Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas with family and friends and loved ones. We were fortunate enough to have gotten both Christmas Eve and Day off from work and we relished the time at home with no set schedules.  We celebrated a friend’s birthday and also exchanged gifts and, I have to say, we made out like bandits.  We have a generous group of friends, and although we always say how hard it is to shop for each other the presents end up being perfect every year.  Even the four-legged ones get presents.

penny

So, the very nice Chestnutter people sent me a Chestnutter to keep my fingers safe, so I tested it out with lovely chestnuts from Trader Joe’s and something seemed to work well. I found it worked better with the large chestnuts, making a nice, deep “x” in the chestnut. With the flatter ones, it couldn’t reach to make a cut, but I found that if you stack two flat ones on top of each other that works. Then you just flip them to make an “x” on the other chestnut. The process was fast and easy and not once did I have to worry about hurting myself. Here’s what it looked like after getting its mark:

 chestnut

I roasted them in the oven at 400ºF for half an hour (I think, I just followed the instructions on the chestnut package) and then pulled them and let them cool a bit.

 

chestnut2

Do you see how the shell has pulled back quite a bit? And how the chestnut doesn’t have the papery skin stuck to it? Amazing! Maybe the trick is to get a deep enough cut into the chestnut so it can all peel away like that. I was able to peel off the shell and only one chestnut was stubborn enough to hold onto its skin. My fingers didn’t hurt afterwards and the dogs only got one chestnut and only because they looked so cute. I’ll probably only roast chestnuts once or twice a year, but I’m definitely using the Chestnutter every single time. And buying chestnuts from Trader Joe’s. Why mess with a successful formula?

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