I taught my friend Charlie to make the poppers and throughout the years he has just about perfected them. Everyone in Pueblo, CO knows where to go to get the best poppers. It’s at Charlie’s house. I don’t know what he did, to perfect them, but I am proud to say, “The student has surpassed the teacher.”
As I mentioned before, I like hot sauce. When I was younger I would sit on the couch and eat “Old Tascosa” hot sauce, chips, and milk all day long. I think we should have invested stock into that hot sauce. Nowadays, it seems as if everyone is making hot sauce. There is a variety of them and I have tried most of them. There is a Mexican restaurant that has 3 different kinds of hot sauces. The regular kind, (which I call tomato soup), the green kind (which is very hot), and the mixture of both (which is mild). It seems that every time I go in and order the mixture, it gets hotter and hotter. I can actually eat the green, but not very often. Of course, it does not matter what I order, I always end up putting hot sauce on it. Tabasco sauce is something that I just about put on everything. It goes good with eggs, hash browns, hamburgers, fries and if you are tired of the same old Ramón noodles, just add Tabasco sauce for that little kick. I love the taste of spicy food.
Now, let me tell you what happened when I tried to be a smarty pants. We went to eat at a Chinese restaurant earlier this week and I always get the General Tso’s chicken. That particular dish is supposed to be a little spicy. I have had it before and had no trouble at all eating it. Even the menu says that it is just a 1 on the spicy scale. A 5 on the scale, you have to sign a waiver just to order it. So me,(being the idiot that I am), tried to show off to my wife and I explained that the 1 spicy just wasn’t cutting it. So I will go to number 2 on the spicy scale. I think the exact words were, “I’m no wimp, I will do #2 on the spicy scale.” Did you know you can get chapped lips from spicy food? Unbeknownst to me, they have just redone the spicy and have not redone the scale. The meal came out and I dug in. I still think my lips are sunburned and my nose hair will never grow back from the aroma from the couple of bites that I took. Thank God there were not a lot of people there, because my wife was on the floor laughing. She said that it looked just like a cartoon; I had my head down eating and suddenly my head shot straight up, my eyes became real big and my face burst as red as the sun. She swore that there was a small trickle of smoke coming from both ears. I had both my tea and her tea drank and chewing on ice trying to put out the smoldering fire in my throat.
Thankfully the waitress saw what was happening and asked, “Is everything ok?”
“Sure.” I replied “but do you did put #2 spicy on the ticket and not #4, right."
She said, “Yes sir, but we have redone our spices and we are not sure of the number scale just yet.”
“Guess what, this is now #4!.”
They were nice and went above and beyond and fixed me a new plate, something that they did not have to do. I did hear one waitress say, “It did have a darker red than normal.”
And the other waitress said, “I can’t believe that he was that stupid to eat that much of it.”
Of course my wife would agree to that last sentence. I just didn’t know that my pain causing tears to well up in my eyes would cause her to tear up as well; tears of laughter that is.