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Old Dec 9, 2008, 7:53 AM   #1
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When I were a lad, we only ever had chestnuts at Christmas. Since globalisation, they seem to be around most of the time, and I buy them now & again.

Yesterday I went shopping, and seized the opportunity, after rubbing my lumps of coal together. I used the tool for the job, which lives, neglected & seldom used, among the fire-irons by the hearth...

(1/16s, f/3.2, ISO800, 74mm equiv., firelight only)

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Old Dec 9, 2008, 8:02 AM   #2
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Here's the result. It requires my "chemist's fingers", as they're known round here, to peel off the shells before they cool. Note the delicately judged gourmet degree of charring. Or to put it another way, they're burnt.

Because of the difficulty of propping the pan satisfactorily on the fire, a proportion of the nuts from this method finish up accidentally as fuel. A more reliable result is achieved by violent electric grilling in a naked grill pan, turning once on emergence of the first smoke.
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Old Dec 9, 2008, 10:07 AM   #3
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I have never tasted Chestnuts. I'm not sure if I've ever seen any although I saw some kind of nut in the supermarket a couple weeks ago that might have been Chestnuts. I never found out. I would dearly love to try some.

Thanks for you excellent photos and your usual excellent commentary, Alan. Good job.

Cal
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Old Dec 9, 2008, 11:46 AM   #4
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In the downtown core of Toronto we have Popcorn/Chestnut/Peanut venders on every corner. From their unique wagons they dispense what you want - hot roasted chestnuts being my favorite. Your view of them roasting sure brings back memories for me of many a Christmas time gone by when I sat down with the kids doing the same thing. And yes, some became temperature challenged to (burnt), but tasted good to me. You have really captured the color temp of the fireplace fire nicely. I see even the blues. Well done Alan.
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Old Dec 9, 2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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calr wrote:
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...I would dearly love to try some...
I hope you get the chance, Cal. I love 'em.

Before roasting them, do pierce the casing with a sharp knife, or you may be uncomfortably reminded of your military training. If in the processyou make a cut along the nut's axis of bilateral symmetry, the shell willsplit on heating and be easier to remove.
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Old Dec 9, 2008, 5:12 PM   #6
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Alan,

Very well done. The intensity of the fire comes thru and the antique roasting pan is a charm.

Chestnuts are also offered here for the whole year mainly by Japanese vendors. I don't know if they are the same variety.

As you can imagine they don't use a open fis routine but the chestnuts are mixed in what appears to be gravel and heated in a large kettle until done.

While available for much of the year they do seem to be most abundant now. Perhaps relying on the opularity of the "Chestnuts roasting on a open fire theme...."

Aloha


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Old Dec 10, 2008, 7:28 AM   #7
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Great photo. I tried them once from a street vendor and didn't like them. Perhaps he wasn't a good cook otherwise no one would eat them.
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Old Dec 10, 2008, 2:56 PM   #8
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That's one hot fire, you can almost feel the heat. The exposure for that shot is great!!

Mugmar
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Old Dec 12, 2008, 6:36 AM   #9
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There won't be a shot that better meets the challenge than this one. Really nicely executed, and I, like others have never actually seen chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Paul
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Old Dec 12, 2008, 10:57 AM   #10
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Chestnuts are one of most favorite holiday food memories. My kids love them too. Dip in melted butter, add a little salt...doesnt get much better than that.

oh, great images, too..LOL
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