Chestnuts!

Not too big for squiirrels
Stan brought home a handful of chestnuts after a cruiser bike ride one evening and told me the location of the tree so I could get some more. Since I already had a vintage mason jar full of acorns I thought it would be fun to have a jar full of chestnuts to go with it since I had a larger jar waiting. Stan’s stepdad, Gordon, had given me the jars a few years ago and I love them even when they are empty!Small Mason Jar from Gordon (Giving credit to whom it’s due, I got the idea and the acorns from Pottery Barn - called acorn vase fillers - but didn’t really want to buy more vase fillers, thus my thought to go on a nature walk instead.

I must say, even though it can be therapeutic to shop, free therapy is always better. I had no idea the discovery that was waiting for me that morning. Here’s what I found!Chestnut Tree!It took me awhile to figure out which trees were the chestnuts but Stan said I’d know by the lumpy nuts under the fallen leaves. I didn’t realize the trees were the ones with such magnificent size and glorious fall color. Standing underneath the tree I felt like I was under a giant umbrella giving me a temporary sense of security which was nice. Tree Umbrella
I wondered how long this particular tree had been standing and what year it was planted.Chestnut Leaves
I could’ve stayed all morning but thought I’d better start collecting but not before I took a photo of these twin leaves laying on the ground. Later I learned this shape leaf makes the tree a horsechestnut, a species which originated in Europe. Fan leaves!
Back to my task at hand, as I began to gather, I didn’t notice any squirrels bustling about and wondered if the nuts are too big for them. But not to worry, later in the week I saw a squirrel carrying an apple so I guess a chestnut would be no problem! Anyhoo, I decided to take only what I thought I’d need for the big mason jar and believe me, there was plenty leftover for an entire congregation of squirrels! Most of the nuts were out of their burrs (prickly casing) but a few remained.

Chestnuts!
I took my basket of nuts home feeling a little like a big squirrel myself. The rich deep color of the nuts gave me a visual to the phrase “chestnut colored hair”. Basket of nuts It’s like coffee…Chestnut Coffee and chocolate like PhoebeChocolate Labrador sniffing my new haulPhoebe’s eyes are like Chestnuts too! Little Brown Girl

Here’s my complete collection in Gordon’s fabulous vintage jars. The only thing is, if I keep them as decorations we won’t be able to eat them later. When I looked up how to store chestnuts it is suggested to keep them in the frig. We may want to try to roast them in December - yes over an open fire - hmmm - better look up how to do that.Mason Jars from Gordon

UPDATE: oK, it’s a few months later and I discovered that chestnuts get moldy if you leave them in a jar with no fresh air coming in so best container would be a bowl. I threw them away and put the mason jar in the dishwasher!

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2 Responses to “Chestnuts!”

  1. Andy Says:

    Nancy, I think you need a little European help here. Don’t even think about eating them, Horse chestnuts (Conkers) aren’t edible,In fact we think they are poisonous! The edible kind are sweet chestnuts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castanea_sativa We can’t go for a walk at this time of year without Ruth stopping every few minutes to gather them. (sigh)(Though I think the season finished a few weeks ago)
    There are a couple of things you can do with horse chestnuts you can drill a hole in them and thread a string through them so you can whack them to together to try and shatter your opponents Conker! Conker matches were a big event when I was at school, had to mind getting you fingers whacked though!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_j4BtYGufY
    Also spiders hate them! So leave a few around th house to keep them away (But don’t let Phoebe eat them!)

  2. nancy Says:

    Wow Andy - thanks for the info - wouldn’t want to get sick trying to eat these! That could explain why I didn’t see any squirrels stowing them away for winter. Just checked out the conkers vid - that game is a pretty big deal in the UK! At least I now know what I can do with the chestnuts later if I’m inclined. Maybe we’ll just have to toss them in the fire for some fun crackling noises :-)

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