I’m roasting chestnuts as I write – no better tradition at this time of year, when December is almost upon us, the lights are twinkling in the windows and the snow is flurrying. I do miss the chestnut sellers on English street corners and their little blackened paper bags of steaming hot chestnuts. But since I can’t hop across the Atlantic anytime soon, this is my simple go-to recipe at home:
Preheat oven to 200C/400F
Carefully cut an x on the flat side of each nut, using a sharp paring knife
Lay the chestnuts, x-side up, in a single layer on a baking sheet
Roast for about 30 minutes
Cool, peel and enjoy
While I’m reminiscing, I’ve also been browsing through a book called Simply Tradition. It’s written by a friend of mine, Kierste Wade, whose children play violin with J. She writes a wonderful, inspirational blog, too, called Simply Kierste. In both places she has a lovely holiday idea for families – a Christmas Kindness Countdown Chain. I remember making paper chains with my grandmother when I was a child, and Kierste’s idea is all about turning this into a family advent tradition where you write down ideas for helping others on the strips of paper, and then add a strip to the chain each day as you put your ideas into action.
Simple and meaningful. Just what the season should be all about.
Chestnuts are ready! I hope you can enjoy some too this holiday season.