Chestnut Chews

Job and Flat hunting have become my latest obsessions. When I'm not trying to complete my assignments for my styling course, I'm trawling the net for that perfect abode and even more perfect employment status to go with. It's all part of my current reinvention.

At college I got every job I applied for - interviews are my thing - so I never really experienced failure in that way. I already had my teaching job lined up before I'd graduated and from there I went straight to Drama School and then into the world of acting. Here, I experienced many many rejections, however, as it's par for the course in the business, I stoically took every rebuff on the chin, dusted myself off and promptly got back in the saddle (so to speak - I'm not condoning/condemning horseback riding).

Anyhoo, now that i'm venturing into the world of fashion, a certain fear has suddenly overtaken me. The fear of failure. As far as I'm concerned, this is my chance to make a real career for myself and the thought of not succeeding has rendered me a bag of nerves. So, when, after applying for my first ever stylists assistant job in London, I managed to bag myself an interview, I almost pooped myself with excitement but was also completely gripped with.....fear.

Fear. It's an unfamiliar emotion. I have never been the fearing kind. My normal response is to dive head first into anything and everything. I'm a trier. I don't say, I do. I like to grab the bull by the horns (again, just a turn of phrase - oh God, this isn't going well....ahem) and give things a whirl, whatever the outcome may be. I'm pretty certain if I didn't possess this gung ho attitude, I wouldn't have accomplished even a quarter of what I have to date.

Why then, am I now suddenly wracked with worry and fear? I'm in the prime of my life and yet more than a little concerned this may be my metaphorical last chance saloon. I'm so anxious the life I've envisaged for myself (I want a mortgage godammit!) will never materialise because when I should've been climbing up the career ladder I was prancing around on stage, singing, swaying and talking nonsense, all for the satisfaction of a round of applause. There was a period (in the not so distant past) when all that mattered to me was performing and whether I got paid was simply an added bonus. How times have changed. Show me the money!

Of course, I don't regret one moment but that doesn't mean I don't think about where I would hypothetically be if I had taken a different path earlier in my life. Then again, maybe I wouldn't be the same person. Surely all my experiences, choices and happy accidents have shaped the person I am today? Perhaps the determination to succeed in this new industry would not be so fierce if I hadn't lived the life of a struggling actor. Maybe I wouldn't appreciate how glorious stability can be if I hadn't spent months away from my Husband on tour. Clearly, I need to wise up and shake this silly, unnecessary and inconvenient fear once and for all. I need to (wo)man up and get on with it.

What has all this got to do with with Chestnut Chews? Absolutely bog all. They taste flaming awesome though, so, enjoy!

Words of wisdom and encouragement more than welcome x

chestnut chews


5 medjool dates

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup oats

3 tsp flaxseed meal

pinch of pink Himalayan salt (or rock salt)

2 heaped tsp sweetened chestnut puree


place the oats, pecans and walnuts into the hand blender/food processor and grind to a coarse powder.

stone and roughly chop the medjool dates and place them in the blender along with the flaxseed meal and chestnut puree. Blitz until the mixture comes together in a thick rubble - you may need to periodically scrape down the sides with a spatula.

take 2 tsp amount in you hands and roll into a ball. place on some greaseproof paper and repeat - you should get approx ten balls out of the mixture.

place the 'chew's' into the fridge or freezer and allow to set for an hour or two.

then, chew away!

dessert, veganAine Carlin