Thursday, October 20, 2011
This Green Pepper
My mom came to visit me yesterday and she spent the night. What a nice visit we had! She helped me with the kids and filled the house with laughter and music and energy. And I helped her learn how to send text messages and perfect her Sudoku skills.
This morning, we were eating some leftover turkey burgers and I was puttering around in the dining room with Amelia when I heard her call from the kitchen, "Is this green pepper hot?"
I had picked a handful of unripe peppers from my garden. They seemed like green peppers, but they were supposed to be sweet red peppers. Anyway, they had kind of a bitter or unripe taste, but they were perfectly edible.
Without paying her much attention or looking at what she was holding, I said, "No. Not hot. Do you want to take it home?"
But she was just asking so she could add something to her turkey burger. Then she took a bite. Then she was spitting it out and I was laughing. She said, "It's hot!"
I said, "I told you I microwaved it a bit long." (Referring to the patty)
"No, it's a hot pepper!" She went over to the sink and started to drink water from her cupped hand, "Where is my tea?"
I took her mug from the piano and brought it to her, giggling despite myself. "It's not a hot pepper, Ma. It's just an unriped pepper. It's a bit sour but..."
"No! It's a hot pepper!" She was spitting into the sink now.
"It's just a sweet pepper that hasn't ripened yet," I explained. Then I remembered what she'd called my little daughter as she threw a tantrum this morning and I teased, "Look who's being a drama queen now?!"
Then I looked up and her eyes were watering and they were getting a bit puffy. Her nose was turning red and she was obviously uncomfortable.
"It's not a sweet pepper! It's a HOT pepper! Hot pepper!"
I turned to the fridge to get her a glass of milk, remembering somewhere that milk is better than water for things like this and when I opened the fridge door I saw, on the top shelf, the hot peppers my neighbour Paul had brought over the other day. They were green, maybe scotch bonnet. But one was missing.
"Oh my. You DID eat a hot pepper, Ma!" I realized suddenly.
She looked at me with tears streaming down her face, "I KNOW!!!!"