Oh the suffering we go through to support our seasonal eating.

Today we have been foraging.  Our friendly local farmer told us his chestnut tree was dropping nuts all over the place and would we like them.  He even brought a couple over to show us they were the proper eating ones.

The strangest looking treasures

The strangest looking treasures

Well I couldn’t say no.  I mean – almost every Christmas I am taunted by the thought of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, however Jack Frost is never nipping at my nose.  Christmas is too hot for all of that and there isn’t a single chestnut to be seen.

So bolstered by a vague memory too close to two decades ago than I care to admit; of the amazing taste of warm, sweet, smoky chestnuts roasted in the street of quant town in England on a freezing winter night, I decided it would be a great idea.

In my enthusiasm I raced out the door with a recycle shopping bag and a bucket and a reluctant Tim the Helper.  I had just under an hour as I had to collect the Joeyosaurus from rugby practice and his number one supporter Hubby the Un-Gardener.    Driving like some kind of over excited nutter (nut collector) but ever so safely through road works and down country lanes I soon found the tree and true to the farmer’s word there were prickly little orbs all over the place.

What a beautiful looking tree

What a beautiful looking tree

My now extremely reluctant Tim the Helper and I set about gathering as many as possible.  But my boy didn’t half moan and carry on as he filled his bucket to the top.  But in this particular instance – the moaning and bleating was actually justified.  I think in hindsight it would have been wise to take some gloves!  To give the kid credit, he did fill his bucket and I don’t imagine the afternoon will be one forgotten in a hurry and I can see him one day regaling his kids about the day he was dragged out into an autumn afternoon to have his fingertips perforated because his crazy mother was on one of her weird and wonderful projects.

A big bucket of OUCH!

A big bucket of OUCH!

After removing most of the irritating little prickles from our fingers I now have a very large bag and a bucket full of the prickly balls and my research tells me to act quickly as they can easily go stale.  But with the pain in my fingers a fresh memory, I have to admit, I’m a little afraid.  But I promised to make the sticky sweet glazed chestnuts as compensation for what I put him through and I can’t let him down.

My long suffering little helper - bless him!

My long suffering little helper – bless him!

Come again soon – I’m sure I’ll do something amazing with the chestnuts.

Sarah the Gardener : o )

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14 Comments on “Oh the suffering we go through to support our seasonal eating.

  1. A great action shot there!
    I know exactly what you mean about sore fingers and the need for gloves, and to be honest I don’t really know what the best way around it is. delicious though!

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    • Hi Claire. I have been cautiously attacking the chestnuts with thick gloves and a pair of scissors. A lot of the nuts are quite small and I think the drought may be to blame for this. But I still have a load more to get through, but the only way to get through it is to think of eating them, as them seem to be able to penetrate even the thickest of gloves.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Jenn. Wrapped VERY wickedly! Its been interesting trying to get them all out – but I won’t give up. Waste not want not and all that!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. Lol! Funny! Yes I definitely think this will come up as a much recalled family memory 🙂

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  3. Just finished your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. A real inspiration. I’m looking at my veggie patch and have same problem not wanting to part with the last of the tomato plants which have fallen over but still fruiting. Ever hopeful they will ripen but birds have been eating tomatoes this year even before they show a blush!! Will need to do a clean-up shortly.

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    • Hi Sheryl. Thanks so much for your kind words.
      Last year I had loads of trouble with birds stealing my tomatoes so this year I put colourful windmills (from a popular cheapie shop) amongst my tomatoes and had very little problem with the birds and have had a bumper harvest. But it won’t be long before I have to clear it all out and say a final goodbye of all things summer.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. YUM! Chestnuts are one of my favourite things. I have to say if you love them, why don’t you stratify a few over winter and grow your own? I did, I ended up with HEAPS of chestnut plants through forgetting about a bag of chestnuts purchased at the green grocers last year and realising that they would be awful I decided to stratify them and see if they would grow. They grew like topsy and now I have lots of them to plant out on Serendipity Farm (for free!) 🙂 Have a go, what have you got to lose? (apart from the fingers of prospective future grandchildren that is 😉 )

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    • HI Fran. I have to say I still haven’t released the majority of chestnuts from their spiky prison, because I am too afraid, The pain memory is still too fresh. But I need to get onto it or the chestnuts will no longer be fresh.
      I may well try growing some as I’m all about having edible crops so why not! Thanks for the tip.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • Nothing like getting something for free Sarah and they grow so easily, it’s a great idea and they are such lovely trees as well. Chestnuts can give you flour as well as roasted nuts and are lower in fat than most other nuts. I adore them and can’t wait till out little trees start producing nuts 🙂

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  5. I had no idea chesnuts looked like that…anyway, glad you were able to stop by my blog. I look forward to reading more of yours.

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