Northern Drawl

Month: October, 2013

Promotions, Peppers, and Bad Parenting

I found out I got a promotion at work yesterday, and because we didn’t feel like cooking/cleaning we decided that it was cause enough to go out to eat and celebrate. I picked a Mexican restaurant called Serrano’s, and right after I got home from work we piled in the car and headed out.

Brent, Ashen, and I talked for a while and then ordered food. When Brent’s food came out he had a perfect little raw serrano pepper on his plate. He picked it up, looked at it, and told Ashen he would give him 15 bucks if he ate the whole thing. Now, this is when I got excited.

Ashen asked if he had to eat the whole thing. Of course we said yes. Brent told him he could eat it throughout the course of the meal – but I thought this would be too easy and told him he had to eat the whole thing without eating any of his other food in between. I mean, 15 dollars was on the line.

Important side note: My dad is basically an oversized kid – and my family has an odd/dark sense of humor about stuff. My dad never went easy on us as kids. And although I don’t remember him ever daring me to eat a pepper – I do remember similar scenarios. Once, as a small child, I was complaining about a canker sore that was hurting. He recommended I put some ketchup on it.

He literally told me to rub salt in a wound. I also caught him cheating in a game of crazy eights once against my niece who was 6 years old at the time. We’re a competitive bunch. I’ve had a yahtzee cup thrown at my head by that same 6-year-old niece. Anyway, I digress. This is all just to show that we appreciate giving each other a hard time.

Ashen agreed to the dare. He bit into the pepper, taking about half of it down in one bite. He started to chew and then quickly put the rest of it in his mouth. He showed us the tiny little stem, and I nodded my head in approval. He continued to chew the raw pepper, with all the seeds intact. Now, I always thought serranos were a little less spicy than jalapenos. But it turns out they are a notch above, see here. The more you know. At this point in the dare Ashen’s eyes started to water, and he looked a little scared. He chewed a few more times and then asked if he could spit it out, while turning a shade of red. Brent said “sure.” I said “not if you want that 15 bucks.”

Brent called me ruthless and Ashen started to cough a little. Once the coughing started I worried that he might actually choke – so I told him to spit it out. We like to push each other in my family, but we never mean real harm. Or, not death anyway.

Ashen spit the pepper on to his plate and that was that. The rest of the meal consisted of Brent and I casually chatting about our day, enjoying our food, and Ashen drinking three huge glasses of water and a Dr. Pepper while literally wincing and wiping tears from his eyes.

He couldn’t eat any of his food because he was in so much pain. I’ve never seen him drink so much water in my life. It was great. I did feel a little bad, but he was a trooper about it. And I caught Brent laughing some, too.

For the record, I gave Ashen $20 this afternoon for his pain and suffering. The poor guy had a stomach ache all last night, and didn’t even complain. He tried to give me the $20 back, but he deserves it. And not just for eating that pepper. He deserves it because he’s a good kid.

He also mentioned that he’d swallow the pepper next time for $100.

Yours,

M.

Missing Wisconsin // nas(FALL)gia

Whenever the fall season rolls around my homesickness seems to go into high gear. I miss Wisconsin’s fall, there really is nothing like it. And when it’s 82 and humid here (which it is), and my friends are posting pictures on Instagram of hot coffee, scarves, boots, and trees that are turning yellow-orangey-reds, my heart aches a little. 

But then I remember that they’re about to enter hibernation mode…for the next 6 months…and I don’t feel so bad. Plus, we do get a short-lived fall in Texas – it just doesn’t happen until November or December. 

So, in honor of fall – and to spite the heat and humidity in Austin – I made a fall checklist. I’m looking forward to the cooler temperatures that are supposedly on the way, and to starting some new traditions with my little family. I think I’ll make Brent and Ashen paint some pumpkins with me (because painting is just so much easier than carving; although salted pumpkin seeds might be worth the trouble).

Image^^ 1. Paint a pumpkin 2. Go camping 3. Build a campfire 4. Take a long hike on the green belt ^^

It’s a short list (because “The Mindy Project” is only 30 minutes long, and that’s when I doodled this), but I’m looking forward to checking off each item in the next month or two.

Yours,

M.