I decided I wanted to stuff these lovely peppers for myself and the hubby for lunch, so I proceeded to thaw a steak and slice it into thin strips, putting it in a bowl with garlic salt, paprika, and chili powder, making sure to mix/rub it all over the meat. Meanwhile I got some oil heated up in a pan with some minced garlic, adding in the meat as soon as the garlic started to soften. Thinking some black beans would be great to add, I drained and rinsed a can, adding it to the pan after the meat started to brown a little. As this was cooking I shredded some cheese and set it to the side to put on top of the peppers after stuffing them.
At this point I felt I could get my chili peppers ready to stuff. Cutting down the length of the pepper and at the top just enough to be able to pull the sides away so as to get to the ribbing (white stuff on the inside of the pepper that holds the seeds) and the seeds out, because these are supposed to be where the heat is in the pepper.
Now mind you, I've cut many a pepper, but have never needed to wear gloves. Yes, I've gotten that burning sensation you can get from hot spices, but never too bad for me to worry about it. This time however was different. Very different. I had noticed that my fingers had that same slight burning to them that they get when handling spicy foods. I just thought that was all that was going to happen. I was wrong. Very wrong.
I got the peppers stuffed, cheesed and put them in the oven at 350F. I was headed back to my computer to let them cook for about 15 - 20 minutes, when I realized my fingers (thumb, index finger, and middle finger all on both hands) were still burning after I had washed them pretty well with dish soap. Thinking maybe I had just gotten them covered in the hot portion of the chili peppers or maybe it was from the spices I had put on the meat and it would subside, I decided to continue putting my attention back to the computer.
After typing a few words, the burning got a lot worse. So what does one do when they have burning fingers? Put their fingers in cool water. This helped for all of 5 minutes (at which time it just continued to burn/got worse from the water), so I tried white vinegar which didn't work at all (I still swear it just got worse). I decided to ask the hubby to see if he could find something online that might be able to help with chili pepper burns.
He found a few sites that had some ideas such as cool water, wash with soap, dilute bleach in water and soak hands (tried all but the bleach idea). Then he saw one that said that because chili pepper burns were from the oil in the pepper to use rubbing alcohol (cuts the oil) to wipe down the affected area then soak fingers in milk. This sorta worked... until the milk heated up from my hands being in there. I kept going back and forth with this for about 45 minutes, yet the burning didn't stop.
A friend of ours that we talk to online luckily came on (she's an EMT), and told the hubby that I needed to run luke warm (cold water can make you blister instead) water over my fingers for about 15 minutes then wash hands with dish soap really well. I tried this, but 15 minutes wasn't enough. I wound up with my hands under the water for about an hour (at least) and the luke warm water just didn't seem to cool the burn. Finally the hubby did his daily call to his mother. She said she had the same thing happen to her before, and had tried all the same type of remedies, and had dealt with it for 12 hours before she decided to try honey, which worked though she had to leave it on for a good amount of time.
I was eager to try anything so out came the honey bottle. The hubby proceeded to squeeze the sticky liquid over my finger. It actually was helping! It still burned but it did cool it slightly. I decided to run water over my fingers until they started to feel like the heat was cooking the honey. I then put some more on my fingers and I realized that my fingers were a lot better. It had finally started to subside after about 15 minutes of the honey on my fingers. Needless to say I learned my lesson, unless it's a bell pepper, I will be using gloves while playing with my peppers! ( I also was told , by a nice woman who saw my message on Foodbuzz about the burning fingers, that mayonnaise is supposed to work also.)
As to the stuffed chili peppers, they tasted awesome! They had a smokey heat to them, and a great flavor. Was it worth the pain? Not really, but at least I learned something very important that was a lesson worth the pain: When playing with fire (chili peppers) wear protection (gloves)!