Saturday, October 9, 2010

roasting chestnuts, eating walnuts and picking bay leaves

We have been gathering chestuts from the yard. This 200 year old yard amazes me.

We have 2 kind of chestnuts in our yard. Thanks to google, I learned that one kind is edible but the other kind is not.

Above are the horse chestnuts. They are not recommended for eating. They are used for medicinal purposes. They are all over our front yard. I just leave them. The kids have used them to throw at each other.

In the picture below Joey is holding the chestnuts for eating and roasting. These are in the back of our yard, near the abandoned chicken coop. (I think it is a chicken coop, maybe it is a pigeonnier). They are covered with a really prickly thing. We just pick up the chestnuts that have fallen out of the prickly thing. Yes, prickly thing is the technical term.

I saw chestnuts for sale at the market. Don't ever remember being at a market and thinking, "I don't need to buy that, I have lots of them in my backyard."
Below is another picture of chestnuts. In the middle are chestnuts we collected on a frisbee. (We just happened to find the frisbee in the yard. We don't have a chestnut collecting basket!) On the far right are some of the chestnuts I roasted.

So what have I done with the chestnuts? So far I have added them to stuffing for roasted chicken. If you have any other ideas, let me know! I have lots and lots of chestnuts.

I can't forget about the walnuts. I collected a bunch from the yard today. Lots of them are still on the ground inside the black casing. I left those alone. I just picked up the ones that had come loose from the black stuff. Black stuff is another technical term.

Tonight when I was cooking dinner I had a glass of red wine with some walnuts. Very nice.

For desssert we had walnuts with cheese purchased from the market today. The cheese was neufchâtel. Delicious.

We also have a bay leaf tree. It is quite large and healthy.

I think I want a bay leaf tree back in Michigan. I will have to look into it. Does anyone have one?
Below is a picture of Joey and Ellie in front of the bay leaf tree by the carriage house.

Here is a better picture. Seriously, look at all these bay leaves!


  1. I was thinking about planing a bay tree in California, but then we moved so I didn't. But that's a great item to add on Rod's honey do list!

  2. Okay, creeping eye looking horse chestnut with spikes all over it... no surprise you don't want to eat it. Given your headless picture, all dressed in black with eyes coming out of your hands, you're one step closer to a Halloween outfit while having one more use for chestnuts.

  3. If Melissa was thinking about planting a Bay Leaf Tree in Orange County then I can guarantee that a Bay Leaf Tree would not withstand our Michigan winters (which I believe Melissa has probably forgotten how harsh they are but will soon be uncomfortably reminded). So Plan B is to grow one indoors! Pot it and put a lovely Bay Leaf Tree in the front foyer of Meadow Creek Drive! What a nice reminder of your 10 month excursion!

  4. This is how we all should eat ... From our backyards, from local merchants selling local products, making do with what we have. It is such a balanced and sane approach to food! And probably why the French are so thin and healthy, in spite of the smoking, drinking, cheese and pate!