First Thing in the Morning… a Sharp Knife and a Good Cutting Board

In the morning, before I get up, I think about what I’m going to fix for breakfast for my hubby and myself and what kind of sandwiches I’m going to make for his lunch. Because I am still half asleep, when I get downstairs to the kitchen, I like a sharp knife and a large wooden cutting board. Standing at the counter cooking at 7:30 in the morning is one of many things I do to keep healthy and energized and having a sharp, long, slender, serrated steel knife that slices through tomatoes quickly, on top of a stable, wooden cutting board, gets the job done. The sooner I get the breakfast routine done, the sooner I can move on to things I really enjoy, like gardening, writing and ironically, cooking and baking… once I’ve woken up.CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

Food and Cooking… Toasted Acorns


I gathered up a basket of beautiful, slender Valley Oak acorns last week. They’re easy to shell because the shell is thin. I didn’t wait for them to dry because I was concerned about worms eating them, but if I had, the dry acorns would have split by themselves, making it easy to remove the acorns. So for days, I stared at the white acorns lying in a bowl. They were so fresh, I wanted to let them dry a bit before I processed them. But every day I looked at that bowl and said, “I wonder what they would taste like if I toasted them in the oven before I leached them?” Almonds and sunflower seeds are tasty that way, why not acorns? I did it and I just turned the oven off. The shelled acorns are lying on a cookie sheet. When they cool, I’ll run them through the blender and begin the leaching process. It will be weeks before I’ll be cooking with them but I will be sure to let you know if toasted acorns are noticeably different. Stay tuned…

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here:–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

Watch the how-to video, Acorns and Eat’em

Food & Cooking… Do Spice Cabinets Lie?

I have a sister-in-law who insists she’s not handy in the kitchen and yet when I looked into her spice cupboard it was well stocked. And well used. How do I know this? I know because I saw spice dust on the little jars and there was a slight disarray to them. I’ve seen plenty of tidy little spice cupboards with unused bottles of spices. They stick out like unopened presents under a Christmas tree.

I am not one to condemn those who don’t enjoy cooking. Laboring in the kitchen is not everyone’s favorite pastime. However, there is something about a spice cabinet. It conveys how someone genuinely feels about cooking. Everyone can have pretty things in their kitchen. But when it has spice dust on it… watch out. Spice cabinets don’t lie.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

eBook through Barnes & Noble: