Happy Friday, Friends! To my surprise and delight I discovered we have a Chestnut Tree at Happy Hill! I guess the squirrels have beaten us to them in the past so I never knew they were here!
The other day while walking in the yard I found a beautiful chestnut. I picked it up and brought it inside because it was so smooth and pretty. Then later I found more and more! I wasn’t sure which tree they came from and then I spotted these prickly pods about the size and color of a tennis ball.
One of the prickly pods was still intact and partially opened and I discovered 3 perfectly formed chestnuts nestled inside. Am I the only person on the planet that didn’t realize this is how chestnuts grow? I find this fascinating! Isn’t nature amazing?
Lacey found them interesting, too. She tried to pick out a chestnut but was deterred by the prickly outside of the pod. This is nature’s way of discouraging squirrels and birds from eating them prematurely too.
The inside of the pod is so smooth which is how the outside of the chestnut shells are so soft. Each pod holds 1-3 chestnuts and they open up while still in the tree for the most part and the chestnuts drop to the ground.
I keep thinking of the Christmas song about chestnuts roasting on an open fire and now I want to try it! I read that chestnuts are higher in carbohydrates rather than high in oil like most nuts. Also, in order to store the chestnuts you should kill any insect eggs or larvae already in the nuts by bathing them in a water bath for 20 minutes at about 120 degrees. After cooking them allow them to dry in the sun then refrigerate them or store them in a cool, dry area.
To cook or roast the chestnuts you cut a slit in the outer shell and cook at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Then you can peel off the shell and eat the meat of the chestnut. I can’t wait to try this! Meanwhile, I’ve gathered all of the chestnuts and will cook them and store them until the holidays. And aren’t they beautiful? I love Mother Nature.
This is the Chestnut Tree. I’m not sure how old it is, but the tree itself is enormous! You can see a few of the pods still hanging in the tree.
Have you ever eaten chestnuts? How do you prepare and store them? Since we have such a bounty this year, I’m curious to find out how other people use them or cook with them. Please let me know!
Thank you for stopping by today and please stay safe during the storm. God bless! xoxo Dell