Tag Archives: chestnutsroastingonanopenfire

Fresh Roasted Chestnuts, Laughing, and Judy Garland and Mel Singing to You

Sakshi the Swiss Chestnut Roaster
Sakshi the Swiss Chestnut Roaster in Asheville

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Really.  Because it’s that time of the year that is the most hectic, with all the shopper’s and all their frustrations, and all the family gathering’s that have to be planned and all the gifts that must be bought and wrapped and then it gets dark so early and it’s cold and maybe it’s gonna be bad weather and! and! and!

Since I bake and send my gifts to my family, I don’t shop, I don’t do any family gatherings, and, we don’t have kids.  We don’t even celebrate Christmas.  Actually, I kind of like it that the more crazy it gets “out there”, the more I slow down and go inside.

Plus, it’s that special time of the year where I can get my fill of one of my most favorite foods: Fresh Roasted Chestnuts!

I get to help out at the Chestnut Stand, which I LOVE to do.  It is such a pleasure to smell the chestnuts roasting.  To watch people.  Look at their shoes.  Sing my favorite Christmas Song with customers: Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire (The Christmas Song).

To notice how many people are not aware of walking because they are texting or reading a text.  Or an email.  Or on FaceBook.  It’s kinda weird.  But that makes the ones that look me in the eye and smile from their heart really special.  It fills me up.  Oh, there are lots more babies this year.  And lots of them are laughing.

And more people are into chestnuts this year.  Maybe because chestnuts are so good tasting and so good for you?  A complete protein (you can live on them…cooked or raw), they are low in fat.  And alkaline.

This year, when someone asks for a sample, I say that it will cost them a quarter or a good joke (i.e. “chicken crossing the road jokes” do not count!).  It’s been fun.  It also been interesting to see how many people do not know a good joke – unbelievable!

The other day a small boy, maybe 6, who has been coming to the stand since he was a baby, doesn’t want a sample, he wants a large bag of chestnuts, but he wants to tell me his favorite joke.  Which is funny.

Then he says, “So who gets the money?”  It’s me.  Because I am the only one there.  My husband is someplace else.  He gives me the money, I give him the chestnuts, and then he says, “You know, I can’t tell you how shocked I was to find out you are the Chestnut Man’s wife!”.  We all cracked up and laughed and laughed.  I can’t tell you why that was so funny, but it felt so good.

And that is what makes this season special…there is so much of everything, including love and laughter.

Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!




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”.