Friday, October 10, 2014

A lot of Hot

The Siegel household is overflowing with food.

As I mentioned last week, following the funeral of my Mother In Law, we had a shiva call at the house.  Not one of those deeply religious shivas with covered mirrors, milk crates and 10 strange Jewish men reciting arcane Hebrew prayers.

This was more the West Los Angeles, Jewish Lite version with lots of blond shiksas and outrageously expensive catered deli foods. So much food in fact, that even the second fridge in the garage was overflowing.

In order to make room for all the corned beef and soggy cole claw, I decided to clear out and consolidate the main fridge. What I found were no less than 10 bottles of Hot Sauce. This is in addition to the always fruitful pepper plants in the garden, including Serrano, Habanero and Ghost.

All of which suggest I have an iron stomach. A little softer and pudgier on the outside than I'd like, but impenetrable like an old bank vault on the inside.

I developed this particular culinary affinity when I first moved to California. My roommate and I would chug beer, chase it with a shot of cheap Jim Beam and then challenge each other to chew on these tiny unspecified peppers that we bought from a little Mexican bodega on Sawtelle Blvd.

The peppers were brined and had a distinctive vinegary smell. That is until you bit into one and it unleashed its fury on lips, tongues and any nerve endings in sight. It was like willfully putting a live Wasp in your mouth.

Apart from the immediate dopamine rush, you might be wondering why we would subject ourselves to such pain?

The answer is simple and it is known to all who have a penchant for alcohol. It's the preventative cure for a hangover.

You can't wake up the next day overly concerned about the pounding in your head. Not when there's the more immediate and pressing agony in the 'southern hemisphere.'

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