Today we set off to do some chestnut and walnut picking at Kookootonga Nut Farm. It was a beautiful Autumn day. I have wanted to go chestnut picking for a while now but I always seem to miss the season each year. This year I got an email from Anitra from the Fruit and Nutree Network about chestnut picking and roasting today at Kookootonga.
They are amazing looking nuts. They covered big old trees in bright green spiky pompoms and when they are ripe and go brown they fall to the ground where the kids and I picked them up, careful not to get spiked by the outer spikey shell.
As you can see in the photo, the kids got a bit enthusiastic and nearly filled the bucket (at $8 a kilo!). I'm not sure how many kilos we had. I mentioned to the kids before we got there we would only pick up a small amount and only get what we need, not to go crazy and fill up the buckets! It s hard not to it so much fun for them.
So we tipped out the bucket under one of the chestnut trees, picked out the fattest nuts and put them in the bucket. The rest we left there for the next person to come along and pick up. There were a lot of people so I don't think they will be there for long.
We ended up having just over a kilo, which I was happy with. The chestnuts and walnuts came to $17 all together. So, I was in budget. The person before me spent $100 on Chestnuts.
The bucket after the cull....:)
After picking, the group of us that were with the Fruit and Nut Tree network set up a picnic. A lady called Anne set up a portable BBQ, lit some BBQ coals, and we were set for roasting the chestnuts. We had to cut slits on one side because they can explode like popcorn, which a few did. We stood around and talked, watched and listened about what we can do with chestnuts and a bit of history about the nut.
It's been quite a while since I have eaten chestnuts. I had forgotten what they tasted like but I remembered that I liked them. I think they where oven roasted when I last tried them but BBQing them gives them a nice smokey flavour. To me, they sort of tasted like a powdery sweet potato. They are best eaten warm.