Merry Christmas To All!

[imagebrowser id=7]Every year I get into the holiday spirit early, but this year it took me awhile. Twas the night before Christmas Eve and I had to take a trip to 34th and Quintara to get in the mood. There’s a guy who owns the corner house that for every holiday puts up a display for everyone to see. Whether it’s Valentine’s day or St. Patrick’s day he does up the house, but Christmas is his biggest time of the year.

I have no idea what his name is, but tomorrow I’m going to knock on his door and introduce myself to him. Cars that drive by his house slow down and people bring their kids to have their pictures taken in front of the house. His house is so magically Christmasy that even during the day it looks beautiful. Why he hasn’t been written up in the paper yet is beyond me, but I’m hoping someone from the Chronicle or Examiner or even SF Weekly will stop by and interview him.

He works hard to do what he does and i feel he should be acknowledged for it. We take our daughter down every Christmas and Halloween [the two biggest times for this houses decorations] just to see that WOW look on her face. He is the Santa for all the kids that need something more than the mall Santa’s. He doesn’t get paid to do this, but he does it anyway. That’s a rare thing in this day and age and I feel he needs to be recognized for it.

If you get a chance, definitely go by and see his house. It is a wonderful Christmas tradition that is non-sectarian like the Christmas’ I knew as a kid. In honor of his work, I did a little work tonight and put together a video tribute to his house and it’s decorations. I hope you enjoy it and drive by and see his place. He and his wife are doing a great community service for what they are doing and they deserve an award. My video is the best I have to offer so far. I’ve included a slideshow at the top from pics I took last year and this year. While I can’t give a gift to all of my readers I hope you’ll all accept this. Enjoy!


Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Well, it’s the Christmas season and many years ago while attending the Dickens Faire in San Francisco we walked out and found a guy selling roasted chestnuts. This of course brought back to my mind the old song line Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… so I had to try some to see what they were about. I think we paid about $2 for  a newspaper wrapped cone of them. I was lucky enough to be able to try them again because some friends of mine dropped by last night and handed me a bag of them  That they had gotten from Skyline Chestnuts that they wanted to share with us.

Now I haven’t had a chance to roast these yet, but I have to say after looking at these nuts before they’re in the sellable form they’re pretty ugly. They look a bit like a hairy scrotum to be honest and to understand the reason why people would want to pop one of these in their mouth is kind of like my old question about broccoli, why would anyone be interested in eating something that smells like ass when it’s being cooked? Well chestnuts are different. After being roasted they have the consistency of a baked potato, but with a nutty and buttery flavor that rather interesting and no to shocking in taste. They don’t taste like ass one bit, but can actually be rather enjoyable.

I never had learned how to roast them as my family never got into them so I did some research and found that the trick is to first split them in a X shaped pattern prior to roasting them. Then pop them in an oven at about 425° for about 20 minutes turning them halfway. If you want them to have a more moist texture you should cut the X then soak them in water. Salted or not. I’m thinking salted water soak is the way I’ll go for these.

Christmas is one of those holidays that I don’t associate with Jesus being nailed to a pine tree. I just like the tree with the ornaments and lights and the warmth of your home in the winter cold that is hitting San Francisco this year. This time of the year is a time to celebrate the fact that we’ve made it through another year and hoping for ourselves and our friends that next year will be even better. If sticking a few hot salty nuts in my mouth helps bring this about, well then so be it.