A kilo of chestnuts..
Well, lunch is over. And went alright, despite (daily) problem of Granny rarely starting anything till a couple of hours before and Beloved having to have everything ready by yesterday - in a state of rare anxiety if it isn't.
Now (contrary to above) Granny is faced with shelling a kilo and a half of chestnuts. Along with requesting her baby-sitting services for the whole of Christmas Eve, Beloved (truly) Daughter-in-law asked 'could you make your Christmas stuffing?' Granny can and will. But since shelling the things for latter, incompatible with fulfilling former, it has to be done here. Can't imagine too many of her fellow passengers will have large bag of Spanish chestnuts, processed as above, on flight home. The chestnuts are a yearly event in her family - long-used French recipe from Elizabeth David, always in demand. (The secret is adding apples and leaving out the bread, and the sausage-meat.) You can use tinned chestnuts but it isn't the same.
There are few years that Granny hasn't spent Christmas with sore finger-nails - the chestnut shells pierce into the quick. Only year she didn't suffer them was because she went to Timbuctu. Yes, really. It was an attempt - wholly successful, not to say bizarre not to say wonderful- to get away from being, she was a lone woman then, the ghost at everyone else's feast. Not so long ago. But in life with Beloved now, it seems so. (They are not in fact spending Christmas day with each other this year; his family's needs duties and hers are at odds. It doesn't matter. New Year's Eve will do. Not to mention all those other, many, days and nights.)