They are (I came to learn) among the lowest in tannins.
First you gather (fun part, if you’re a natural hoarder).
Then you crack and peel (more fun than expected).
A few of simple moves: grab an acorn (so smooth it might jump out of your fingers) , balance the thing on its tip, and tap the rounded end with a hammer.
At first I was working with a normal v-shaped nutcracker, and it took a minute or so per nut. Then CC (the primitive in the above shots) decided to join me for a smash-a-thon.
I went for a second hammer, after watching him tap six or seven, then peel them, assembly-line fashion.
The most recent batch are unblemished–no worm-veins or mold. Not that a few worms would stop me.
The bowls filled up.
We kept popping the nuts.
“It’s kind of hard to stop!” CC grins.
With a couple of grocery sacks full of good dry acorns, and a paltry couple of mixing bowls (small) filled, it’s obvious that we will need about ten or twenty hours to get it all ground up in the old fashioned grain mill. CC mollified the hand-cranked apparatus to take a drill bit, while I pounded the nuts into the hopper And then: where to store our damp acorn meal?
The mash has the most delicate wood-and-nutty aroma, nothing at all like other nuts we know.
Then you leach out the tannins: Soak in a bowl draped in linen or cheeseclothx3, strain, repeat with fresh water. Use the brownish water in the garden. In a couple days the mash will not taste at all bitter.
Since I’d already done a batch of nuts in my crummy blender four days ago, I had coarse, but still quite fine to eat, nutmeat to play with the last few days. Here are the pancakes I made:
1/3 cup wheat flour (or potato flour if you’re gluten intolerant) ,
2/3 cup acorn mush,
a cup of ‘bad’ milk (or good)
3 pinch salt
1/2 TB baking poudre
Hot iron skillet…medium flame, good spatual..
They were pure heaven.
So satisfying that even Mr. Eats-Every-Two-Hours was able to go four hours until his next gluten-free meal.
I may try to live a few weeks without wheat some day, but I’m not ready (nor have I any digestive problems) to live a breadless existence. I think I’d need to move to Japan, where rice-based cuisine is the norm.
But maybe there can be an acorn-based diet around here (again).
Nutrient-dense…and maybe even a future local industry for bored teenagers. Estimated cost of a pound of the meal: $110.00 given the four wombat-hours it took to fabricate.
From free ingredients (well, mostly).
It’s enough to make you persuade you that the cosmos bestows precisely what creatures need…
All we know is, we love those trees even more…