Slow burn has begun

What to do with all that abundance of garden produce?
You only can eat so many zucchinis and the loaf, although supposedly healthy, has so much fibre, one’s bowels can be permanently distended—not to mention the gas.
Fortunately, the frost has put an end to excessive production . . . zucchinis that is, not gas.
The potatoes also are ready for digging and what a whopper of a crop! It has been taking two men and a small boy with crowbars to roll some of them out of the hills.
Fortunately, Tsar Waldemar has no spuds this year, so he volunteered to take some off my hands in exchange for a few baskets of tomatoes.
With his usual wit (or lack thereof), Moose cut in at the conclusion of the deal while we were gathered around the debating table at the Bakery in Rainy River.
“It’s not Tsar, it’s Geez . . . Tsar Wally,” he quipped as he brayed to himself with satisfaction.
Don’t gloat, Moose, You’re closing in on the same status.
Now what to do with those excess tomatoes? The freezer already is pretty full of applesauce . . . this year’s, and I have to leave room for a bunch of squash.
I could just freeze them but then two years from now, I’d have to throw them out—not to mention all those red billiard balls rolling around the basement floor after the bags burst while rearranging the freezer contents.
The answer came: salsa and spaghetti sauce! Good spicy stuff. I had all the ingredients. Those three jalapeno peppers I planted last spring outdid themselves, yielding about three bushels of the little stinkers.
I tried to give them away.
“Well, maybe a few, but Cindy won’t process them anymore,” worried Maury. “Blistered her fingers so bad last year, I had to do all the housework for a month.
“Don’t want to take a chance on that happening again.
“Besides, how would I get them home? They won’t let us carry dangerous goods on the school buses,” he added, then giggling, ecstatically took a bag full from me.
So the short of it is, my wife, The Pearl of the Orient, and I processed up a whole whack of tomatoes, peppers, onions, all well-spiced (the “Pearl” likes things hot and spicy, but there is no accounting for her taste in men).
We did the taste test on the big batch.
“Not bad, but still a bit mild,” she noted. “Let’s give it a little shot of cayenne powder.”
I whipped out the shaker and gave it a timid shake. Next to nothing came out.
“More!” directed the Pearl.
I gave it a half-dozen shakes.
“That’s pretty good,” said the Pearl as I gave a final shake.
That’s when the top came off the shaker—emptying the whole large container of cayenne into the pot.
Too late to reverse now, so we stirred it in.
“Just about right,” gasped the Pearl after a cautious taste.
“We’ll reserve it for company that talks too much,” she added. “Maybe they’ll get the hint and go home early because they sure won’t be able to say much after a couple of dollops of this.
“And perhaps you can share a bottle with your friends at the debating table ’cause they’re such a bunch of [expletive deleted],” she whispered hoarsely, her eyes watering.
Partaking of my own spoonful, I was struck speechless. I gulped a glass of water and started desperately searching for the Tums.
The slow burn had begun.