I have missed chestnuts since leaving Europe. I used to go up into the foothills of the mountains where we lived in the South of France to collect great baskets of chestnuts in the autumn. Every city and town would have chestnut vendors with their fires on the sidewalk. There is nothing like clutching a newspaper cornet of freshly roasted chestnuts on a chilly morning. We used to roast them, eat as many as we could and dry the rest to put in soups throughout the winter. Sometimes, with a bumper year, I would boil, dry and grind some into chestnut flour. I have missed all that. Every autumn since leaving Europe, I have missed my roast chestnuts. I was stuck for words in how to describe them to Jed...because, really it was impossible. But, look!
That, right there, is a big bowl of freshly collected chestnuts! My dear friend Claire must've heard me complain about my lack of chestnuts and how un-autumn-like it was without them. I found these beauties in my letterbox. I just may have done a happy dance all the way back down again.
They are from a most beautiful property in the Coromandel's Kaueranga Valley...the Green Party of New Zealand's ex co-leader's land. So, not only are they chestnuts, they are chestnuts from trees under which great policy shaping conversations take place. Special chestnuts. And they taste so good. It is really truly autumn now. Happiness. Thank you Claire.