‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Word to the Wise (or "why you shouldn't eat my cooking")

I saw this cd at the Orleans Whole Food Store today as I was buying yet another package of Dancing Deer brownies. It's about "Finding Freedom from Anger, Resentment, and Other Destructive Emotions." I didn't buy it because I've found that if I'm well stocked on things like Dancing Deer brownies it's very difficult to bait me into being resentful or angry. Still, I think "don't bite the hook" might be a new buzz word to keep in my head.

As is "don't bite the roasted chestnuts." Today on our walk we passed a chestnut tree which was shedding chestnuts like mad. So Lucy, Studley and I gathered a bunch (a really enormous bunch) and brought them home to roast. I carefully scored them (otherwise they explode) and put them in a 425 oven to roast. Oh, and I washed them before I did all this because, you know, they were lying on the GROUND and who knows what had happened to them there. And while they were roasting I thought, "hmmm, I wonder if all chestnuts are edible?" and so I googled exactly that phrase and I discovered that indeed they are not. Horse chestnuts and buckeyes, though similar, are poisonous. So I drove back to the tree and grabbed a leaf and looked at the pod thingies and compared them to the pictures of Castanea (the edible ones) and realized that they looked exactly nothing like the ones you can eat.

So I should have started this post "Today I nearly poisoned my whole family." Except I liked the picture of the fish.

In other unrelated household disaster news, Lucy had a fire drill at school and someone from the fire department came to talk to them. He asked if anyone had heard a smoke alarm at home and Lucy said she raised her hand. "You know, because of all the smoke at dinner time."

Is nothing sacred? At least she didn't tell them about when I really did set the kitchen on fire making almond brittle for Christmas. For those of you considering making gifts this holiday season, I suggest you stick to needle crafts or maybe molded jello. The holidays are not the time to get all crazy with things involving high temperatures. No Hot Glue Guns!

I do, however, still have visions of canning - there's pumpkin butter on my horizon. Yes, the mystery vegetable in my garden turned out to be a pumpkin. Yes, it is edible. I was going to get the whole canning kit, but I'm pretty sure I can make do with what I have around the house. I am most excited about using the magnetic thing Chris uses to lift screws out of hard-to-reach places for getting the metal lids out of the boiling water. I will feel like Mrs. MacGyver.

And remember, if you are planning on canning anything you have foraged yourself, don't forget to look it up online or have it inspected by your local phlebotonist. Or something.


Liz said...

Mmmm, Dancing Deer cookies... Makes admitting that I went to Wheaton worth it if that's what other alums do (she's class of '72?).

Liz said...

PS: We love your cooking and the almond brittle rocked!

Lisa said...

I'm just glad to hear there's a Whole Foods on the Cape! Can't wait to visit the parents!