Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Xmas!!!

Merry Xmas!!!  That’s right!  I said it!  Whatcha gonna do ‘bout it??

Before your panties get all tied up in a package . . . Xmas is not an unChristian modern politically-correct conspiracy to drop Christ from Christmas . . . Xmas is actually ancient in origin.  The first letter of the word Christ in Greek is chi, which is identical to our X.  Xmas is most accurately derived from the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, transliterated as Christos, which is Greek for Christ. Greek is the language in which the whole New Testament was written.

So now you know . . . no one is trying to "X" out Christ.    


There's an "X" in chestnuts, too.  At least there should be if you're roasting them  . . . 

'tis the season and all that happy joy joy stuff is finally here!  Xmas cards and Xmas cookies, Xmas presents and Xmas this and Xmas that . . .

Besides the scent of a fresh cut evergreen tree nothing smells like Xmas more than the aroma of roasting chestnuts.  A tradition of fresh roasted chestnuts is a wonderful way to bring friends and family together.  Your home and holidays will be filled with memories of warmth and comfort.

I remember the first time I ever had roasted chestnuts.  I had only recently met the love of my life and future husband (both one and the same).  We were enjoying a Xmas light display when we happened on a vender selling roasted chestnuts.  My hunny loves them so we bought a bag.  Sweet, warm and nutty . . . and the roasty toasty chestnuts were pretty good, too!  I now associate their smell and yumminess with my first holiday with my sweetie.  So, they’re kind of special to me.
You can purchase chestnuts at your local grocery store in the months leading up to the winter holiday season.

When you are selecting fresh chestnuts for roasting, make sure you choose the ones that are firm and heavy for their size, with smooth, glossy shells. And, try to pick chestnuts that are all about the same size . . . so they all roast evenly.

The easiest way to roast chestnuts at home is to roast them in an oven.  Ever the rebel, I always look for different or alternate ways to do things.    I decided to try roasting them on the stovetop. 

·        1 1/2 To 2 Pounds Whole Chestnuts In Shell
·        1/4 Cup Water

Rinse the chestnuts. After rinsing, lay them on a towel and pat dry.

Use a strong, sharp paring knife to cut an "X" in the flat side of the chestnut shells. This prevents them from bursting, allows the steam to escape and makes peeling easier.

Next, put the chestnuts into the pan and sprinkle them with water. Cover the chestnuts and put the pan over a medium heat.

Then, shake your pan frequently while roasting until you see that the skins have blackened and have pulled back from the chestnut meat (you'll notice this where you made the cut previously). Roasting them should take about 5 to 10 minutes. If the chestnuts appear too charred, then that means you didn't shake the pan enough.

You'll know when they are roasted to perfection by the fact that you can easily open the shell and find beautiful golden colored chestnut meat inside. 

Another way to roast your chestnuts is to place them, with the cut sides up, on a baking sheet or cookie sheet. Roast them in a hot oven (about 400 degrees F) until the chestnuts appear tender. This will take about 20 minutes. To test to see if they have been roasted enough, stick a fork through the cut in shell and test for tenderness.

Finally, wrap the hot chestnuts in an old towel (no matter which way you chose to roast them) and squeeze them hard. Squeezing the chestnuts will break and crush the skins which will make peeling them much easier to do. Let the crushed chestnuts rest inside the towel for about 5 mintues before unwrapping them.

Open up the towel and feast and enjoy!

You can serve them plain, with salt, butter to dip them in or even a light sprinkle of cinnamon.

Love and joy come to you and to you a Merry Xmas, too!

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