Lost tales

The journey back to Scotland from Devon is a long one so we’ve broken it with Big Dreamer’s parents in Yorkshire. Rain is pattering on the chimney cowl, echoing down the flue to where I’m sitting. As we were driving along yesterday Big Dreamer and I mused happily over the weeks we have been away. I remembered so many little titbits I had meant to tell you about but that had got lost in the flurry of activities. Here is one that made it as far as my sketchbook.

We had walked up onto a big stretch of common land near to where my parents live. The months of heavy rain showed clearly in the landscape where sandy banks had given way and big trees had lost their footing. We spotted a badger’s front door and possibly one of his back doors too. Most of the trees I recognised as oak, beech, and lots of holly. There was one tree however that was particularly prolific and I didn’t know it at all. I took a leaf home and discovered they were Sweet Chestnut trees. How wonderful!

Sweet Chestnut trees are honorary natives to Britain, originally brought here by the Romans. I was so pleased to see them because we love to eat sweet chestnuts but have always bought them from a shop. I like to make a cross in the shells with a sharp knife, boil them up, peel them, then add them to winter stews. It got me all excited about trying out chestnut-based recipes, particularly the Castagnaccio you can read about in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s article here. Wouldn’t it be all the better if I had my very own wild patch of Sweet Chestnut trees to harvest from?!

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One Response to Lost tales

  1. Rosie Turner says:

    Yes Han it’s really me, your lil’sis writing on your blog and yes, I have actually sat down with a cup of tea and have really enjoyed reading it. Keep it up big sis you are so good at all this creative stuff. Very proud of you. Big hugs

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