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View Full Version : The toughest vegetable you ever cut in a kitchen?



Inclusa
2011-Oct-09, 09:22 AM
Let's see: There are a few tough things to cut: winter squashes (kobacha, etc), lotus roots, carrots, kudzu roots, pumpkin (I guess).

Paul Beardsley
2011-Oct-09, 09:38 AM
Clare asked me to cut up a swede (aka rutabaga) with a large knife. I got about halfway through when the knife stuck. I eventually got it free, and cut around rather than straight through, and (IIRC) at one point I was holding the blade end of the knife through cloth as well as the handle. I got it done in the end but it was hard work.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-09, 03:13 PM
Frozen meat.
Needs a saw instead of a knife really.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Oct-09, 03:37 PM
That's an interesting kind of vegetable, Henrik.

Trebuchet
2011-Oct-09, 04:36 PM
I was once at a harvest festival type event at a farm owned by a guy who was apparently a nationally recognized expert on Hubbard squash. (Two trebuchets also attended, hurling the squash. Neither of them mine, unfortunately, although I had arranged for one to be there.)

In addition the hurling, the farmer demonstrated the best way to cut them up. With a saw. Not any special saw, just a regular handsaw like you'd use for wood. I subsequently purchased and use a smaller saw for cutting winter squash in my kitchen. Works great!

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-09, 04:41 PM
That's an interesting kind of vegetable, Henrik.
It's the only kind I bother to eat. :)

Real answer is naturally that for some reason I completely missed the "vegetable" part of the question.

Trebuchet
2011-Oct-09, 10:11 PM
I forgot to mention that one reason I was glad to know about the saw trick for winter squash is that I've managed to cut myself rather badly trying to do it with a knife. More than once, IIRC.

Trebuchet
2011-Oct-10, 03:09 AM
Not precisely a vegetable (in fact, not at all) but because I just bought one: frozen cheesecake.

Slightly closer to being a vegetable, or at least from the plant kingdom: Sourdough cannonball bread. Unless you have the appropriate knife, a serrated slicer. In my experience other knives just crush it, no matter how sharp.

Hmm, I wonder if that knife would work on the squash?

NEOWatcher
2011-Oct-10, 01:57 PM
I agree that squash can be somewhat of a problem, but in general I don't have that much issue with the actual cutting of a tough vegetable, at least once I get started. My issue is with the delicate or tricky ones, and with peeling some.

Tomatoes definitely need a sharp knife, and slicing them is one thing. But; when you get to dicing them, it gets to be a little messy.
Peppers have no easy shape to follow.
Broccoli and cauliflower aren't necessarily difficult, but if you want the pieces to be "attractive", it can get tedious.

Peeling is my disdain.
This is pumpkin soup season. Ever try to peel a pumpkin? It aint easy.
I used to eat kohlrabi. Again, a pain to peel partially because there's all those leaf protrusions. So; I'm sticking to turnips for now.

grapes
2011-Oct-10, 03:43 PM
Peeling is my disdain.
This is pumpkin soup season. Ever try to peel a pumpkin? It aint easy.
Slice into quarters, place pee-up on a cooking sheet in an oven. That'll do it.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-10, 04:31 PM
. . . , place pee-up . . .. Ewww.

To get back to peeling, if you every tried peeling Jerusalem Artichoke tubers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_artichoke) you'll know it's a fiddly job, especially home-grown ones where they haven't already sorted out the 2/3 most gnarly ones.

NEOWatcher
2011-Oct-10, 04:35 PM
Slice into quarters, place pee-up on a cooking sheet in an oven. That'll do it.
And cook it?
For my soup, I need to grate the pumpkin. I think I'd need a little more detail on this process before I'd risk turning it into an un-grate-able mush.

Luckmeister
2011-Oct-10, 04:40 PM
My thumb, but not on purpose (some friends think I'm a vegetable ;)).

Inclusa
2011-Oct-10, 08:59 PM
I used to eat kohlrabi. Again, a pain to peel partially because there's all those leaf protrusions. So; I'm sticking to turnips for now.
I have peeled kohlrabi; what I usually do is peeling it like an apple(the thumb to thumb style, you know.), and cut out the top part first.

Romanus
2011-Oct-11, 12:35 AM
Though it's not a vegetable, I'll only say that I find that opening a coconut is more art than science.

Jens
2011-Oct-11, 08:08 AM
It's the only kind I bother to eat. :)

Real answer is naturally that for some reason I completely missed the "vegetable" part of the question.

I think it's OK, really. Cows eat grass. So beef is processed vegetables, as I see it.

Jens
2011-Oct-11, 08:11 AM
Let's see: There are a few tough things to cut: winter squashes (kobacha, etc), lotus roots, carrots, kudzu roots, pumpkin (I guess).

You mean kabocha, right? I agree it's really hard to cut.

Inclusa
2011-Oct-11, 09:21 AM
You mean kabocha, right? I agree it's really hard to cut.

Yep; we call it "little Japanese pumpkin, although it is usually grown in Mexico.

closetgeek
2011-Oct-11, 10:29 PM
Frozen meat.
Needs a saw instead of a knife really.


That's an interesting kind of vegetable, Henrik.

I have nothing productive to add but I keep coming back to read this because it makes me giggle.

swampyankee
2011-Oct-12, 11:28 PM
Worst vegetable? Butternut squash. I never have to worry about trying to cut rutabagas or turnips; my wife and I find them disgusting.

Inclusa
2011-Oct-13, 05:15 AM
I never have to worry about trying to cut rutabagas or turnips; my wife and I find them disgusting.

OK, aren't they relatives of beet?

DukePaul
2011-Oct-13, 08:43 AM
For a non-cooking idiot that I am. The first vegetable was the toughest.

danscope
2011-Oct-14, 01:18 AM
I should think that " Turnips " are perhaps the more difficult vegetable to cut, and peel . I keep an old short rolling pin to softly strike the knife as it cleaves the turnip. It's safer as well. But it is a delicious veg and well worth the work .
Make it easy. Make it good .

Dan

Paul Beardsley
2011-Oct-14, 04:00 PM
I have nothing productive to add but I keep coming back to read this because it makes me giggle.

Don't encourage me!

Paul Beardsley
2011-Oct-14, 04:01 PM
I think it's OK, really. Cows eat grass. So beef is processed vegetables, as I see it.

In that case, I call chocolate a vegetable. Far from indulging in a vice, I am getting through my 5-a-day.

grapes
2011-Oct-25, 07:59 AM
And cook it?
For my soup, I need to grate the pumpkin. I think I'd need a little more detail on this process before I'd risk turning it into an un-grate-able mush.Yes, cook it (peel up). I guess I was assuming that the mush was the ultimate goal.

Paracelsus
2011-Oct-25, 03:44 PM
The toughest vegetable I've ever cut? That would be my finger, while I was trying to run in place and cut up a green pepper. My finger proved to be very resilient, but curiously juicy, and added a piquant flavor to Hubby's stir-fry.

swampyankee
2011-Oct-26, 10:49 AM
The toughest vegetable I've ever cut? That would be my finger, while I was trying to run in place and cut up a green pepper. My finger proved to be very resilient, but curiously juicy, and added a piquant flavor to Hubby's stir-fry.

Bet that finger in his stir fry surprised him!

Paracelsus
2011-Oct-26, 11:28 AM
Oh, just the juice got in. I kept the finger. ;)

jokergirl
2011-Oct-26, 11:36 AM
How about a coconut? You need a drill though.

And I agree on the pumpkins - butternut squash can be pretty tough too. Anything really that runs the danger of the knife getting stuck somewhere in the middle and/or is larger than the knife you're trying to cut with is dangerous.

;)