Several months ago, as I was peeling a very tiny new potato, it occurred to me, and not for the first time that week, that for some people, peeling a potato is a blood-free operation. This was the very last time I peeled myself along with a potato, because the next day I went on the hunt for a fillet glove, and eventually brought home, for the princely sum of $14, a fillet kit which included: two fillet knives that are so sharp that I will probably never use them; a knife sharpener; an acrylic cutting board; and a rubber-coated chainmail fillet glove, all in a very sturdy plastic case.
I have not shed a drop of blood in the kitchen since, and can painlessly peel marble-sized baby potatoes, and skin and fillet even the knobbiest and most irregular fresh ginger, turmeric, and Jerusalem artichokes. I have probably saved at least $14 in bandages.
This fillet glove may be the most useful piece of kitchen equipment I have ever bought. If you have never peeled yourself with a potato peeler, grated yourself on a cheese grater, or sliced yourself along with the vegetables, you probably don't need one. If you are at all like me, however, you might want to consider acquiring a fillet glove of your very own.
Yesterday my glove and I peeled a batch of very small, very colorful potatoes, as well as a "Snack Jack" naked-seeded pumpkin. I used the potatoes and the cut-up pieces of pumpkin in a curried soup, and toasted the naked pumpkin seeds in olive oil. I managed to take a few photos of the pumpkin seeds on pan before they were toasted, but not after, because the hot, puffy, feather-light hull-less pumpkin seeds were so delicious that Walt and I devoured them all before there was time to snap a photo.
Potato-Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe
A gallon of chicken or turkey broth
2-4 cups of new potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 cups of fresh or frozen green beans
One head of garlic, peeled and sliced
2 cups of peeled, sliced Jerusalem Artichokes
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 small fresh pumpkin, gutted, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons peeled, sliced fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh or dried basil
Put the sliced vegetables in the boiling broth. Let them cook until tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, basil, curry powder, paprika and turmeric.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
Cut open a fresh pumpkin. Scoop out the strings and seeds, and use a spoon to scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean. Use a sharp potato peeler to peel the colored rind off the pumpkin flesh. (If you own a fillet glove, now would be a good time to use it.) Use the pumpkin flesh in a soup or pie.
Pull the seeds out of the strings, and put the seeds in a bowl with water. Use your fingers to scrub as much of the goop off the seeds as you can. Put the seeds in a strainer and rinse them off under running water. If you gently scrub the seeds against the mesh of the strainer, most of the remaining pumpkin-goop will stick to the strainer. Pour the seeds into another strainer or into a colander to drain. After the seeds stop dripping, pour them onto a well-greased jellyroll pan (a cookie sheet with sides), spread the seeds out into a one-seed-thick layer, and sprinkle the seeds with garlic powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Toast the seeds in the oven at 350 degrees F. When the seeds start to pop, turn off the oven and wait a few minutes before removing the pan from the oven.
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