Look BEFORE You Leap

Everyone's heard the saying look before you leap. It's one of those common sense things. The key is the order established by the word before. It doesn't do any good to look during or after, you need to look before to avoid a disastrous leap.

So Jolene and I are in a Chinese restaurant in Steamboat Springs and we've ordered the Sweet and Sour combination to share which includes a wonton and spring roll. Jolene takes the wonton and I take the spring roll.

We've been given some dipping sauces.

I recognize the red one as sweet and sour sauce for the wonton, so I deduce the yellow sauce is for my spring roll.

Spring rolls can be hot from the deep-frying so I checked the temperature. See, check temperature before putting in mouth and scalding tongue. I'm following the pattern.

I've never had a spicy spring roll. They are mild - stuffed with veggies and covered with a grain-based shell. So isn't it reasonable to expect the sauce for a spring roll to also be mild?

So I take the spring roll and plant the end of it square into the yellow sauce, which covers the entire end, then I bite off the end. And chew it. Then it hits me.

A blast of flame shoots into my sinuses and out my eyes.

I stupidly keep chewing and get a second, equally power blast which feels like it's boiling my eyeballs.

My face involuntarily contorts into various expression of surprise and pain. My eyes are watering almost to tears. My mouth can't decide weather to spit out the napalm or swallow it. My brain completely believes the inside of my head is on fire and will burn through my skull at any moment.

And what is the reaction of my dear, been-married-20-years wife? She busts up laughing. She said it was just too funny how my eyes went red and bulged out and my face was all twisted and also red. All that was missing was steam coming out of my ears (this may have occurred, the lighting was dim).

After what seemed like an eternity of misery (the fire and brimstone imagery of hell is a lot more vivid to me now), the flame subsided.

I asked the waiter, what is this yellow sauce? Hot mustard, was the reply. The Chinese either have a gift for understatement, or something was lost in translation to English. In the original Chinese it's called Lava Acid.

How could I have avoided this torment? By simply smelling the sauce BEFORE I ate it. I must have a learning disability.


UtRider said...

Hot mustard or wasabi induced nose burn is the best. I love how it totally sneaks up on you. One moment all is well, the next BAM - your sinuses feel like they're going to explode. I love food with attitude!

datsaxman@gmail.com said...

Ummmm...that is the standard yellow death you get at a lot of Chinese places, Kanynman...now that you have net it, I bet you will see it all over the place!

Ski Bike Junkie said...

Hot mustard = yum. But then again, I can't even taste certain foods without hot sauce.

StupidBike said...

What Skibike said.

Zoonhollis said...

Good blog. Remember: "it's" only means "it is" or "it has" and is NEVER used as a possessive. Just a little pedantic FYI...

KanyonKris said...

It shocked me how much more potent it was than wasabi, which I can handle.

Zoonhollis - corrected. That was a pretty ugly grammatical error - thanks for the pointer.

Subhashita Manjari said...

Here's a Sanskrit verse that coveys the message "Look before you leap"

चिन्तनीया हि विपदाम्
आदावेव प्रतिक्रिया ।
न कूपखननं युक्तम्
प्रदीप्ते वह्निना गृहे ॥

One should foresee the effects of a problem and decide how to react to them well in advance. It is improper to dig a well when the house is on fire.