Archive for November, 2010

The Fresh (and Dried) Chestnut Roundup: Selecting, Storing, Roasting and Peeling, with recipes

Chestnuts are one of my favorite foods. Every year when they reappear I greet them with almost unseemly gladness, so not surprisingly they have made a number of appearances here.

Fresh Chestnuts, Roasting Them, Peeling Them, Putting them In The Stuffing has tips, tools, and techniques.

Recipe posts include

brussels spouts with chestnuts

Leafy Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts,

a modern take on an old favorite, and

red cabbage and chestnuts

Stir Fried Red Cabbage with Dried Chestnuts

another new twist on an old standard and in that same post a very easy because you use dried chestnuts White Chocolate Chestnut Candy.

Speaking of which (candy, not easiness) there’s also a post with full instructions for

marrons glaces, glazed and sugared

Home Made Marrons Glacés

So although I love and adore them I figured we’d pretty much come to the end of what I had to say.  But then I mail-ordered some ‘Marroni’ directly from the grower

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Coconut Pumpkin Brioche – and Triple Coconut Sticky Buns

brioche ring with coconut crust

Winter Squash Brioche with Coconut Crust, where all this started out.

Backstory: Two years ago at around this time, I used the picture above as the coda to a long list of good things to make out of leftover mashed winter squash (an item that many of us will soon have in copious amounts).

What I did not do was post the relevant recipe – even after I was very politely asked. Why? Because the recipe didn’t exist.

That’s the great thing about bread. Unlike cake, you can just make it up as you go along, starting with pureed squash, for instance, faking your way toward brioche and then playing around with the dough.

The result was certainly good enough to revisit, but what with this and what with that I never did, so I never took the notes that add up to a recipe. Until now.

 coconut pumpkin brioches

Here they are

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Eric’s Pet Plant: Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

bald cypress taxodium disticum fall color

This bald cypress is roughly nine feet high, with a spread of about four feet. Its coppery fall colors show off well against the yellow of the River Birch (Betula nigra) in the background. Not visible in Eric's snapshot are the yellow Clethra, the red and purple Itea and other plants typical of East Coast swamp lands.

As autumn takes hold over at Marsh Gardens, our friend Eric turns his attention to one of Yale’s more educational plantings, a small native bog display. There’s not much chance his bald cypress trees will attain the majesty of those in the southern swamps, but with any luck they’ll grow large enough to show how much beauty these deciduous conifers can confer on a landscape.

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The Last Rose of Summer (Mr. Lincoln maybe)

As usual, it’s on the bush beside the barn, a bush that was here (and already venerable) when we arrived 20 years ago.

red hybrid tea rose. Mr lincoln???

Mr. Lincoln, I presume?

I think it may be Mr. Lincoln, but then again not being a rose person I tend to think all fragrant deep red/black long stemmed hybrid teas are Mr. Lincoln, aka Mister Lincoln, which again not being a rose person I usually call Abraham Lincoln, even though – thank you Rogers Roses – there is no rose by that name.

Whatever it is, I offer it as evidence that plants can sometimes thrive where they have no business living at all, something to keep in mind when attending end-of-year plant sales.

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