I'd never done it before but yesterday I helped Tom roast and peel about four pounds of chestnuts for the Anderson Valley Grange Annual Holiday Potluck. I felt ignorant for being here, on a chestnut farm, and having never tasted the things even though the trees stand on nearly every block of Vancouver proper. They are so delicious! Especially when seasoned with olive oil and sea salt. I know next year at chestnut time in Vancouver I'll be running around collecting them and I'll know just what to do.
When we told Tom that there are chestnut trees all over Vancouver he asked if there was an early Italian settlement, which there was especially in our neighbourhood Commecial Drive. That would explain the chestnuts and that they are most likely European Chestnuts as opposed to American or some other variety. Tom however grows Colossal Chestnuts for their size and flavour.
So, we roasted the chestnuts and took them on down to the potluck which was a lovely celebration including all sorts, young and old and really showcased the vibrant community of Anderson Valley. Nearly all the food was locally grown including wild pork(!), organic turkey, delicious chevre, a multitude of tasty winter veggies and even bread made with locally grown wheat!
We met another wwoofer from down the road and many other interesting locals. We sang carols! We mingled! It was a lot of fun and made me long for the day that we'll be a part of such a group of likeminded people.
When we got back to the ridge, we were greeted by the bright, clear night sky and the stars so thick. Lucky for us the rain clouds from the day before had cleared in time to watch the Gemenid meteor shower. It was awesome in the true sense of the word and made up for missing the Leonids in November.
My lucky stars...