Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to Peel Shriveled Potatoes

I was at the York County Beekeeper's meeting last week (More about bees in forthcoming posts.) when the speaker remarked that for bees, March is the starving month. (Bees tend to run out of food right about now, just when they're starting to become more active.)

It made me think about our ancestors; March must have been their starving month, too. They survived on whatever they had preserved of their harvest. After a winter of eating from their stores, certain items would start to run out.

As I inventory our pantry, cold cellar, and freezer, I can see how our supplies are starting to dwindle. We still have plenty to get us through 'til the greens start producing, but the applesauce is nearly gone, there's only two or three chickens left, onions are long gone, we're down to three sweet potatoes. And a box of shriveled little potatoes, no bigger than a large chicken egg.

I despise peeling potatoes, and I really, really, really (getting the picture?) despise trying to peel small potatoes, let alone shriveled ones. For this very reason I sort my harvest of spuds into categories. Peelers (large and med/large), tiny ones that we eat whole, and everything else. I will begrudgingly peel those large ones, which seem to run out way too quickly. By winter's end we're down to the everything else category, which we mostly just dice and use for Saturday breakfasts, fried with eggs.

But my family also loves them mashed and for that they must be peeled. (According to our preference). Much to my joy and thankfulness, I discovered a quick and easy method for peeling those last wrinkled little potatoes hiding in the cold cellar.

It's just like peeling all those tomatoes piled up for summer canning.
Just three very basic steps:

1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for a short period.

2. Dunk them in ice water to cool.

3. Peel. 

How incredibly awesome is that?