Chestnuts were roasted on an open fire at an outdoor gathering we attended for charity just before Thanksgiving. Sans Bing, a piano, belted fluffy robe, fire-hazard Christmas tree, or racist trope Mamie – sincere apologies to Louise Beavers and the young actors who portrayed her children. “I knows Miss Linda likes I knows my own children.” Her character roasts up old Jonesie the turkey for Mr. Jim who cannot eat Mr. Jones because, “a slicker stole his gal.” Man, we are oftentimes a shitty race. Back to chestnuts, which is a hilarious compound word. Who came up with that? Etymology says it’s derived from the old English via Latin via Greek words for the tree – some form of chesten, plus “nut” for the fruit. It is thought that the Greeks cultivated and popularized the tree and fruit after bringing seeds from Asia a few millennia or so ago.
Which reminds me of the time I invented a similar compound word. It was a lifetime ago when I first noticed I was over-gifted in the upper area of my body plus sweat patterns therein and began referring to that area as my chesticles. I thought I was SO funny until BrotherHerisme reminded me that testicles aren’t just sweaty orbs, but also hairy and was that how I wanted to refer to my chest. Hard pass – at least until I age enough out of estrogen to where this becomes an apt description. But by then, I think, the moniker won’t be as funny. I’ll just be a saggy old lady with actual chesticles, if I roast and sweat… which I will… once I pop into my sauna post midwinter inground heated salt water swimming pool dip. I asked a contractor about putting in a pool once. He offered to grab a shovel out of his truck and dig a big hole for me that I could throw money into from time-to-time and save us both a lot of trouble. C’mon man, if I’m biologically doomed to have actual chesticles, at least indulge me with this dream. *Sigh*
Try again – back to chestnuts. I’d forgotten how fun and tasty roasted chestnuts are! Yummmm We ate them out of an insulated little pot a young woman with an awesome wrap-around thick braid, was carrying around. SonHerisme ran off to the adjoining field for an impromptu pick-up football game with buddies (known and unknown). The money raised from the event, sponsored by a group of female family law attorneys, was for a local organization helping domestic violence victims. We have domestic violence victims in every community – please find your local dv support organization and help them too. Being a dv victim is unsettling to say the least. I am so very extremely lucky in my circumstances, where many/most are not. It is odd that we do not have a better collective plan for preventing and supporting domestic violence victims since it’s such a ubiquitous human issue. It’s always somehow “shocking!” Everyone knows someone who was molested, raped, financially/emotionally/physically abused. Its what the humans do. I wish we did not, but we do.
And yet, we can also find beauty, comfort, warmth and satisfaction in a little brown, hard crusted, hairy lined, potato consistency, smokey flavored, hot, fragrant chestnut in a pot shared with friends.
Love Ms. Herisme xoxo
ps. We watched Holiday Inn again this weekend. SonHerisme wants to know why I want to watch it every year when it is so racist. For the music, the shoes, and the reminders of how racism was a culturally acceptable popular way of life, despite lives sacrificed for equity, not that long ago.