I was only a year or two older than Gabriel when I managed to get into my maternal grandmother's kitchen cupboard. Grandma was an excellent cook, and also a notorious food pusher; we used to joke that if you ever left her house hungry, it was your own fault. Her little galley kitchen was almost always busy; not only did a lot of cooking go on in the tiny space, but it was also the primary throughway to all the other public areas of the house, and whenever the family got together it was like Grand Central Station in there, with aunties and uncles and cousins and parents and siblings going to and fro. So even though there were a lot of tantalizing little bottles and jars and whatnot in Grandma's cupboard, I never really had a chance to explore in there because some adult was always around to stop me.
And then one fine summer day, when everyone was out in the back yard splashing around in my grandparents' pool, I suddenly realized I was alone in the house. Well. Obviously I made a beeline for the cupboard. There was one particular little bottle I really wanted to sample -- the sauce inside was a vivid orangey-red, almost exactly the same color as the painted wooden Dala horse next to my grandparents' fireplace, and I was sure it was the most delicious, toothsome, savory stuff ever. I figured Grandma wouldn't cook with it if it weren't wonderful.
I got the bottle. I got a tablespoon. I put the sauce in the tablespoon. I put the tablespoon in my mouth.
About twenty seconds later, the entire extended clan heard my shrieks and rushed into the kitchen to see which of my limbs I'd severed. At that point I was too busy screeching and flapping to pay them much attention; I'd already tried, unsuccessfully, to down enough water from the kitchen sink to stop the hideous vinegar-laced chemical burn that seemed to be eating its way through both cheeks. In my haste I had completely abandoned the little orange-red bottle that was the source of the commotion -- the bottle labeled, in neat green and red letters, "McIlhenny Co. Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce."
(And sometimes you don't, but that's another story.)