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Down the Lane - Frugal Living - Natures Free Gifts - Chestnut and Hazelnut

Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, forgotten for foraging


The countryside is flooded with Hazelnut trees, they were planted years ago as Hedgerows and Coppices. They are ready for Harvesting about end of August - but get there before the Squirrels do !

They are quite easy to disqinuish by their long new yearly shoots growing up the side of the main trunk.

They are used mainly in Confectionery with chocolate and praline - so if you fancy a go - go for it !

You can also make Hazelnut Butter.

As the text on right states, Hazelnut makes excellant walking sticks. I use them for runner bean poles and my 'boot tidy'!

Young ready to be picked Hazelnuts are called 'Philberts'. This is because, according to legend, they should ripen on 20th.August - St.Philberts Day

The Health Benefits of Hazelnuts Click Here


Ah, memories ! There were times back in the 50's that my Dad would buy some roasted chestnuts outside Charing Cross station to eat on his commute back to Sevenoaks.
If he didn't, when they were ripe, my sister and I were sent to collect as many as poss and they'd slowly roast in the grate of the fire.
Something only those people with Open Fires, Agas or Rayburns can really appreciate.

Beside being used to eat roasted, you can apparently make flour out of it.

The wood is often used to make small items of furniture (it tends to crack and split in larger pieces) and some kinds of fencing.

Again, this wood is used to make dowsing pendulums.

Recipe for Chestnut Stuffing

450g / 1lb. chestnuts
150ml / 1/4pint chicken stock
salt and pepper
50g / 2oz Butter (melted)
100g / 4oz finely chopped Bacon (no rind) Slit the chestnuts skins ans simmer in water for 10 minutes. Peel while warm and return to the pan.
Add the stock and simmer gently for 15 minutes, then mash, sieve or liquidize.
Mix with the other ingredients. Put into te body of the chicken or turkey before cooking.
Spoon out to serve.        Serves 6-8


Hazelwood has long been a favourite to make staffs either for Druid use or medievil defence.
To this day, Shepherds and Pilgrims prefer this.
Naturally, it makes a very good walking stick !

Hazelnut Butter

Recipe ingredients
2 cups whole hazelnuts, toasted 3/4 teaspoon confectioners sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Recipe method
Place toasted hazelnuts with one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a blender container and grind on low speed. Continue to blend on low for several minutes, adding another tablespoon of oil if necessary. When butter is reasonably soft, blend on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until right texture is achieved. Slowly add the sugar and salt. Blend on low until thoroughly mixed.

Nature's Free Gifts

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves. Mahatma Gandhi