While hearing the merry words, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" from "The Christmas Song" may get us in the holiday mood, they also are a reminder that now is the time to purchase and enjoy fresh chestnuts.
Most are imported from France and Italy, but there are some local fresh chestnuts. According to the mail-order catalog Earthy Delights of DeWitt, Mich., chestnut groves are once again found throughout Michigan. Chestnut Growers Inc., is a cooperative made up of Michigan chestnut farmers who grow, harvest, process, and peel the chestnuts they grow. Chestnuts, once again in season, will be available through Christmas at $5.75 per pound unshelled. Frozen American Chestnuts that are already peeled are available year-round at $15 per pound, according Beth Miller of Earthy Delights. To order, call 800-367-4709 or see www.earthy.com.
They also are available at local markets.
In addition, the second annual Feast of the Chestnut will be held for lunch and dinner Dec. 7 at the Hathaway House, 424 West Adrian St. in Blissfield. Reservations are recommended. The menu includes Chestnut-Wild Mushroom Soup, Fettuccine with Chestnuts, Smoked Bacon and Sage (dinner only), Chestnut and Apple Stuffed Pork Loin with Winter Vegetable Ragout, and Chestnut-Chocolate Cake with Chestnut-Caramel Ice Cream. Lunch will be 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner is 5 to 9 p.m. Three courses are $13.95 and four courses are $18.95. For reservations, call 517-486-2141.
The Angel Wings on Lagrange WinterFest & Craft Show will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Zablocki Senior Center, 3015 Lagrange St. in the Polish International Village. The festival features sales of chruschiki, or angel wings, a tasty Polish holiday pastry. Half-pound containers of the pastry will sell for $5, or $4 when two or more are purchased. Pre-orders are being taken, with free delivery on Dec. 16 for locations that place orders for four or more containers. Call the Lagrange Development Corp. at 419-255-8406.
In addition, there will be ice-sculpting by Chef Doug Corcoran of St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center on the front lawn of the senior center.
Mainstreet Ventures' Executive Chef Simon Pesusich will discuss and sign his cookbook Distinctive Recipes from Distinctive Eateries (Huron River Press, $35) from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 15 at Ciao!; 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 16 at Zia's Italian at the Docks, and 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 17 at Real Seafood Co. at the Docks.
A basic candy-making course, Create Your Own Christmas Candy Gift Basket, will be taught from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Owen's Workforce and Community Services building on Tracy Road in Northwood. Class instructor Linda Hendricks, owner of Creations by Linda, will feature hard candy, nut patties, buckeyes, and mints. Participants also will make baskets that can be used to give as gifts. The fee is $15. Participants need to bring their own basket to carry their candies home. To register call 567-661-7357.
Food Fest by Gail Guggenheim, an annual culinary weekend at Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa in Morgantown, W. Va., will be Jan. 27 to 29.
The weekend begins at 8 p.m. Friday with a Just Desserts cooking class by George Geary, pastry chef and author of 125 Best Food Processor Recipes. Following a continental breakfast on Saturday, there will be sessions such as Comfort Food by Tom Johnson, culinary instructor at Western Reserve School of Cooking in Hudson and Sur La Table in Columbus, and A Taste of West Virginia by Teresa Halloran of West Virginia Department of Agriculture.
The weekend concludes with a Specialties of the House cooking class by Joe Nolan, executive chef at Cafe Allegro in Pittsburgh.
Cost of the event is $349 per couple and includes two nights' lodging, continental breakfasts, dinner Saturday night, and all classes and tastings. For reservations, call 800-624-8300.