Years ago my mom and I traveled to England together for a girls vacation and while there among other things, we discovered roasted chestnuts. These delicious little gems sold by street vendors were roasted right there on the street and served up in little paper cones. They were hot, slightly sweet and nutty. Unlike anything I had ever eaten but forever etched in my memory bank. Since then I have enjoyed them again at different Victorian holiday events in our area.
A few days before my foot surgery hubby Tom and I were in Whole Foods and came across a bag of chestnuts in the produce department that quickly worked their way into my grocery cart. I didn’t know the first thing about how to prepare them so I set about investigating just that. There are differing opinions on how to prep and prepare chestnuts. After much research and watching videos about said task I chose my method.
One of the most important things I learned is that the chestnuts must be scored before cooking or they will explode and create a huge mess. Give them a quick rinse and dry them with a kitchen towel. Hold each chestnut between your thumb and finger with the pointy end towards the thumb. Place on a cutting board and using a serrated bread knife with a gentle sawing motion score across half the chestnut, making sure to cut down completely through the tough exterior without going to far into the nut.
After the first couple cuttings you’ll get the hang of it. After making the cut apply a little pressure to check and make sure you cut went all the way through and you can see the chestnut meat. Toss the cut chestnuts into a saucepan, cover with cold water add a pinch of salt . Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, pour off the water and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place into a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.
When you remove them from the oven the good ones will have started to split open. Wrap them up in a kitchen towel and let them steam for about 10 -15 minutes to make them easier to peel.
Peel while still warm. Some of them peel quite easily and others are rather difficult and require the help of a sharp paring knife. Sadly a few weren’t any good inside. Serve as an appetizer or snack this holiday season. Chop a few and add them to your stuffing mix or chop a few and mix with some roasted Brussels sprouts. They have a softer texture than a hard nut, they are more starchy tasting, somewhat similar to a walnut. High in vitamin C and low fat since they have a high water content. They can be eaten roasted, made into a soup,pureed into a chestnut cream or even ground into a flour and used for pastries.
1 pound chestnuts in the shell
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Preparing chestnuts for roasting; Give the chestnuts a quick rinse under cold water and dry them with a kitchen towel. Hold each chestnut between your thumb and finger with the pointy end towards the thumb. Place on a cutting board and using a serrated bread knife with a gentle sawing motion score across half the chestnut, making sure to cut down completely through the tough exterior.
Place scored chestnuts into a medium size saucepan, add a pinch of salt and cover with cold water. Place on stove top and bring to a simmer. As soon as it reaches a simmer (little bubbles forming on the surface of the water) remove from heat, drain off water.
Roasting; Place chestnuts on a baking sheet or in a baking pan, place in hot oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, pour into the center of a kitchen towel, wrap up and let steam for 15 minutes. Un-wrap and peel off shells. Use a sharp paring knife to remove the more difficult shells.
Eat and enjoy!
Chestnuts cooked 4 ounces: 149 calories, 1.6g fat, 5.7g fiber, 2g protein, 32 g carbs, 31mg sodium, 30mg vitamin c, 811mg potassium WWPP 4
Its a good thing the chestnuts were roasted last week as there isn’t much cooking going on around here – well at least not by me. Yesterday was my first post surgery doctor appointment. They soaked my foot and removed the stitches and placed some butterfly bandages on the incisions. I was glad hubby Tom was there to hold my hand though this procedure. I have a high tolerance for pain but no stomach for sights to be seen post-op! Lets just say things don’t look pretty!
Random Acts of Kindness
A highlight yesterday was when I got a text from our friend Linda which said to have hubby Tom go check outside our front door for some Christmas cheer! How cool was this?
Linda knows that we normally deck out our house with plenty of holiday decorations but didn’t this year due to my surgery. She didn’t want us to miss out on some holiday cheer so she provided it for us.
What a lovely surprise – I was beyond happy with this big beautiful burst of holiday color! They are here in the family room where I can enjoy them while I sit with my foot propped. Thank you Linda – this has brought us much Christmas cheer!
I received this awesome book in the mail from my long time friend Judy who didn’t want me to bored in the weeks ahead. This book is going to keep me busy for hours! I will be dreaming about food and cooking. I feel blessed to have such good friends with creative ideas. Life is good.
Enforced Gender Stereotypes
Did you hear about the teenager who is asking Hasbro the makers of the Easy Bake Oven why they don’t have a gender neutral product that would be suitable for boys? She wanted to get an easy bake oven for her little brother for Christmas but discovered that they are all pink and purple and show only girls on the packaging. I encountered the same problem myself. Many years ago when my own children were quite young my son wanted an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas the same year his older sister asked for a Lego Table. Well you should have seen Santa’s confusion as they sat on his lap at the same time and asked for their gifts. Santa wasn’t sure he was hearing things clearly! It was really funny but lo and behold come Christmas day he got it right! Apparently Hasbro is meeting with this young lady to talk about her idea of a gender neutral Easy Bake Oven. My son didn’t care what color the oven was or that girls were on the packaging – he just wanted the cake and brownies that oven could produce! His interest in baking however was short lived – he discovered he prefers to eat the final product not make it!
Wishing you Holiday Cheer!
Welcome to my blog. I’m glad you are here and hope you feel comfortable enough to leave a comment.
Have your eaten roasted chestnuts?
What do you think of gender stereotypes when it comes to toys?
Obviously we raised our children with the idea that they could play with any toy regardless of their gender. With having one boy and one girl we had plenty of dolls, trucks, play kitchens and Legos to go around. Since the children played with one another they were exposed to and allowed to play with it all with out any gender bias. We didn’t even think about it. We never had boy chores vs. girl chores or any of that. I believe in equal household chores! What a pity the toy companies haven’t caught up to that way of thinking.