Every autumn my guardian Pauline Conolly takes me to Mount Tomah Botanical Gardens so we can gather Spanish chestnuts from their big tree. It’s very exciting. It’s usually a bit chilly, but there is a lovely fire in the cafe where you can warm up first. I thought there were chestnuts roasting on the bottom ledge at first. I tried to snaffle one, but they were only bolts. Very hot bolts.
You have to walk down the hill to find the big tree. It’s easy to spot, because there are lots of spiky chestnut cases underneath. Pauline squashed some for me with her boot. Mind you, I accidentally sat on some, which wasn’t pleasant. Must remember to wear pants next time.
We put them in some autumn leaves and took them home. I thought they looked very pretty.
Well I’m going to roast them, but Pauline said she prefers candied chestnuts that they make in France. They are called marrons glaces or something. She said they take days to make, so I doubt if I will bother with that. And she certainly won’t! My dear French ami Jonathan Cooper sent me a recipe for chestnut jam. I will have to brush up my French so I can try it, but I see it has rum and figs, so it must be pretty special. Have a look HERE
Well they have squillions of chestnut trees in England, but you can’t eat the nuts because they taste nasty. They are horse chestnuts….such a disappointment. All you can do is use them for a game called conkers. You tie your conker on a string and hit your opponent’s one. If you smash it before they destroy yours….you win!
Pauline and Dr Bob went to the World Conker Championship in England once….as you do (haha). Pauline tried to enter, but foolishly admitted she had picked up her giant conker in Vienna and they disqualified her. She had also baked it in the oven, which she did NOT confess. Never mind, she used it as the light pull in her downstairs loo.
I can’t think of much else to say about chestnuts really. Goodbye. xxxx
Oh, did you know I have my very own Facebook page? EDITOR DES Just saying.