We’ve been having a glorious autumn. Despite some overcast days in September and a day of heavy rain, October has surprised us all with almost wall to wall sunshine and higher than average temperatures. The locals are saying they don’t remember an October like it. The mornings now though are taking longer to warm up and as soon as the sun goes down over the hill, the late afternoons are chilly. Even M admits that the time for shorts and flip flops has passed. He’s had a good run though.
Feste and sagre dedicated to the porcini mushroom have now made way for those celebrating the chestnut and if we missed out on the porcini season due to our lack of experience and fear of mis-identification, we have more than made up for it in our gathering of chestnuts. Over a couple of weekends we have collected 5.5 kilos which was much more fun than the subsequent cooking and peeling.
For the second batch not only did we have two additional helpers, we treated ourselves to a chestnut roasting pan and a special chestnut cutter. It was easier but not as easy as roasting over an open fire.
We have turned our haul into batches of chestnut and pumpkin pasta sauce, and chestnut and sage soup, all piled up in the freezer ready for the winter. There’s something very rewarding about ‘free food’ as well as something very addictive about the gathering. Just as well there are still plenty more out there.