When Mr. Furious and I first started dating, he tried to woo me with his signature spaghetti sauce. The sauce is tomato-based meat sauce, the defining feature of which (aside from about 13 different meats) is an obscene amount of chili powder, cayenne pepper, and whatever other hot spices he has on hand. It’s a good thing he had other positive qualities because I thought I was going to die from eating his spaghetti sauce.
Mr. Furious sat at the table chowing down like it was a bowl of Cheerios. Meanwhile, my eyes were watering, I was dripping snot all over the place and I had taken to panting like a dog to try to cool down my mouth. I guess it’s a good thing I have other positive qualities, because I am sure my spicy spaghetti sauce shenanigans were not impressive or sexy in the least. To be fair– I also had a canker sore and those things really hurt when you’re eating spicy food. And I was doing the thing where you try to negotiate the food around the painful spot using your tongue, so I probably looked like giraffe chewing on a tall acacia leaf.
Anyway, all this to say – I was not a spicy food eater. I enjoyed the taste of your chili powder and its other piquant friends, but in moderate amounts and I rarely added more spice than the recipe called for. If I was going to buy a salsa, I was going for mild to medium heat. You get the idea.
I am in the middle of making dinner right now. A pulled chicken recipe that calls for spice in the rub for the chicken and spice in the homemade barbecue sauce. I totally just quadrupled the spice in that shit. I have come to a place where I find myself saying, “1/2 tsp of chili powder? That’s nothing! Let’s just toss a tablespoon right in there.” Guys, I have become addicted to the endorphins from eating spicy food! (I don’t know if that’s what really happens. That’s what Mr. Furious always claims though.) I have gotten to a point where if it doesn’t hurt a little, I’m not interested in eating it. Mr. Furious made his famous spaghetti a while back and I actually uttered the words, “It could use a little more red pepper flakes.”
Now I’m not saying that my nose doesn’t still run a little. And maybe a time or two I’ve been caught panting between bites. I am mostly interested in the phenomenon of developing a palate I didn’t have before. I am now a Spicy Food eater. Wanna order the hottest buffalo wings? Do it! I mean, make sure you have some celery and blue cheese dip on hand. And I’ll keep on doubling or tripling the amount of chili powder and red pepper flakes I put in all my recipes. Although I can guarantee that even with this spicy sauce I just made, that has my tongue on fire a little… Mr. Furious will still put tobasco sauce on it. But at least I won’t be moving it around in my mouth like a cow chewing her cud. It’s a good balance.