A fairly large stretch of Malmö's main canal is lined with what my Midwestern US childhood taught me are Buckeye Trees, but the rest of the world would call Horse-Chestnut Trees. I did not recognize them as such until the first autumn I lived here and came across the Buckeyes on the ground underneath them. It tickled me to no end to find such a strong reminder of home so far away from it, and my Swede rolled her eyes a bit when I slipped a few of them into my jacket pocket the first time.
By the following fall I had been given a small autumnal-themed glass dish that was the perfect home for Buckeyes, and I made a point to collect enough to fill it. Even Dr. Darling had to acknowledge what a nice-looking display it made on one of our coffee tables. The nuts are glossy and beautiful when they are new, but also dry very nicely.
And so the year after that, the Swede joined me in the gathering them…forcing us to upgrade to a much larger ceramic bowl. This past summer, we also discovered they are the perfect size and weight for our Goddaughter to slide across the wood floor in our living room…resulting in hours of entertainment for everyone involved.
I've learned over the the years that getting a nice batch of Buckeyes from the trees along the canal is pretty much a matter of timing and luck. The pods come down during a relatively brief window and generally break open when they hit the ground, so you want to try to get to them before the reddish-brown nuts get too much exposure to the elements, nibbled on by a squirrel or rabbit, or crushed underneath someone's feet. The prettiest and most pristine Buckeyes are the ones that are still encased in the pod when you find them…and as you can see by the photos, we hit the jackpot this week.
But the best part of the operation for me was watching Dr. Darling embrace the task with such enthusiasm. We're talking "kid in a candy store" levels of energy, here. Who's rolling her eyes now?