More Adventures in Eating: Chestnuts

October 14, 2014

Colossal chestnuts, Jello Mold Farm

Colossal chestnuts, Jello Mold Farm

My adventures in eating continued with roasted and boiled chestnuts.  This was a good year for chestnuts at Jello Mold Farm.  The nuts were bursting from their spiky green cases.

Chestnut tree, Jello Mold Farm

Chestnut tree, Jello Mold Farm

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Diane had harvested some chestnuts that were drying on her kitchen table.  She invited me to fill my pockets so that I could try roasting them at home.  I had never roasted chestnuts before, but I had tasted them one Christmas season when I bought a packet warm from an outdoor vendor.  Diane suggested boiling them as well.  So when I got home, I made two batches — roasted and boiled.  The roasted ones tasted slightly better, but they were hard to peel.  The boiled ones peeled much easier.  Chestnuts make such tasty snacks!

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Roasted chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts

Boiled chestnuts

Boiled chestnuts

Chestnuts ready to eat

Chestnuts ready to eat

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

Watercolor sketch of chestnuts

Watercolor sketch of chestnuts

Decorated envelope, letter to a friend

Decorated envelope, letter to a friend

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10 Responses to “More Adventures in Eating: Chestnuts”

  1. shoreacres Says:

    Chestnuts mean Christmas! Roasting on an open fire, and all that… I’ve only had them a couple of times. From what I remember, they seemed more trouble than they were worth — and here, they were really expensive, if you could find them at all. So, you’re lucky! I had no idea where in the country they grew, and now I know at least one place.

  2. Steve Says:

    It is a good year for chestnuts. If you have a lot of chestnuts, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator in something like a mesh bag. They are low in oil and high in starch. They get hard as rocks if you let them dry out. You take them out of the refrigerator and leave them at room temp for a couple of days before cooking, then some of the starch turns to sugars.

    • Rosemary Says:

      I did store mine in the refrigerator for a few days. Diane was drying them on her table for the day, just to get the dew off from picking, but she, too, has done online research to find out how best to use them. She mentioned soaking them for an hour. I didn’t soak mine. I did read that you have to peel them immediately after boiling or roasting. Even so, that inner skin was hard to get off. Thanks for your tips.

  3. Dianna Says:

    Ah, Chestnuts! In the mid-West we boiled ours, peeled them immediately, then put them in Thanksgiving dressing with oysters. When one has a large family, several folks can be pressed into service as peelers to make it go faster.

  4. Leslie Bacon Says:

    Love your photography, quotes and thoughts… I live in France part time….. chestnut soup! Fabulous, luscious, my favourite, and can’t wait till it is the soup of the season in the bistros…..

  5. Mary Kendall Says:

    Hi Rosemary. I’ve only just found your blog through some long rambling path, but I’ve just spend a nice part of the afternoon scrolling through the beautiful pictures you paint, the photographs and your insightful and thoughtful comments. I chose to comment here because I fell in love with your two chestnut drawings. Your pictures and descriptions of gathering and preparing these lovely treats brought back so many memories for me. Thank you for sharing this with your readers. I will be back to enjoy more of your blog. All good wishes, Mary

  6. Lindsay Says:

    Hi Rosemary,
    my pal and I usually cure chestnuts up to a week or 2 ,in a brown bag on kitchen counter or a cabinet, until they start to shrink a little away from the shell. Then keep sealed in fridge, or roast. Then we give them equator cuts, all around the middle, and roast in a hot oven for only 10 minutes or 15? The center cut makes them easier to peel, keep a clean tea towel handy for peeling and eating hot!
    Thanks for your entries. I love the photo of the chestnuts on the tree.
    Lindsay

    • Rosemary Says:

      This is great. I might have to wait ’til next year to get more chestnuts. When I do, I’ll try your ways of preparin them.


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