Monday, September 28, 2009

No, These Aren't My Gallstones.

They're really not. I don't even know what gallstones look like, but I'm pretty sure that these are prettier.
In fact, they're delicious.
No joke! Let's take a closer look.

Okay, they don't look so appetizing, but that's probably my fault for planting gallstones in your brain. These are candied chestnuts, another weirdo project from my sweet husband, better known as Man-who-likes-to-cook-bizarre-foods-and-libations-that-you-can't-eat-for-dinner.
Libations that at present are plotting to TAKE OVER MY KITCHEN!

See what I mean? It's ALIVE!
Yes, it's been a grape harvesting, wine brewing, chestnut candying sort of weekend. A weekend in which the Fruit Fly Association of the Southeast decided to gather in my kitchen for their annual convention. I see much drunken fruit fly revelry in my future.

I think I'll soothe my sorrows with another candied chestnut, better known as a marron glacé.
Remember marrons glacés? That was my second blog post ever, back before I became hardened and bitter. Ha ha.

I bet you're wondering what in the world my husband was doing, making candied chestnuts the same weekend he covered my countertops with 40 pounds of muscadine grapes, plus assorted equipment. So was I. But over the years I have learned not to squash his creativity. I simply turn around, walk out of the kitchen, and go read a book.

Later, after I'd softened my heart with a glass of last year's grape, I ventured back and asked, "So, why chestnuts?"
He showed me these.

We had more, before Tanner got his share and the candying began.
It seems a farmer friend gifted Todd with a big bagful. He said the chestnuts brought back nice memories of our years in France, when we'd buy roasted chestnuts from the street vendors.
That's all he needed to say. The autumn memories fluttered around my head with the fruit flies.
I'm in love with chestnuts all over again.

I loved to find them on our Sunday walks, protected by their spiny cupules. (My vocabulary word for the day. Thanks, Mr. Wikipedia!)

The French were masters of the marron. We enjoyed them as candy, in stuffing, in pudding, and in cakes...

And roasted, en plein air!

Are you a chestnut lover? Do they say Fall to you?
Or maybe you're like Ella Fitzgerald, who thought of them in April instead. (April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom...)
Have a wonderful Monday, y'all!
Love, Becky


judy in ky said...

Believe it or not, I've never tasted a chestnut. Maybe I should try one!
I'm impressed by your husband. Mine never goes into the kitchen, except to look for a snack.

Susie said...

When we were in France I used to cook whole chestnuts with a pork roast. Yum

R and L said...

I remember chestnuts from a while back and yum! They were different and I think I ate them plain, cooked of course. What's that American song meant for Fall time - farmer Gray ... Curier & Ives ... Chestnuts by the fire ... Pop pop pop!
In France if you have brown eyes, they refer to them as eyes marron - chestnut colored - of what little French I remember.
I do love sugar coated walnuts and surely would love chestnuts the same way, or chopped and cooked in bread or cake ... mmmm!
Don't stifle hubby's creativity, because I know the effect can last a long time, and damper his spirit, and you don't want that.
Have a great Monday,

T. Anne said...

Wow I'd love it if my hubby hung out in the kitchen more often. Or maybe not. ;)

Gary and Elizabeth~ said...

You are just to funny!. I have never had a candied chestnut. I must be missing out.
Take care and enjoy your day,

adrienne said...

Chestnuts remind me of the holidays, but I think I love the associations more than the taste.

I enjoy hearing about your husband's kitchen ventures. My husband only gets interested in the kitchen when one of the kids has a science project.

Rosemary said...

I have tried them, and I don't care for the bitter flavor.
I think I should try them again roasting over an open fire.
Have a great week,

the Provident Woman said...

Now I will never look at a chestnut without thinking Gallstone.

Anonymous said...

yum that does bring back good memories!
love you!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I don't believe I've ever seen a chestnut that hasn't been roasted. Wow. And the only kind I've eaten have been water chestnuts.

Anonymous said...

Chestnuts were also something popular sold by vendors in Korea while we lived there. I can still smell them in the frosty air! Tammy Whitley

Renee said...

Okay you totally grossed me out on the jar contents. I could barely look at it.

Love you.

Renee xoxo

Anonymous said...

"No, these aren't my gallstones" is a killer headline!

Jenn Hubbard
(open ID's not working for some reason)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Thanks, Jenn!
And Rosemary, you really should try one again. You must have gotten a bad nut. They're not supposed to be bitter.

Kelly H-Y said...

Your Fruit Fly Association comment had me laughing ... especially since I think we have the NorthWest contingent in our kitchen!

ParisBreakfasts said...

What an adventure!
I have never preserved anything.
but I have eaten many on toast.
I like my chestnuts hot in the street in a little paper bag...