Thursday, July 16, 2009

Anna Anna Wake Up Anna!

Anna and some of her prikki-nu Thai chili peppers

Anna's garden is almost ready to harvest. All spring and summer the chili peppers, basil, and tomatoes have been growing. Already some of my employees are harvesting peppers to put on their lunches, but that just means the surviving peppers will get even hotter as they turn red.

If you love hot food ask for me and I will run back to the garden to get some fresh hot peppers for your meal. True Thai hot is very hot, but True Thai hot with True Thai peppers is even hotter! We are already using these peppers in Anna's hot sauce (the kind I made for the Bishop). Anna's hot sauce isn't on the tables in the condiment trays. Our policy is that the customer has to ask for it because it's too hot and we don't want anyone accidentally "ruining" their meal by making it too hot.

Some people think hot peppers are from the devil, but as a nurse I know that hot peppers are very, very good for you. The active ingredient is capsaicin which is a safe analgesic treatment for arthritis pain, painful herpes sores, diabetes, post-masectomy pain, and headaches. I even have a friend who mixes cayenne powder with vinegar to help manage her psoriasis.

Mynah birds love hot peppers. When little Anna was five years old my mom gave me a mynah bird as an alarm clock. Every morning at 5:30 a.m. Koon Tong ("Golden Warrior") would wake me up by saying Anna Anna Wake Up Anna over and over again until little Anna got out of bed. It was then my job to pick 30 prikki-nu peppers for Koon Tong, the redder the better.

Because Koon Tong ate prikki-nu hot chili peppers, little Anna learned to eat hot chili peppers. Little Anna was bigger than Koon Tong, and little Anna decided that whatever Koon Tong ate, little Anna could eat too.

Koon Tong died when I was ten. We had a ceremony and then we buried him in my front yard.