In this week's Martin & Sylvia: More Adventures story “Singing Together”, Mr. Weber invites Martin and Sylvia's family to come downtown to sing wintertime songs at the local shops.
When they receive the invite, brother and sister can only think of one thing: they might have to see Mr. Amos. Mr. Amos owns the Antique store, and they've heard stories that he is mean and doesn't like children.
On the night of the downtown singing, however, they learn how important it is to ignore hearsay and see for yourself!
Can't you just imagine the holiday scene that brings all these characters together, singing so beautifully? The crisp air with a hint of snow flurries. The colored lights twinkling on the decorated street. The smell of chestnuts roasting and the warmth from a brimming cone full of them resting between your hands.
What you've never had fresh roasted chestnuts before? Well, you simply must sample some!
Fresh from the tree, chestnuts look downright scary, but hulled and roasted they make a hot, buttery winter treat. And not only are they delicious, listening to them pop as they cook makes for a delightful evening of winter entertainment. If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace you can even roast them “over an open fire” just like the song says.
The instructions below are more “method” than “recipe”. They'll work with any amount of chestnuts, but about half a pound is usually a good amount to start with for a small family. If you have any leftover, they're also great sliced up in a salad the next day.
Using a sharp knife, score a deep “X” into the skin of each chestnut. (Don't skip this step, it keeps them from exploding!)
To cook them in the oven, place the scored chestnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. Let the chestnuts cool slightly, then peel off the outer skin with your hands. Enjoy them while they're still warm.
To cook them in the fireplace or over a campfire, you'll need a grill basket. Fill the basket with scored chestnuts, close the lid, and roast the chestnuts until they've popped open and smell delicious. Again, let them cool slightly before peeling, and enjoy them warm.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.