Monday, April 08, 2013


It all looks a bit 'Christmessy' to me                                                                                                                                           Mans

A friend and I were running, (actually more like walking) through the forest. I was keeping half an eye out for the first mushrooms of the season, when we stumbled upon a bunch of chestnuts littered about the forest floor forming an uncomfortable carpet. There they were, some poking through slits of browning green spikes, some still were firmly trapped in their prickly pods... and then there were those just lying about waiting to be collected and cradled in a makeshift shirt pouch that exposed the spreading bellies of forest walkers, rather than forest runners.

Pick me if you dare                                           Mans
I thought that a chestnut blog would be apt, so as usual I leaned on ‘The Mighty Mans’ to come and take a few pics. So off we merrily trotted armed with a camera, a pair of tongs and a large collection basket to go and schnab a heap of the little brown nuggets. But, oh dear me, virtually all the hundreds of spiky pods were empty. Clearly, this hunter-gathering thing is fiercely competitive, but I guess it has always been that way. On the way back to the car we did schpickel (spy) a couple of mushrooms (Bay Boletus). We arrived back home with two mushrooms and a scattering of chestnuts rolling around rather forlornly in our big basket. These slender pickings would be just right for a stuffing. What a delicious stuffing it turned out to be.

A disappointing amount of chestnuts
Two lucky mushrooms
A gifted Karroo quince
A boring slice of bread
An onion
Some bacon
A large sprig of garden thyme
A generous knob of butter
Salt and pepper

With a sharp pointy knife punch a cross in each chestnut and boil them for about 10 minutes. Remove their annoying shells and in doing so probably cause a minor injury to a fingernail or two. Chop all the above ingredients up and toss into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and give it a good mix. Now stuff the mix into the cavity of the chicken. Pop into the oven and roast as you would normally would. Chomp and enjoy.

Lets face it, everyone can do with a jolly good stuffing from time to time                                                                     Mans

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