Many of our favorite fairy tales were told orally long before they appeared in book form. Travelers heard them and retold them, nannies told them, mothers and fathers told them to their children, we’ve all heard them, and some are thousands of years old. Frequently, authors took the liberty of publishing fairy tales, listing themselves as the author. They were NOT the original author and many of our fairy tales have been plagiarized like this for a variety of reasons, like greed and vanity and the fact that the tales were so old, the original author or authors had long since passed from the earth. The stories changed as they went through different territories, the term for the different versions of the same fairy tale are called variants. Hans Christian Andersen and Lewis Carroll are the original authors of their famous works. Suellen Ocean is the author of The Acorn Mouse, an illustrated children’s story designed to teach the art of gathering and eating acorns. Available here:
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Jerked meat is what the Midwestern Pioneers used to call Indian preserved meat. The Native Americans of the plains cut their deer and buffalo meat into thin strips and let it dry in the sun. The Pioneers referred to it as jerked meat. Native Americans had another interesting way of preserving meat and that was called pemican. Lean meat was dried and pounded very finely before being packed into sacks of hide. Dried and pounded meat was also mixed with suet (fat), sugar, raisins or berries and used by both Indians and explorers, probably French-Canadian trappers and traders, as the word pemican is both a Cree Indian word, pemikkan, and a French word for fat, pimiy. It was a successful way of preserving meat, and with the addition of the fat and fruit, was an early “energy bar.” Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973
Native Americans used and still use today, acorns from oak trees that grew around them. In the past, some Native American families ate hundreds of pounds of acorns every year. In the valleys of California there is a large oak with large acorns, the tree is called the Valley Oak. Of course, it was and still is a fine acorn and those living close to it have benefited from all the meat in these large acorns. But another acorn, a tiny one so bitter the Latin name is Quercus Revoltus, was probably used by Indians who lived in it’s habitat because they utilized the food that grew around them. One tribe buried their acorns in the wet ground until they turned pink because that made them sweeter. What was happening was the acorn was sprouting in the wet soil, turning it from a starch to a sugar state, making it much more palatable. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973
You’d laugh if you saw the miniscule amount of caffeine I’ve been consuming. After black tea proved too acidic, I was drinking weak coffee, which was really a cup of hot water with a coffee taste. In the early 90’s, when coffee houses were springing up everywhere, I very much enjoyed cups of black brew but I developed anxiety and stomach aches and had no idea it was the coffee. To combat the anxiety, I was using the herb valerian. Ironically I was putting a bit of the powdered herb into my coffee. When that didn’t work, I finally realized… Oh… it’s the coffee.
Habitual patterns come and go but memories of a time when I was calmer and a bit more peaceful, gave me strength to believe I didn’t need the “hurriedness” that caffeine imposed on my body. I’ve always been a bit “high strung” but omitting the caffeine has me returning to a calmer disposition, one I remember fondly. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973
Honeybees have dwindled in my garden and throughout the United States. I believe other countries are worried too. Scientists and bee keepers blame the use of pesticides but the large chemical corporations that profit from selling pesticides chose to blame it on other factors, like mites. Reuters News is reporting that the US Environmental Protection Agency has placed the protection of bees high on their priority list. The news is that the US has agreed to fund over $450,000 for research projects aimed at reducing the use of pesticides in order to protect honeybees. Here’s hoping the coming years will find much less pesticide use and a strong honey bee population to pollinate our crops. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973
Monarch butterflies nest in tree canopies. Due to the massive logging of forests, those tree canopies are disappearing and so are millions of Monarch butterflies. I saw less than ten last year. A Monarch is a big, golden brown butterfly with black and white marks on its wings. They love milkweed, but unfortunately pesticides have been wiping out milkweed, causing this magical butterfly to seriously dwindle in population. From New York to South America, the Monarch butterfly feeds on milkweed. In the early fall, in the north, Monarch butterflies have been known to appear in the millions before flying south. When the weather turns cold, the Monarch hibernates in tree canopies (if the canopies exist). When the spring comes, they come out of hibernation and travel back to the north. Let’s hope humans cherish these colorful butterflies so much, that we let the milkweed again flourish and we cherish our forests. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973
In 1897, a Dutch army surgeon, Christiaan Eijkman, fed chickens and pigeons strictly polished rice. The birds developed a nervous disease resembling beriberi, a disease common in countries that rely on rice as a large part of their diet. Dr. Eijkman then gave the birds a diet of rice bran and they were cured of this disease. Because rice bran holds the vitamins that had been removed from the polished rice, the birds were cured. This is why it’s very important that we eat whole grain products, because white rice and white flour products are lacking in those vitamins.
The industrial revolution brought modern milling procedures and thousands of people in Asia and Africa developed beriberi. Beriberi causes nerve inflammation that results in a loss of muscle tone in the arms and legs, weakness and rigidity. Before rice is milled, it contains bran and germ, which is high in vitamin B1. It’s wise to eat brown rice, whole wheat flour and always chose whole grains over processed.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973
Acorns are not nuts but to be honest, they definitely resemble them. The acorn is the fruit of the oak. Popular tree nuts are pistachio, Brazil, almond, walnut, cashew, hazelnut, and pistachio. Peanuts, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are not nuts, they are legumes. A tanoak tree is a hybrid cross between a chestnut and an oak tree. But then we have the question, is a chestnut a nut? The chestnut is a member of the oak and beech family. If you are allergic to chestnuts, you may consider this before eating tanoak acorns, but I’ve been teaching the art of eating acorns for over thirty years and I’ve yet to have anyone tell me they had an allergic reaction to acorns of any variety. If you haven’t tried leaching and eating acorns, I urge you to do so. Even in very small amounts, the acorn can add texture and flavor to many dishes. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973