oh… OH!

I violated a strict kitchen rule tonight.

After supper when cleaning up I had some hot chilies left over. I put them away.

When you handle hot peppers you should always, right away, wash your hands.

As I was saying, I put the peppers away.

About an hour later, I rubbed my itchy, tired eyes….

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Jayna says:

    OH, indeed! I assume since you made this post that no permanent damage was inflicted. I’ve had the experience after cooking with peppers – and it wasn’t even something I ate! (I hate spicy food, but I’ll make it for others.)

  2. r.j.sciurus says:

    This has not been a particularly good week for you, has it.

  3. After this, the week will get better.

  4. Jillian says:

    OUCH! I’ve done that before with jalapenos… I nearly dialed 911 thinking I was going to go blind. Poor, poor Fr. Z! I hope you are feeling better.

  5. DanW says:

    Ouch! Hope you poor eyes are feeling better soon!

  6. jfk03 says:

    That happened to me in Oaxaca in 1957 when I was a teenager. I have never forgotten it.

  7. MargaretMN says:

    Once, my mom was cutting jalapenos with a knife and accidentally cut herself very badly and had to go to the hospital for stitches. The nurse asked her if the cut hurt and she said no, but the peppers were still stinging her hands!

  8. The Digital MC says:

    Hope your eyes are feeling better now, Father!

  9. Matthew in Vancouver says:

    I did this the other night when I was helping my mom clean up after she was pickling some onions. Not nearly as bad as hot peppers, though.

    I love hearing my dad’s story. He was cutting up Jalapenos. Had an itch on his nose. Scratched it. Game over. He proceeded to run to the shower and just blast the water at his face for a while, haha.

    Anyway, I hope you get better soon Father!

  10. DominiSumus says:

    Ouch, ouch, ouch!
    I have done that.

    The other day I was cooking with pimenta moida and the spoon wasn’t mixing quite like a wanted so I used my hands. I ended up soaking my hands in milk for the rest of the day.

  11. Manrique Zabala de Arizona says:

    Quoting the Sith Lord Darth Vader…


    Hope everything’s better now.

  12. Ellen says:

    I’ve never done this. Yet. I’ll say a prayer for you Father that next week will be a better one.

  13. Navarricano says:

    Yeah, mucuous membranes and pepper oils don’t go together very well. Once I was having lunch at a Mexican restaurant with my university roommate, and just as I popped a chip with a big dollop of very hot salsa on it into my mouth, my roommate said something very funny … I laughed and the salsa shot up into my nose.

    It felt like my whole head was on fire. My eyes were watering like Niagara and my face turned fire engine red according to my roommate. The waiter came over to see what was the matter, and all I could say was “Just kill me. Please!”

  14. Allan S. says:

    I’ll spare you the details, but trust me: it could have been worse!

  15. chironomo says:


    That’s Capsicum… the stuff in pepper spray (thus the name). The red peppers (chiles) are the worst, although jalepenos will put a hurt on you too!

  16. Liz F says:

    I remember once doing this to my face. I went so crazy that I finally grabbed some sour cream and smeared it all over my face. Not fun. Poor father. I hope things get better for you soon.

  17. dimsum says:

    Hope your eye feels better Father.

  18. Dr. Eric says:

    I offer my prayers for your eyes through the intercession of St. Lucy.

  19. Been there, done that. Arresting sensation, isn’t it?

  20. patrick_f says:

    Well, consider it an opportunity to work on prayer good Father :)

  21. I’ll spare you the details, but trust me: it could have been worse!

    Been there too.

  22. Girgadis says:

    ouch. Peppers are sneaky that way. I found that out after inserting my contact lenses, which I had apparently removed with the oil still on my fingers the night before. I couldn’t imagine what I had done at first. Now besides washing my hands I rub my fingertips with a fresh lemon. Once burnt, twice shy (literally!)

  23. John Enright says:

    I’ve done that too. Makes the rest of your problems seem insignificant, doesn’t it?

  24. JoeGarcia says:

    I “feel your pain” or, rather, I’ve felt your pain. With habaneros, of all things.

    Now I have my 12 y.o. on standby reminding me to wash up immediately afterwards.


  25. JBlevins says:

    After a long day of tying flies I rubbed my eye forgetting that I had just used superglue on my last fly. You can imagine the pain.

  26. biberin says:

    Feeling for you, Father. I did this once, canning pickled peppers. I didn’t wipe my eye, but I didn’t wear gloves, because I knew I would remember *not* to wipe my eye. Didn’t realized it would burn my whole hands. The cure was bleach, diluted to about 1/4, wiped over my hands to kill the top layer of irritated cells, then rinsed off. Too bad that won’t work for eyes.

  27. biberin: How many pecks of pickled peppers?

  28. Dr. Eric says:

    Fr. Z,

    On a related note, I chopped a bit of the tip of my thumb off this morning chopping mushrooms and onions for our scrambled eggs. I have the habit of doing this, either my thumb or my index finger. It’s a good thing I’m not a surgeon!

  29. Cathy Dawson says:

    I did this once – burning both hands and eyes. It was bad enough that I called the poison control center. The person who answered the phone laughed initially (adding insult to injury) but found that pepper burn was on her list along with a procedure to deal with it. The solution was to rub butter (not any other kind of fat) on the area and wash it off. I think I had to repeat it a couple of times. Once my hands were clean, I put butter in my eyes and then flushed them with water. It worked for my eyes, too. FYI in case you ever do this again. I actually have done it since, but I don’t get a heck of a lot of sleep. Hopefully, your brain works better than mine.

  30. ckdexterhaven says:

    My 3 y/o son put a pepper on his tongue one time. Started crying, grabbed a napkin, put it on his tongue, yelling ‘Face hot, face hot’. I’m his mom, not supposed to laugh…..

  31. rwprof says:

    I’ve done that hundreds of times! And speaking of, since I have a big pot of mole rojo on the stove, I think I’ll go wash my hands …

  32. Sacristymaiden says:

    I wonder if lard would work as well as butter in any such instance…

    What a week, Father. Will pray for you that the next one will be a better one.
    On the other hand, St. John Vianney used to say that the devil would bother him hardest when there was a soul on the balance.

  33. mrsmontoya says:

    Oh, Father! quick – grab some mint, rub it over your hands, and splash water on your face!

  34. stpetric says:

    Ooh…been there, done that. I’m wincing on your behalf!

  35. Agnes says:

    As my momma said (well no, but somebody’s Catholic momma said)…

    *Offer it up!*

    God loves you, Z. All will be well.

  36. So how hot is your keyboard?

  37. Agnes says:

    Give it a good wipe down before rubbing your eyes again…

  38. Tina in Ashburn says:

    owie owie Father.

    East Indian food uses yogurt drinks to calm the fire of hot spices. Next time, which I hope there isn’t, consider using a milk product over inflamed skin. You can roll your eyeball in a spoonful of milk. Amazingly soothing…heals other eye ailments too, like pink eye.

  39. lacrossecath says:

    The only thing worse is failing to wash prior to using the WC… YOWZA!!

  40. Anne M. says:

    I feel your pain, Father. Years ago, when I was a police officer we were issued pepper spray. As part of the training we were required to experience its effects firsthand. This involved allowing a training officer to spray us in the face with it. Talk about pain! We were given Dawn dishwashing detergent to wash our eyes with and at the time I thought that was very strange, however, after I had been sprayed I would have done anything to relieve the pain, and the detergent worked.

  41. ssoldie says:

    Been there, done that. I use to can hot peppers in oil for my husband. Many times, being so busy, forgot and rubbed my eyes, it takes alott of cold water flushing and still the hurt lingers, as the dems say ‘I feel your pain’.

  42. irishgirl says:

    Ooooo, that sounds nasty there, Fr. Z! Hope you’re feeling better!

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