Tag Archives: Chestnuts

Sadhvi Sez: Giving Thanks

Sakshi the Chestnut Roaster
Sakshi the Chestnut Roaster

Being married to a chestnut roaster who’s been making people happy for many years now means we don’t have a big get-together with friends and family on Thanksgiving Day (since he’s working!).  Not having children or family that live close by is the other reason why there is no big gathering.

With everyone else being occupied with Thanksgiving, I feel like I am playing hooky from life.  I secretly love that feeling, and am grateful that it’s possible.

It’s been a busy week, with just about every type of bad weather you can think of — constant heavy rain, extremely high winds, bone-chlling cold, and today, thankfully, weather that they have in heaven every single day — the bluest skies with lots of sun and no wind with mild temperatures.  We did wake up to snow, but having the sun shine made it all right with me!

While driving home everything felt so mellow.  The streets were almost empty, and there was a feeling of peace and calm.

When I got home I took our dog “Bello” for a long walk, and met an older couple who are familiar in the way people are when you say hello while passing them a dozen times or so in the last 10 years.  For some reason I laughed out loud when I saw them.  They stopped and asked me how I was, and I said, “Good”.  They told me it’s the first time there has ever been snow on Thanksgiving since they could remember.  I asked them how they were, and they said, “Good. I mean, we’re still walking!”.  Which made me smile, because it’s so true.

I got back home, fed the chickens and the rabbits, and then started cooking dinner for us.  When he got home, we sat down to eat and we both said we thought it was the best meal we ever had.

I don’t know what is happening, but I am feeling so grateful these days.  I think I even realize how special it is to be alive.  I must be getting older.  The next thing you know is that I will start to act wise.  I will let you know when that happens!

“Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.”
— Rumi



Sadhvi Sez: It’s beginning to feel a lot like…


I’ve started to get into the Holiday spirit.

It started with the first snowflakes last week, the Christmas songs I’ve been playing while baking the things that I love to send to my family, and the tangible joy I feel when I roast chestnuts as a street vendor with my husband.

This year there are more and more people who are trying chestnuts for the first time.  And loving them.

Knowing that they aren’t nuts, that they are a complete protein (you can live on them), that they’re alkaline, and they contain very little fat might be the reason.  Or could it be that they’ve been growing all summer in Italy, so that you are, in fact, eating “Italian Sunshine”?


Without chestnuts, I don’t know if I could handle winter.  I’ve made a simple Chestnut soup for dinner tonight.  I like easy, simple, and satisfying.

For my family who are far from me every year, I used the recipe that I have for making my Swiss Linzer Torte.  But instead of rolling out the dough for the torte, I just pinch off some pieces and roll it in a ball, press down in the middle with my thumb, and fill with raspberry jam, if I have it.  And some other kind if I don’t.  I bake them for about 15 minutes, and then sprinkle with some of the ground almonds.  Everyone loves them.  You will too!

“Swiss Linzer Thumbprint Cookies”.



Sadhvi shares being Grateful

Sadhvi the Roasted Chestnut Vendor!
I got a lot of emails, wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving yesterday.  Facebook postings from friends were abundant.  It was nice.
Being far away from family AND chestnut roasters to boot, Thanksgiving is always a very busy day after a week of being busy selling  “Freshly Roasted Italian Chestnuts” outside of the health food store here in town.
After chilling out for an hour or so after coming home, we ate a simple meal of  homemade Quiche Lorraine (I always make a few extra pie crusts and freeze them, so that on busy days I can take one out before I leave the house and it’s good when I get home) with salad and greens from the garden.  It was so good to relax, knowing that we have a day off today, and that we could sleep in too.  No Black Friday for us.
I read everyone’s little share about being thankful at this special time of year, but here’s the one that got to me.  It’s all about opening our eyes…I found it beautiful.  Thanks Daniela for sending it!


Sadhvi Sez…it’s Chestnut Time!

Sadhvi the Roasted Chestnut Vendor!
Sadhvi the Roasted Chestnut Vendor!

I am going to help my husband roast chestnuts today.  It will be my first time roasting this season and I am happy just thinking about it.  Besides the fact that being a street vendor is my most favorite thing to do, I am looking forward to my first bunch of freshly roasted Italian chestnuts! 

I don’t remember having or eating roasted chestnuts growing up in Cleveland, but I vaguely remember someone roasting them downtown.  When I moved to Basel, Switzerland, there seemed to be a stand on every corner and at every train station.  As long as I have known my husband, he has been part of this tradition.  One year, I asked him if he could teach me to vend too…I thought it would take a couple of days, and I would have it down.  Well, it took me nearly the whole first month, and when he left me on my own that first time, I cried and begged him not to, I just wasn’t ready!  He laughed, and said I would be fine, and he was right.  That first year at the train station in our village, I remember that I felt so vulnerable though, that I made a tape of my favorite Mozart songs to comfort me at the stand.  Mozart is great for feeling protected! 

Now chestnuts are part of my life here in Asheville, and I wanted to share some info about them.  First off, chestnuts are gluten-free, which means that everyone can enjoy them.  They are not nuts, but are a complete protein, which means you can live on them. 

Italian Chestnuts!
Italian Chestnuts!
       100 grams contains the following:
  •  protein: 12 grams
  •  fat: 3 g
  •  carbohydrates: 85 g
  •  calories: 200
  •  calcium: 36 mg
  •  beta-carotene: 168 mg
  •  vitamin C: 65 mg
  •  vitamin B1: 0.29 mg
  •  potassium: 707 mg
  •  magnesium: 1.3 g
  •  iron: 45 mg
  •  copper: 0.23 mg
  •  phosphorous: 87 mg

The next post is going to be one of my most favorite recipes for chestnuts….a very easy soup that anyone can make…until then, buy some chestnuts and store them in the lower compartment in your fridge.  Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to get them…there is only one harvest and they are their freshest and best NOW!

Sadhvi on Chestnuts, Fall and Switzerland



Ok, it’s fall, and it’s time to start letting go of the past.  That includes the memories of my summer garden and flowers.  I have aired out my woolen sweaters and will do my final garden planting next week.  I bought some “end of the season” deals at a local greenhouse…some Oriental Poppies and some Blue Veronica for $1 a pot!  I cleaned out my car and did some detailed deep cleaning; the furnace is serviced; the oil tank is full.  My Swiss husband will start roasting chestnuts next week,  and that, my dear reader, brings me to the reason I can say, without any hesitation, that I know I will make it through fall and winter: yes, freshly roasted chestnuts!  As long as I can remember, I have felt more than a wee bit melancholic about the prospect of cold, damp and cloudy days.  Growing up in Cleveland, I felt that winter was something that one simply endured.  There was not much sun; clouds were hanging low for weeks on end, and then there was the bitter cold and wind.  I felt quite some comfort in the fact that we were all in it together.  Why, even today I feel a certain compassion and kinship for anyone from the Northeast.  And living in the German-speaking part of Switzerland meant that, for us,  the winters were worse than the ones in Cleveland, with a cold dampness that seemed to go right to the bone.  I am even starting to feel uncomfortable just writing about it!  So, to help those that have the long fall and winter months to look forward to, I will start sharing in next week’s “Sadhvi Sez” what I know about chestnuts: my secret cure against the fall and winter blues.  Until then, start humming…and think spring!