Saturday, May 18, 2013

not just any chestnuts

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.

4 comments:

  1. What a treat! I too love chestnuts and discovered them when living in France. I used to make chestnut soup then, and it was so nutritious. I'm green with envy at your 'windfall' - and from such a great source too!

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    1. Maybe next year i can hook a fellow chestnut enthusiast up Juliet! Chestnuts were a big part of my life when i lived in France too. I made a delicious chestnut soup inspired by your comment too...yum x

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  2. helo, i found your blog via your ad on the golden adventures, and i like it. I'm crazy for chestnuts too, luckily there are a few places nearby that have them on stalls at the side of the road-phew, wouldn't quite be autumn without them x

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    1. Hi Max, lovely to 'meet' you! I just made a beautiful chestnut soup too...so good. Oh i would love a roadside chestnut stall nearby, lucky you! x

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