Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Acorn Project

This fall I'm collecting acorns. I'm calling this whole thing "The Acorn Project". My cooking skills will help as I prepare various dishes using this high fat, good protein source that literally falls from the sky. Free for the taking.

Ok, its a bumper-crop year. The wildlife around here won't suffer, and I'm discarding anything with worm holes in it.

A girls got to have something to do. I'm not working this winter; taking sometime to explore options like writing, sewing, visiting family, and sharing stuff with my online friends.

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I'm really into the acorn project as a sustainable food source. I've read about Native Americans collecting enough acorns for two years during "masting" seasons such as we are experiencing this year. They also used to burn off areas of forest to kill bugs that invade acorns. Happily, oak trees are very tolerant of quick moving fires, making them the survivors in these burns. This gives them the advantage in the forest, providing future generations with acorns as well.

After the shell, or husk is removed, there are several options for preparing and storing the acorn meat which has the tannin removed.

We hear about acorn flour much more than simply using the nut as a salad garnish. I find the grinding of acorns and then shaping them into cakes a little more time consuming. Hence the exploration of chopping and mincing for preparation. Note: the processed dried acorn meat can break teeth. Rehydrate as you would any dried food by pouring boiling water over the nut meats and letting them soak up the water before using.

You can also dry the acorns in the shell for storage. Several websites mentioned that acorns can become rancid if left in warm or bright light because of their high fat content.

The Acorn Project will explore various ways to remove tannins, remove the husks, recipes which are cost effective and "green", and culminate in a video posted to my Youtube channel. In keeping with my low carbon footprint, minimalistic lifestyle, all these methods will be easy to duplicate by the triftiest of people.

Stay tunned. Happy Hunting and Gathering.

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