Chrysanthemums

One of the wonderful things about moving is you get to see what wonders will appear month after month in your garden; this month my favorite is these adorable chrysanthemums in such a beautiful bright yellow. They just look so summery and yet it’s nearly November. Chrysanthemum tea is surprisingly easy to make yourself and yet…

Admitting defeat to the almighty black walnut…

Let me start by saying that I love nuts, of all kinds, hence the little chestnut obsession. Walnuts, the regular kind, are actually one of my favorites and always remind me of Christmas. Dad would buy a big bag of them, in their shells, and many an evening over the holidays would be spent by…

Oranges?

Not as I know them. These intriguing looking “fruit?” are known by so many different names – Osage oranges, monkey balls, mock oranges, horse apple, bow wood – to name but a few. Its Latin name is Maclura pomifera, if that helps…. Apparently a closer relation to the mulberry than to the Orange, it does have…

What a week!

Finally finished prising the roasted chestnuts from their shells, some 6-8 hours later, with plenty of breaks I might add. Cutting open the shells with a knife required some force which my hands are not used to. They were actually seizing up! Despite various accounts of Chestnuts peeling easily out of their shells, I found…

Back to Chestnuts!

I certainly never realized what a minefield harvesting your own Chestnuts can be. Starting with the oh-so-prickly outside shells, which we did realise over time that they will open themselves (eventually) and, in fact, right now most of them are falling out of their prickly casings as they hit the ground. The partially open ones…

Aubergine!

I don’t often come back from walking my dog with an armful of delicious aubergines (eggplant – aubergine just sounds so much sexier!) but today I did. Don’t worry, I didn’t raid somebody’s vegetable patch. We paid a visit to some, also English, neighbors recently returned from a trip visiting a sick relative in the…

More about chestnuts!

So, since yesterday I have learned that, like most nuts, chestnuts come out of their protective outer shell with some level of moisture attached from the green skin. This moisture needs to be removed so that the nutshell will harden and not go moldy. Don’t know why I didn’t think of this before as we’d…