The blue of the sky and the green of the walnut trees give no clue of the morning chill. As we approach the autumnal equinox, it gets more and more difficult to get up with the sun, which I missed at 6:40 AM today. About a week ago, the first signs appeared that my body is getting ready to move into hibernation modus. I don’t need to drag myself out of bed yet, but that will come soon enough. No more yogurt with honey and almond butter for breakfast, a luxury of the summer. My body needs warmth in the morning, and usually that means oatmeal with either stewed fruit or dried fruit.
Even with different fruit to add variety, oatmeal can get old very quickly, and it isn’t even winter yet. An expedition through the pantry recovered a jar of chestnut flour that should be consumed by October of this year. Bingo. In fact, we’re at the start of the chestnut season. Time to visit the Castanea sativa trees in my neighborhood and guess when they will start dropping their prickly packaged fruit into my lap (and with luck not on my head). Soon the Maronibrater, or chestnut vendors, will be on every corner in town selling roasted chestnuts.
Native to Asia Minor and southern Europe, sweet chestnut trees are another tasty and nutritious legacy of the Romans and are found most frequently in wine producing areas. Medieval Renaissance woman Hildegard von Bingen prized chestnut along with fennel and spelt as the three top nourishing foods. The chestnut is good for the immune system and gives you strength. Sounds like the perfect food for a cool fall morning.
1/2 cup chestnut flour
1 cup water
1/2 Tbs raisins
1/2 Tbs pine nuts
Whisk together flour and water until there are no clumps. Add raisins and pine nuts and pour into a greased individual size baking dish.
Bake at 200°C/400°F for thirty minutes or longer until the top forms a crust that looks appetizing to you. When you break through the crust with your spoon, the mixture below should have been transformed into a pudding. Serves one.
With this warm breakfast in my belly, I should be able to get through my still quite long to-do list that has been keeping me away from blogging more often.