This week got off to a manic start. For one, I had my hometown theatre houseguests stay over on Sunday and Monday nights, and of course the sky decided to spew a wet windstorm of disgusting late-February snow on southern Ontario on the one day I’d allotted for grocery shopping. Secondly, I had a difficult time arranging interviews for a totally harmless article I’m working on–and, on deadline, that’s never fun. Overwhelmed and overburdened, I needed something special to perk up my spirits. Once I realized bourbon could only go so far, I opted to buy a bag of chestnuts for roasting.

I’d never roasted chestnuts before, but the process is shockingly painless. You simply wash the nuts, score the tops with a knife for ventilation, and toss them on a baking pan. Bake at 475 F for 20 minutes or so, and presto! Roasted chestnuts. Once they cool, you can easily peel them by hand.

Roasted chestnuts are like nothing I’ve ever tasted before: slightly meaty, chewy, and sweet. In other words, not very nutlike but still totally enjoyable. And, best of all, chestnuts are super cheap–my 2/3 lb bag cost me just around 50 cents. Not too bad for a special pick-me-up!

I’ve been told these guys taste great with coffee. I also imagine they’re quite nice for baking. Being the purist (or lazy woman) that I am, I think I’ll just eat mine on their own.