Since Trader Joe's opened in NYC last year, I've been addicted to their Thai Lime and Chili Peanuts. Through tears and yowls, I've accustomed my tastebuds to the chilies' heat, and also figured out the trick to eating the nuts without wailing in pain (though sometimes I'm too lazy to follow my own instructions):
1. Fill small or medium sized bowl with nuts.
2. With knife, cut the chilies into small pieces on cutting board or paper towel, return to bowl, and push to one side.
3. Eat nuts, lemongrass and lime, avoiding the chilies.
4. When your mouth is finely coated in peanut goodness, you may find that it's slightly numb (the chili seeds that you've mistakenly ingested add to this phenomenon). At this time, eat a small piece of chili.
5. If you aren't too fired up, take another piece of chili and a handful of the rest of the bowl's contents.
6. Repeat. Refill. Wash hands when you're finished, or before touching your eyes, etc.
On a semi-Trader's related note, my amazing Pilates instructor, deeAnn Nelson, was a professional dancer with the Brooklyn troupe STREB. During a performance in May, she fractured her spine and is now enduring an intense course of rehab. I recently attended a benefit dance performance for her, excerpts from which you will soon be able to see at www.deeannnelson.com. At the show, I bought 5 raffle tickets, hoping I'd win the case of wine from Trader Joe's -- and I did! There's barely enough room in my kitchen for 12 bottles of wine, but somehow I think I'll manage! When it's all been drunk, I'll report back with tasting notes on the case, which included reds, whites, a rosé, muscat, and prosecco.