Chestnuts Roasting by an Open Lake

Shoreline Lake salutes the finger-warming holiday treat.

THE FOODS OF FA LA LA: It's the kind of question you'd expect to get over a holiday party board game night: What are the most common foodstuffs mentioned in our most timeless carols? Candy canes are up there, indeed, as is that basis for so much seasonal sweetness, sugar. But a popular entry, and one that's stuck around in our songs even as its own common popularity has waxed and waned, is the chestnut. Nope, we're not saying it isn't wonderful, because it is: meaty, large, full of soft textural goodness, too. But one is more likely to spy walnuts and pecans on display, even in December. The chestnut, though, reigns on in song, meaning that we should all pause at least once, come the yuletide, to savor a cone. Yes, a paper cone, which is how roasted chestnuts have long been served. Where, though, to find a bag full of fire-toasty nutty yum-a-tude? (Yes, we're allowed to use "yum-a-tude" come the holidays without eyebrows being raised.) Mountain View's own Shoreline Lake is kicking off some open-fire, paper-cone chestnut-style goodness over several days in December.

DATES, DETAILS, AND DELICIOUSNESS: There are six days of chestnut-fire-cooking-paper-cone-ing set to go down at The Lakeside Cafe: Dec. 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, and 22. The hours are specific, mid-day, mostly, with a few afternoon roasting sessions, so eye all before turning your auto -- we mean, uh, bell-covered sleigh -- for the Silicon Valley recreational area.

IF CHESTNUTS AREN'T YOUR BAG... there's a wine-tasting series, too, at The Lakeside Cafe. Although doesn't wine, too, get its carol-singing due? Maybe chestnuts and Cabernet would make the ideal holiday pairing.

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