Every Christmas, we buy a couple of bags of chestnuts and roast them for the chestnut stuffing we have with our Christmas dinner. I wish we had our own mature chestnut tree, but we don’t and I can’t think of anywhere locally that they are readily foraged, and the tree we planted is generations away, but chestnut stuffing is a Yuletide must. Mr CIG takes on this task. Of an evening, with the woodburner lit, he lines up chestnuts along the top of the stove, turns them to cook both sides, peels them – the shells go in the wood burner, the chestnuts into the freezer, until we have enough. Well that’s the theory – if there is something particularly gripping on the tv, he burns them and then puts the whole blackened coal into the burner…
Last December we were there in front of the fire, me knitting, himself burning chestnuts, when he pulled one out of the net and it had sprouted, no doubt confused by the warmth of our living room.
“Oh chuck it” says I ” once seeds sprout the starch turns to sugar or something.. it won’t taste right. Bung it on the fire”
He looked at me aghast “but it’s alive!”
Some eye rolling and fun poking from me – because we are not vegetarian, do raise animals and birds for the table, but ignored, the chestnut was planted.
And here it is three months later. He named it Chester (more eye rolling from me). Mr CIG doesn’t water it of course.. but I do.
Chester is still somewhat confused, being in full leaf before his outside friends, I am hoping to move him outside to acclimatise come summer, and hopefully he will get a place in the new section of ‘woodland’ we hope to establish.
Think big thoughts, Chester, from little chestnuts do mighty sweet chestnuts grow…