Purpose of the Potent Pepper


I shared some habanero peppers from our community garden with a friend last night.  He touched them, and then without thinking, went to the bathroom.  And, well, you know the rest! When I was in Mexico, there was a restaurant that had a legendary super hot habanero salsa. Their biggest warning was, “do not touch the sauce!” They insisted on not letting patrons serve their own sauce because of multiple incidents of extreme pain following restroom use. Food science recommends that people wear latex gloves when handling hot peppers. I make salsa every fall with fresh veggies and never remember that recommendation until an hour later when my fingers are burning and swollen.

Pain and Pleasure
What gives hot peppers their heat and what causes the pain? Continue reading “Purpose of the Potent Pepper”

Our Glorious Kitchen Garden

Having never grown a vegetable garden, I took advantage of some planting space in the Promega community garden in June 2010. Since most of my yard is shaded, this was the first time I had the opportunity to dig up soil, sow seeds, weed, water and harvest produce. I now have a greater appreciation for the effort it takes to place a ripe, beefsteak tomato on my plate. During this experience I learned that 1) I thankfully had two garden experts in my department, 2) not all winter squash is as edible as it appears on the seed package, 3) one gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs. or 3.79 kgs, and 4) mosquitoes can form mushroom clouds when you disturb their shady garden retreats.

Looking toward the 2011 growing season, I was a bit skeptical when I heard that Promega’s Manager, Culinary Experience and new Head Chef, Nate Herndon, was overseeing the preparations of the employee community garden in addition to a new kitchen garden. Little did I know what culinary inspirations Nate and his staff would create for our three on-site cafeterias.  Continue reading “Our Glorious Kitchen Garden”