I was sitting in front of the fire reading this evening when I remembered that I had bought some chestnuts at the grocery store this week. I had chestnuts. I had a sorta-kinda "open" fire....well, what else was to be done but attempt some roasting, right?
(Legal disclaimer: This was probably totally unsafe, so don't do as I do, K? K.)
Lacking any type of roasting apparatus, I decided to just place the chestnuts on a large log in the middle of my fire, and see what happened. I pierced them with a knife first so they wouldn't explode, and then very gingerly used a combo of my fingers and our fireplace tongs to sit them on my log. It actually worked very well. I had a few that were a little ashy, but since you peel the skin off anyway--eh, no harm done. I let each one roast for just a few minutes, until the skin started to peel back, then it was off the fire (definitely using the tongs) and into my bowl for peeling. (The info sheet that came with the chestnuts said they're much easier to peel when hot.)
They were pretty tasty too--all warm and rich and nutty. I definitely couldn't eat more that a few, but I could see spending a satisfying winter's night in front of the fire just peeling them. And Moe and Porter enjoyed sampling the one's I just couldn't quite choke down!