Like many of you, I have a stack of older cookbooks that I browse occasionally for inspiration. “Cold-Weather Cooking” by Sarah Leah Chase reigns supreme as one of my favorites. This is the time of year, after all, for stews and soups that are perfect for warming you inside and out.
I’ll be honest; some of the recipes will challenge you. Those fit in the category of recipes to make during a snowstorm or other fitting weather event that will keep you indoors. Besides trying some new delicious recipes, I learned a very important lesson from this book. It is one which anyone who has older cookbooks around should know and will appreciate.
Chestnuts Roasting on the Open Fire
One of the asides in the book was how to make roasted chestnuts in the microwave. If you’ve never tried chestnuts, you are in for a pleasant surprise. They make a tasty addition to any stuffing recipe. Like many good things, they require a bit of effort.
I followed Chase’s advice about roasting chestnuts. The only problem was that I failed to consider one important fact: Chase’s book was written in 1990. Microwave instructions back then differ from today’s recipes with more powerful microwaves the norm.
I popped the chestnuts into the microwave. It didn’t take long for the kitchen—and the entire house—to fill with the nastiest, stinkiest smoke you could imagine. It took forever to clear out. Having the windows open on a cold winter day doesn’t make for a pleasant experience either. While ovens or stove cooking doesn’t present the same issues, my advice to you is this:
Always check the year of publication of a cookbook and adjust microwave times accordingly.
We laugh about it now. Who would have thought? I have since moved on to roasting chestnuts the old fashioned way—in the oven.
photo credit: pingendiartifex via photopincc