Perfect Gift – Chestnut Trees

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.  ~Roy L. Smith

Continued…. Perfect Gift – The Ugly Quilt

roasted chestnuts Aunt Heather Piper

Roasted chestnuts popping out of their shells.

Now the next perfect gift of the 2013 Christmas season goes to … dad.  Mom came up with the idea and me, Nicole and Kyle were totally on board.  It was truly brilliant!  So what was this perfect gift?  Easy, it was two chestnut trees to be delivered this spring.  What?  Yup!

Dad loves chestnuts!  When he was younger my gram and pap had chestnut trees that dad would pick and roast and eat.  My pappy loved these seasonal nuts too, as do I.  Well, maybe not as much as dad.  They used to roast them in the fireplace, (on an open fire) but in modern times, mom pokes the chestnuts with a knife, sprinkles water and covers and microwaves them for a couple of minutes.  Voila!  Chestnuts ready to eat!  Not as good as fire roasted, but not bad.

On a side note, this story must be told.  Mom came home from the grocery store a couple of weeks ago with a really funny tale.  She said, while in the check-out line, the girl ringing her out asked mom what type of nuts was in the bag.  Naturally, mom replied “Chestnuts.”  As mom continued with the story, she was toppled over with sheer laughter.  Ok?  What is so funny about chestnuts?  Apparently, the girl asked mom in a very serious tone, “Are you going to roast these over an open fire?”  Ok, I’ll admit I lost it, I didn’t see that one coming.  Me and mom were rolling with gut stretching laughter.  Mom said, she didn’t want to be mean to the girl so she tried not to giggle and explained that she used to roast the chestnuts that way and you most certainly can, but now she just nukes (microwaves) them.  The girl was so enthralled she kept asking my mom about this newfangled method of cooking chestnuts.  She wanted to share your knowledge with her grandpap who apparently loves chestnuts too.  Great!  I hope we brought back the popularity of chestnuts!  They really are a unique treat.

young-chestnut-tree-Aunt Heather PiperYes, now-a-days, mom makes the chestnuts in the microwave, even though she complains about it every step of the way.  You see, if you leave them in for too long they explode, just like any other food item and obviously makes a mess all over the interior of the microwave.  To ease mom’s pain with this process of making dad happy, I got her a plastic cover to use, but she still chances it without the cover and grunts about making the chestnuts for dad.  Now on the opposite side, can dad make his own chestnuts?  Sure.  Does he know how?  Yep.  Will he?  Nope.  It’s just like making coffee.  Mom and dad have a Keurig, so basically it’s a matter of popping in the coffee pod and pressing a button, but dad won’t touch it.  Of course the man’s never used an ATM machine or touched a computer either in his life.  Ever!  Mom might always yell and complain about waiting on dad hand and foot, but who trained him to be like that?  Certainly not me.  That behavior has been going on since I can remember.  I guess that’s another blog topic.  Maybe one for the couch, one for the professionals.

Back to the chestnuts.  Since we didn’t have the actual chestnut trees on hand to place under the Christmas tree, we had Kyle read the receipt to dad.  Dad was totally surprised and excited!  I even added, “Yes dad and me and Kyle will help you dig the holes and plant them.”  In dad’s eyes, he was given the perfect gift!  Immediately, he started to discuss his ideas for placement of the chestnut trees.  Only dad!  I have a feeling this will be a whole adventure in itself.  Mom said she ordered two of the six or seven foot chestnut trees.  Yikes!  I have a feeling this one is going to make me sweat.  Although I don’t know what variety they are.    Merry Christmas to dad!

Aesculus_hippocastanum_fruit chestnuts Aunt Heather Piper

Chestnuts off of the tree … they are messy! Hence why I wanted to plant them far away from the house.

Dad is so stoked about his gift, he already started to ask when the trees would be coming in and when he would expect to harvest the chestnuts.  Sorry to burst dad’s bubble, but alas I guess we have a three year wait.  Or I should say, I have three free years before I have to go and pick chestnuts for dad.  I guess it doesn’t matter, that was truly the perfect gift!

On another side note, as I’ve mentioned I too like chestnuts, clearly not as much as dad, but regardless.  One year dad insisted that mom put chestnuts in her stuffing for Thanksgiving.  Why would anyone mess with mom’s stuffing  perfection?  No clue, but mom did as suggested.  No doubt someone saw an episode of chestnuts on the Cooking Channel and got the great idea.  The verdict?  Not a favorite.  It was just ok.  Even dad had to admit he didn’t like the buttery nuts mixed among his stuffing.  First, it was definitely the size of the nuts that threw us off.  Mom doesn’t believe in chopping food items up, so they were pretty whole throughout.  Luckily it was easy for me to pick them out and eat them separately. Lesson learned.  Eat stuffing or eat chestnuts.  Don’t combine them.

Naturally, Kyle got a bunch of Legos courtesy of Aunt Nikki and Gigi and pappy, which is always the perfect gift in his eyes.  I got Kyle the Chronicles of Narnia books, The Book Thief and the last Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.  Those were also perfect choices, just not for the immediate play time.  Although he already started to dive into the books.  I also got him for his Jazz Band concerts a new Calvin Klein tie.  Since I don’t want to spoil the good cheer in this blog post, I’ll save that story for later.  That one was a fight to the finish.  Spoiler alert, I won.  I think.

Yep, we are truly blessed!  Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas as we did!

posted by auntheather in Cooking with Kyle,Family,Learning,Observation,Patience,Reminiscing and have No Comments

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