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Our Chestnut Trees

By: Everett S

One Days Worth of ChestnutsThe bad news is that getting hit with a falling chestnut is like having a small porcupine dropped onto your head from ten feet above. The good news is we have all the chestnuts we can eat and they are raining down like manna from heaven!

I picked chestnuts on a small market farm in Australia for a month to raise enough cash to get from Melbourne to Perth. It was an experience not to be forgotten and one of the rare moments in my life that I can conjure up to memory at any time. One of those memories is how blistered my hands were. The chestnut spines ate through three pairs of heavy-duty work gloves and nearly through a pair of work boot soles. I’m not sure why, but the farm owner had us pulling the husks down and opening them with our hands and feet. I guess he wanted to be first to market with them. I always thought that was the way it was done and so shied away from picking chestnuts ever since.

Had I known that “picking” chestnuts was really as easy as “picking up” chestnuts I’d have been back on the chustnut-train a long time ago! They just fall out of the husks on their own if you leave them alone long enough. WOW! It makes me wonder if that farmer just liked to see us “yanks” (short for Yankees, sort of a mild slur to Americans abroad, and much nicer than “sepos”, which is short for “Those who come from the septic tank known as the United States” – a not-so-mild slur) walking around with puss-filled blisters all over our fingertips.

This is a little off-topic but the first time I ever encountered a scare-gun was on that farm when I first arrived and was walking through the orchard looking for the crew. I thought someone was shooting at me. I dropped to the ground and yelled “I’m not trespassing; I’m the new picker!” I thought they heard me but three minutes later they shot again. I turned around and was ready to drive back to Melbourne when I saw the big bazooka-looking scare-gun and realized what an idiot I was.

OK so we have two chestnut trees and picking chestnuts is super easy. I love eating them roasted, but also hear that you can make flour out of them for bread. Stay tuned for some chestnut-bread-making because we have WAY too many of these things to eat all at once!

Got any good chestnut recipes or storage tips you want to share?

Category: Food, Funny, The Transplants

Comments (5)

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  1. tommy says:

    I like them raw for eating, but have always wanted to store some for the long term. I’ve heard you can freeze them but have never tried it myself?

  2. Everett says:

    Tommy I just picked a bunch more today and have roasted and peeled them all. I put them all into the freezer so I can try to make chestnut flour when I get a spare moment. Maybe we can bread some catfish with it!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    fry bacon, fry onion, add roasted chestnuts, in the frying pan with 2 tbls honey. sublime.

  4. Everett says:

    That does indeed sound delicious!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    i’ve also stuck it in the oven in a casserole dish when it was ready before the turkey. the flavour bakes in nicely, even the vegetarians in the family tried it and liked it! LOL

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