Traditions Flaming on an Open Fire

Part of the fun part of being married is coming up with some new traditions.  Well, this year my lovely wife and I decided that we wanted to try to roast chestnuts on an open fire, just like in the song.  She found some chestnuts at a grocery store, and really, well ok, it was her idea.  And a great idea!

So the plan was set.  We were going to spend Christmas morning huddled around our fireplace, roasting these chestnuts and listening to the song on Pandora.

I found a great site online that told me how to roast chestnuts like a real man.  So I cut my x’s on the flat sides, stoked my fire into some nice coals and began to roast!

Well, not quite…

I realized I didn’t have anything to roast them on or in.  You can’t use anything with teflon.  Do you have any idea how many non-teflon pans we have around here that I am willing to risk on an open fire?  Zero.  So I read in that article that you can use a fireplace shovel.  Perfect!!!

Apparently the author had never actually USED a fireplace shovel, or his was made by a different manufacturer.  You see, when the coals are nice and hot, and you sit a fireplace shovel filled with chestnuts into them, the black that you thought was just blackened metal bursts into flame!  What do you do with a shovel that is burning from one end and running toward your chestnuts on the other end like a Texas forest fire?  You start picking the fricking little things off one by one (and by now, yep, they’re hot!) and putting them on the floor.  By now, your fireplace shovel wildfire has moved halfway across the shovel and you need to decide pretty quick how to put the thing out.  I opted for a “beat it with a not-yet-on-fire-log” method that seemed to work after about 30 seconds of persistent rubbing.  Yikes.

So we decided to try it after the stores re-opened today.

This morning, I got up, ran to the store and got what ended up being a campfire smores roaster for about $5.  Man, was I excited!!

Chestnut roast, take two.  This time, I was ready.  I reloaded my little puppies on there with some new fellers, clamped the sucker shut, and was ready to roast!

Chestnuts roasting on my open fire.
Chestnuts roasting on my open fire.

25 minutes.  Flip them every 5 minutes.  Put them in a bowel with a towel for 10 minutes.  Hmm… they smell kind of like a sweet bread or something.  Peel and eat either plain or with cinnamon and butter (we tried both ways).


I let the wife have the first one.  She didn’t know what to think.  She said it tasted a bit like bread.  I tried them.  Honestly, I didn’t know how to place the taste.  I had to agree, it’s a bit like a cinnamon roll without cinnamon (unless you had it with the butter and cinnamon).  But there was this hint of something bitter- I can only describe it as a slight parmasean flavor.  Imagine that for a second- cinnamon roll with parmasean cheese.  Not in a good way, either.  It took us about 5 minutes to know for sure, but we decided that we didn’t really care for them.

But hey- it’s tradition.

What a chestnut looks like
What a chestnut looks like
My wife with our new tradition.
My wife with our new tradition.