The Wednesday Word: 4 August 2021

I spent today marinating my hands in capsaicin. I roasted, chopped and froze twenty pounds of Big Jim chiles. It took about seven hours in my rather small oven. For over an hour afterwards, my hands were searing. I don’t think my skin would have felt any worse if it was actually on fire. But under the burning there was… no pain.

This is an unusual thing for me now. Rheumatoid arthritis hurts all the time, with flare ups of incandescent agony on at least a weekly basis. I have become so accustomed to this constant bone ache that I don’t register it. I notice when it is diminished. So this capsaicin-induced complete absence was almost unnerving (ha…). The burning effect is wearing off now, but the inflammation has yet to build back up. This is the best my hands have felt in years!

And in addition to that, I have eleven pints of roasted chile in the freezer now. This ought to keep me in chile for most of the winter. I feel like this is a good day’s effort.

There is also a pint or so of mixed Big Jim and jalapeños that will be going into tomatillo salsa. But I think I’ll keep out a half cup to make green chile corn muffins. To me there is nothing that tastes more like this gathering in time of year than the combination of chile and sweet corn. There aren’t words to express my gratitude to the genius folk who invented these wonderful foods. I don’t know what harvest would mean without cornbread and chiles.


Wednesday Word

for 4 August 2021


You can respond in the comments below or make a Twitter post to the Wednesday Word. Either way, begin your response with #bread. Your response can be anything made from words. I love poetry, but anything can be poetic and you needn’t even be limited to poetics. An observation, a story, a thought. Might even be an image — however, I am not a visual person, so it has to work harder to convey meaning. In the spirit of word prompts, it’s best if you use the word; but I’m not even a stickler about that. Especially if you can convey the meaning without ever touching the word.

If responding in Twitter, you are limited to the forms of Twitter. I would prefer that there be no threads because that is difficult. So if you have something long, post it in the comments below. That said, please don’t go too long. Keep it under 2000 words. I’m not going to count, but I’m also not promising to read a novel. Unless it’s really good!

If I receive something particularly impressive, I’ll post it next week. If not, well, that’s fine too. I know you all are busy. But if you’ve read this far, then I’ve made you think about… bread.

behold! the mystery!

imagine the beginning…
a gruel left too long
bubbling sour
transmuted by fire
nut-yummy and soft.

imagine the wonder…
was there fear?
a frisson of suspicion?
a worry of witchcraft?
did she eat the whole bun
with nary a morsel shared out?

imagine the beginning…
no books, no notes, no words.
just magic.
just a gruel left too long
and then…

©Elizabeth Anker 2021

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