Sometimes I get wax in my ears. The doctor says it comes from sweat and there really isn’t much I can do about it except have it cleaned out. A disgusting and uncouth process to be sure, and not worth mentioning here in mixed company. These stories are best left for making my buddies wince. So being a gentleman, I’ll leave out the details. This happens about once every 18 months, and it’s back to the doctors office for me where I am inspected, injected and – with all due respect to Arlo Guthrie – detected. Almost on queue, a couple weeks ago my ear was plugged again – so off I went to go see Dr. bones.
Now part of this process includes the weigh in. I have to stand on the scale fully clothed, shoes and all while the doctor’s assistant catalogs my latest weight. 265. Two hundred and sixty five pounds. Good God. I used to be a tri-athelete. I weighed a svelte 175 pounds. What the hell happened to me? It certainly didn’t sneak up on me. I knew this was coming. Some of this can be linked directly to my love of all things BBQ’d and the rest to that fact that it doesn’t take a dangerous hunting trip with my tribe and spears to procure the meat.
Back in those difficult times (not exactly the good old days) in order to get foods that were high in sugar and fat, you had to expend a commensurate amount of energy. Chasing a wooly mammoth around kept you in shape. The really ripe sweet fruits were in the highest branches. You had to climb a tall tree to get them. Now, we just walk to the meat counter for our protein. All of this is an interesting discussion topic, but it does nothing to make me lose weight. So I have decided to be a bit more discerning about what I shove in my mouth and somehow walk about more.
This means grilling more fish and vegetables. I really like foods with assertive spices, so to indulge my food obsession I bought a pound of nice big juicy green jalapenos from the produce section. After lugging them home and staring at them for a considerable time, I thought I might dehydrate them, grind them up to a powder and try them in some new rubs I could concoct for my newest lightened up grilling recipes.
I sliced them up into even rings, seeds and all – and placed them on dehydrator racks. I have an Excalibur 5 tray dehydrator which I’ve found is a great unit and I use it frequently. These went in at 125 degrees for about 7 hours. When they were dried, I put them in a food processor to break them down into small coarse ground pieces. I added these to my spice grinder (a coffee mill I’ve set aside for spices) and zapped them to a powder.
Naturally I had to taste the stuff, so I licked my finger and stuck the tip of it into the green dust I just created. Without thinking, I stuck it in my mouth. “Hmm”; I thought – “Its slightly sweet”. “and hot”. “Very hot”. “Ok, extremely hot”. Now I can take heat. Fresh jalapenos are spicy, but not bad. BUT – take all the water out of them and grind them up to a powder seeds and all? Holy smoke. This heat sits on the front of your tongue like a little devil stabbing it with a pitchfork for about 2 minutes straight.
As soon as I regained my composure, I began to think of what I might do with it.
- Add it in small amounts (very) with dehydrated lime and salt for bloody Mary glass rims
- Make Jalapeno Mustard with it
- Add it to salt to sprinkle on steaks
- Use it as a weapon against Terrorists
- Make some tex mex rubs with it
Next time I think I’ll smoke them first, the dehydrate and grind them up. Lightening up might not be as painful as I thought. I’m 6 pounds down from the past 2 weeks, and already I’m feeling a bit better. My nightly heartburn has subsided and I seem to have more energy. I’ll probably use the dehydrator a lot more too. Wish me luck.