Humorous HOT Chile Pepper
HOT Chile Pepper Contest No. 1
Once upon a time. . . Before I married Bob's sister we would participate in a number of macho activities to prove to each other how tough or skilled we were. That is to say, how much better we were than the other. The usual stuff, like hitting a dove on the fly with an arrow, shooting the most acorns off the top branch of a very tall tree, eating the biggest stake, climbing the hardest part of a rock cleft and catching the most Catfish or biggest Bass. Bob had just recently finished his duty as an Army Paratrooper. He was fit as a fiddle and twice as strong as a bull. I was several years older and was rejected from military duty because of physical problems. So as you can see we were pretty closely match for such events - the big strong he-man verses the skinny wimp. We had great fun trying to out do each other!
The hot pepper contest started in the usual way. "Hey, try one of these babies". We were all at Bob's parents house for diner having a few "appetizers" before dinner. One thing led to another and it came down to you eat one then I eat one. I could not understand how Bob was keeping up. I was raised on hot pepper like this as a kid. My dad loved them, the hotter the better. I had seen him with tears in both eyes saying, "Now that's what I call a good pepper." I was no match for my dad, but Bob, was a push over when it came to any thing hot like peppers, horseradish and mustards. He was tuff as nails on the outside, but at this stage of his life, had a tender and some what inexperienced palate when it came to this kind of heat.
After finishing off the a jar of pickled Jalapeños, Bob came out with a baby food jar of pickled Pequin peppers. He had received them from my father as a gift several month's before. We were at my father's house shooting the breeze and having a few " hot snacks." Bob pretended to enjoy the hot stuff (his macho image was at risk) so my father gave him a jar to take home. The jar was full so I knew he had not tried to eat many of them, if any.
I could only eat one of those little firecrackers about every half hour. I thought to my self "After the first round Bob will be a goner." To my surprise he ate them at a rate of about one every five minutes! I pushed my self for about a half hour, but had to quit in defeat. "Their too hot for me. I can't eat any more" My mouth was so burned out that dinner had no taste. To add insult to injury Bob continued eating the little peppers before dinner and later as an "after dinner snack." How Could Bob have out-done me?! How could anybody eat so many of those things?
It was a few weeks
later that the cat got out of the bag so to speak. Bob's soon to be
wife told my soon to be wife (Bob's sister) what he had done. Bob
used olive oil to coat his mouth and stomach. He disappeared
several times into the kitchen to "re-protect" himself
during the contest. He had consumed about two pints. Later that
night a volcano erupted and extremely hot lava flowed at both ends.
It took three days to make a full recovery. All in all it turned
out to be the agony of victory and the thrill of defeat.
HOT Chile Pepper Contest No. 2
It was natural to have a garden when living "out in the country" and enjoying spicy foods. I had planted different peppers in different soils looking to produce the perfect hot pepper. I like them hot but not to hot and with lots of flavor. There was this Mexican fellow who worked for me in my furniture restoration business named Sam. He was one of the best employees I had ever had and he liked hot peppers too. He would share authentic Mexican recipes with me and offer tips and suggestion for improving others. My family eats a lot of spicy Tex-Mex food.
It was late summer and a beautiful bright sunny day. My children were playing out side, making a lot of noise. Marcus, my oldest son was about eight years old at that time and Ellen my youngest daughter was ten. They had plotted together to have Sam and myself enter into a hot pepper eating contest. They picked several large Jalapeños and entered the shop with their proposal.
"We want to have a hot pepper eating contest." They wanted to see if Sam could eat more hot peppers than I could. After a little joking with them we consented to the contest but they had to participate also. That was not acceptable terms for them so they left the shop somewhat disappointed.
. Marcus and Ellen returned about an hour later with a new proposal and new peppers they had just picked. Some how they had reasoned that when a pepper was red in color it was the hottest kind. Marcus and Ellen would eat the green colored (not so hot) peppers if Sam and I would eat the red colored peppers. Giving Sam a wink, we agreed.
Just then cousin Bobby (Bob's oldest son also age eight) entered the shop. His mom stop by for a visit with my wife and he wanted to see Marcus also. After hearing what was about to take place he wanted to get in the contest. I tried several times to dissuade him and explain several times that "you really don't want to do this Bobby", but he insisted. Understand he was a young macho man in training and could not pass up an opportunity to prove his manhood. I said, if its OK with your mom, its OK with Me. He ran to the house and got the approval.
Showing good sportsmanship, I had the kids select the peppers that Sam and I would eat. They picked the largest two red peppers. Then they picked a small green one for them selves. Feeling compassion on them for what I knew was going to take place, I told them I would make it easier for them and cut just one pepper into three parts for them. I cut the pepper as close as I could into three equal parts and removed the seeds and membrane to reduce the heat a little. The contest was one of speed rather than quantity. Each child had pepper in hand and was eager to start. Looking at my watch I said, OK, on three. One, two, THREE...
It is difficult to describe what happened next. So much happened all at once. Marcus took a big bight. Ellen bit off about half of her pepper. Bobby quickly put the whole thing in his mouth all at once. Tears, screams, spitting, sputtering, running around, fanning their mouth with a fast waving hands... Ellen reacted first. She almost instantly spit out the offending substance and ran out side screaming. She turned on the garden hose for a long drink and wash out her mouth. Marcus was not far behind. The second he passed the door he starting spitting profusely. He was making all kinds of wide eyed funny faces. But I laughed the most at the expression on Bobby's face. He had stood his ground and was chewing at the speed of light. There was a mixture of finely ground green Jalapeño and saliva poring out of both corners of his mouth. His eyes were closed tight and his whole face was all squinched up and turning redder by the second. He hung tuff (like father like son) and took one big swallow.
Bobby follow Ellen's and Marcus's example. Running out side screaming and fighting with them for a turn with the hose. My wife and Bobby's mother came racing out of the house to see who had been injured or maybe killed. It was total pandemonium. The combination of sight, sound and commotion was a once in a life time event. I cant remember ever laughing so hard.
It was a good half hour before the contestants made a proud march back into the shop. They had regained their composure and were ready for Sam and me to go at it. I asked for a vote as to who won the contest between them. It was unanimous. They all agreed Bobby was the winner by default. Marcus and Ellen couldn't finish their pepper. With the look and pride of a champion Bobby came forward next to my side. Putting my arm around Bobby's shoulders I said; "OK Bobby, now you and I will have a contest and the winner will challenge Sam." Bobby's smile changed slowly as the reality of what I just stated sunk in. His reply was an explanation of how he thought that Marcus or maybe even Ellen was the real winner.
None of them would claim victory. It seamed that one
Jalapeño Chile eating contest a day was enough. "Well,
if there are no challengers," I said. "Sam and I will get
back to work." All the children marched out the door mumbling
and shaking their heads. A short time later, Sam and I agreed that
the fully ripe red Jalapeños tasted better than the green ones.
HOT Chile Pepper Contest No. 3Proverbs 29:23 A man's pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Marcus, my oldest son age fourteen, and William my youngest child age nine, and myself were working the garden. Pulling weeds and collecting ripe vegetables was the order of the day. It was mid summer, hot and humid. The "working time" got shorter and shorter. While the "brake time" got longer and longer.
The time spent under a shade tree with an ice cold drink promoted quite a variety of topics for discussion. The boys asking a lot of questions that required long answers. Or maybe I just took a long time answering. It was a lot more comfortable under the tree than in the sun baked garden. Several old stories were retold. Like hot pepper eating contests.
William had never participated in a hot Chile eating contest before. He had sampled many peppers we had grown and hot sauces we made. But he was not a seasoned connoisseur as of yet. While picking the pepper "trees" in the "Chile Forest", William came across an unusually large hot banana pepper. He was very impressed with the size.
Marcus was working the other end of the garden where their was a Pequin Chile pepper plant. These peppers are quite small 1/4 to 1 inch long. Marcus and I had eaten one of these red hot peppers several weeks before. The one he picked must not have been fully developed yet. He chewed it up and swallowed with on side effects. The one I tried to ate was so hot that when I just bit into it my lips and tip of my tong were instantly on fire . I spit for several minutes and my tongue was numb for an hour. Marcus was laughing just about as hard as he could. He just out did his dad eating hot Chiles. A first! The victor had reminded me several times of his conquest over the past few weeks. This was defiantly the hottest peppers we had ever produced to date. They were about a fifteen on a scale of one to ten.
I don't remember who or just how it started, but William and Marcus wanted to have a hot pepper eating contest with me. To make it "fair" they would pick any pepper for them to eat and they would also select the biggest hot pepper for me to eat. Do to Marcus's prior experience with the Pequin peppers, he convinced William that the little peppers weren't hot at all. So they each picked one. William was still a little cautious and picked a very small green Pequin pepper and Marcus in his confidence picked a larger yellow Pequin Chile. Guess which one Dad had to eat. You guessed it. It was William's giant find.
On your mark, get set, GO... William instantly let out the loudest, most ear splitting scream I have ever heard and ran full throttle to the house to seek relief. Marcus kept chewing. He tried hard not to show the pain he was experiencing. He had tears welling up in his eyes and was breathing faster than normal with his mouth open. I don't think he made fifteen seconds before he started spitting. He was showing great restraint, but I knew his mouth was really on fire. With an almost clam and composed voice, to disguises his agony, he said "That one was a lot hotter than the one I eat the other day." Not more than a minute later he said "I'll be right back dad. I have to use the bath room". My wife came out with William. She could not figure out what was wrong with him. He still could not talk. He just kept on screaming, with tears streaming down his face and pointing to his mouth.
A lesson earned is a
lesson learned. Some time later on our next brake under the shade
tree we talked of what could be learned from the events of the day.
First, its almost impossible to beat a man at his own game. He
knows all their is to know about it and has a great deal of
experience also. So it is not a smart idea to challenge him at what
he does best. Second, you don't have to learn all lessons the hard
way. If you can learn from others mistakes, its much easier on you.
Third, a man's pride can get him in a lot of trouble and most often
will keep him there. Fourth, like father, like son. I had to admit
that there were a lot of lessons I had to take over several times
before I really learned them and even then, I some times would
forget. Being tuff is not in how many hot peppers you can eat, or
how much strength of arm you have. Being tuff is learning self
control and not letting pride get the best of you. Saying no to
yourself can be pretty difficult at times. But real men learn how to do
HOT Chile Pepper Contest No. 4
HOT Chili Contest No. 1
The Chili Judge
Recently I was honored to be
selected as an Outstanding Famous Celebrity in my Community to be a
judge at a chili cook-off because no one else wanted to do it.
Also the original person called in sick at the last moment and I
happened to be standing there at the judge's table asking
directions to the beer wagon when the call came. I was assured by
the other two judges that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy, and
besides they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so
I accepted this as being one of those burdens you endure when
you're an internet writer and therefore known and adored by all.
Here are the scorecards from the event:
Have you participated in a
Hot Chile eating contest? Email your