The Chestnut Challenge

Yesterday seemed like a fairly regular day. I went to work, did a little bit of this, a little bit of that, played around with some food and eventually decided that it was time to approach…

The Chestnuts….!

The chestnuts have been sitting there all innocently since the gardeners gathered them all up and delivered them to us to make use of. One of the other chefs sat and scored a load of them and roasted them and then I scooped them out, mushed them up a bit and used them in some chestnut, orange and nutmeg biscuits.

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It all sounds fabulous and earthy and organic, doesn’t it?

Yesterday I decided I would complete the Chestnut Challenge because the little chestnuts had been sitting in bowls on the side, waiting to be dealt with and it seemed like the time for it.

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That’s a lot of chestnuts. I was determined to complete the challenge by the end of the day. I picked up a chestnut, I scored it, I put it into a roasting tray.

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Holding the little chestnut down whike chopping it made me finger rub on the chopping board so an hour in, I had my first chestnut injury, a blister. I started holding my fingers up when I chopped then, prompting my second injury, a knife slice on the same finger as it was now in the way of the knife.

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See? I bet you thought I was being a right baby, moaning cause I had to stand around and play with chestnut. Well, shit just got serious here. I HAVE INJURIES.

Selflessly, I soldiered on. I recruited some extra hands to make the whole thing move faster.

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And the pile of chestnuts in one of the bowls got smaller.

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Then one of my Chestnut Helpers came up with a brilkiant idea (mainly because we had roasted some of the chestnuts and it had not gone well, far too hard). She decided that we would be better peeling the chestnuts and chopping them finely to add straight into cakes, etc. She did have a point. We experimented by making one chestnut and raisin cake and it went fabulously well.

This, then, became the new plan of action. Little did I realise how much more labour intensive this method is.

And so we began.

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The four chestnuts up at the top took ne about ten minutes. If you portion tgat out to five million billion chestnuts, you will see that it would take me 18 years to peel all of the chestnuts.

I started to dislike chestnuts. Hated them, quite possibly. The day ahead seemed endless and hopeless. My life felt empty and chestnut coloured. The rate at which the pile in the bowl went down almost stopped. I probably battled with depression.

A few hours later, sad and with aching fingers, I pushed the mostly full bowls of chestnuts to the side, unable to look at them anymore, and left work.

I failed. I failed myself. And I failed the chestnuts. And I failed my fingers.

I understand if you feel differently about me now, readers.

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8 responses to this post.

  1. It’s a sad tale heard far too often I’m afraid. 😉

    Reply

  2. Yummy! A number of villages here will be roasting chestnuts for those of us without our own supply and for those who just want to have fun. Tables are repeatedly filled with boxes of chestnuts hot off the fire and bottles of wine… Well it is France! 🙂

    Reply

  3. Very cool! Namaste. . .

    Reply

  4. Posted by Alex Jones on November 15, 2013 at 20:22

    Chestnut torture. I tried eating a raw chestnut, like eating bad chewing gum.

    Reply

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