LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
The danger is that you get addicted. The other day I found myself wondering aloud if it was wrong to put hot pepper flakes on prime rib and Yorkshire pudding (the withering look from my husband told me it was). The other danger is your addiction can affect the rest of the family. When my stepdaughter Gabrielle is with us for dinner, I keep it relatively bland — though she’s no shrinking violet; she can down a pepperoncini without batting an eye — but when she’s not, it’s game on. My husband William, however, is not quite as enthusiastic about heavy spice. In fact, he still occasionally brings up the aftermath of what he has dubbed Korean Week — I was exploring bulgogi and kimchee — which made him pretty sick.
Anyway, getting back to the spice drawer, luckily the floor didn’t get scratched and the industrial dryer didn’t break as I leaned over and plucked out the hot pepper. But it did make me realize I’m a lot closer to trying those habaneros than I thought.