Every time I hear the word 'Chestnuts' I have an immediate brain response where 'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire' starts playing on a loop in my mind. This is mostly due to my dad singing it at the top of his lungs every Christmas. It's now forever ingrained in my brain, thanks dad. But honestly, has anyone actually roasted chesnuts on an open fire? If so get at me, I would love a tutorial! These are oven roasted... but here's a picture of my gorgeous fire (that I started!) to get you feeling festive.
I love this time of year, a sense of stillness follows the end of December. Finally a stall from the ever so hectic months prior of thanksgiving cooking and bustling shoppers scooping up last minute holiday deals. It's a time for reflection and togetherness. This year especially so. It's been hectic. I was studying extensively for my first of four national board exams, which completely drained me mentally. In the midst of studying I lost two men who were so extremely dear to me and so close to my heart, my good friend Ralf and my beloved grandfather. I did pass my board exam, just a few days before the passing of my Grandfather. I went straight from the testing center to the hospital where my grandpa excitedly greeted me with "There's my little doctor! Congratulations!". My heart gushed. I wanted nothing more than my grandpa to see something tangible come out of my education. My heart absolutely shattered when I got the call. I am crushed he won't see me graduate, I'm still in disbelief that he no longer will be on the other end of my frantic late night phone calls where I'm wound up in a ball of stress and worry. He's talked me down many a times always ensuring my place and future in medicine.
So this year Chestnuts are symbolic. They're the quiet of the season, the reflection on that which was lost. They are the gathering place for those I love who grieve the same hearts, together around a bowl of Chestnuts.
1 package fresh chestnuts
*Chestnuts must be peeled when warm, otherwise the shell won't come off.
**There are always a few bad chestnuts per batch, a good chestnut is firm and glossy before cooking.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Using a sharp knife carefully score each chestnut with a large 'X'.
Place on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before peeling.
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