Acorn shell thickness varies from tree to tree. Tan Oak acorns are hard to crack open, while California Valley Oak acorns have a thin shell, that dries and splits open, allowing easy removal of the acorn.
The cracking method I’ve settled on for hard-shelled acorns, is to use the “Texan Nut Sheller.” It’s a hand-held pair of pliers with a sharp blade. It’s a dangerous tool around children but a must-have for acorn enthusiasts.
Whatever you do, have fun with acorn gathering. And don’t forget to make an acorn chocolate cake! 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
It is slim pickings in my neck of the woods this year. There are no acorns coming from the Blue Oak or the California Live Oaks on my property. And I see very few California Valley Oak acorns along the stream where they were prolific last year. I’m sure I will find acorns. My son lives in the California Coastal Mountain Range and I have a variety of elevations and ecosystems available to me here in the Sierra Foothills and further up into the mountains. I feel bad when I see the squirrels and the wild turkeys looking for them and not finding them.
I am pleased to note that the “Acorns And Eat’em” book will be available in ebook form on November 15th. You can order it here:
Let me know how the acorn harvest is this year in your neck of the woods.
I’ve been gathering and grinding acorns for over thirty-five years. I wrote the book on it… literally, and people always ask me, “Where can I buy acorn meal?” I never had a source. But now I do. And guess what? Her name is Sue. Not the same Sue as me but a Sue is a Sue and they seem to like acorns. I’ve checked out her website and it looks like the real deal. She’s even got a cafe and bakery. If you want to buy acorn meal, she sells it by the pound. It looks expensive but that’s because it is a lot of work to gather, shell, leach and prepare them. Here’s the link to Sue’s cafe and bakery: ttp://buyacornflour.com/product.php. Sue’s cafe is in Martinez, California. If you are in the area, pay her a visit and let me know what you think. 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
Let me start with the losers, that’s easy. Anything that sucks water. The winners are the little things… lady bugs, lizards, aphids… birds. These tiny creatures are at the bottom of the biotic pyramid but just as important as creatures at the top. Without lady bugs we’d have too many smaller bugs eating our produce. Same with lizards, they eat insects. And birds, wow. Some baby birds eat fourteen feet of worms in a day. Oh wait… we like worms, they build beautiful soil. But then imagine a world without worm predators, they’d be everywhere and they’d probably grow really large but worms like moisture so I’ll not worry about that… yet. I’ll just sit back and enjoy the proliferation of birds and honey bees that are sucking the nectar out of an abundance of wildflowers the drought has brought on in my neck of the woods. It’s dry out west, yes, and it’s not near as pretty a spring as usual. And in Lake County, some of the oak trees are suffering. That’s bad news. But it is what it is. When you need some good news, look deeper into nature…for the little things. There are always winners. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns available as a FREE download from Ocean-Hose. Find it here: http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/
If you have reached the point where you are about to cook up some acorns, congratulations. It means that you have probably hiked out into the yard or countryside and bent over many times and picked up acorns. Then you shelled them (which isn’t always easy). And you must have ground them and leached them and now you are ready to cook them so you can add them to your favorite recipes.
Acorns do not need a lot of cooking and I would not cook them at high heat because they will stick to the bottom. Just a little simmer, for about five or ten minutes will do the trick. Don’t overcook them, you may lose flavor that way.
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
It’s the time of year when acorns are just beginning to fall. Right now, in my neighborhood, they’re still green, but before long, they’ll be a luscious brown and ready to gather. Never cooked with acorns? I’m happy to solve that problem for you. With the reprint of my acorn cookbook and field guide, “Acorns and Eat’em”, you’ll find all the directions you need for identifying, leaching and cooking delicious foods with the acorns you gather. Whether it’s acorns in your omelet or acorns in your smoothies, you’ll find a wide variety of recipes. This book is 6X9 inches and will fit well into a large purse, briefcase or backpack. Acorns make every dish more delicious. Just make sure you save plenty for the wildlife! Suellen Ocean is the author of “Acorns and Eat’em”, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Available here:http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973
We get nuts, oils and fruit from trees but spending time with them brings energy and inspiration. They don’t speak to us in the manner that humans do but their longevity speaks volumes. What have we been through that they have not? One of my favorite big ol’ trees spreads a shady canopy over an old schoolyard. You can see where years ago, lovebirds carved their initials into it. The ancient tree has withstood fire danger and storms. Wet winters threatened fungus infestations while insects waited to make a home in its dead carcass. Next time you need inspiration, go find a wise old tree. Lean up against it and receive its embrace. Gain strength in the knowledge that you too can grow and prosper through life’s difficult times. I don’t know who said it but I’ll never forget it, “That great oak was once just a little nut that held its ground.” 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