Yes, the summer has just begun but before you know it, your favorite oak trees will be bursting forth with green acorns. As the days shorten, the acorns will turn brown and drop to the ground. That’s when you grab your basket and start gathering. The acorns will look beautiful in a basket sitting on your mantle or kitchen table but don’t leave them there very long. Get cracking. If there are any worms in them, they will eat your acorns and make them unappealing. They will still be good to eat, a few nibbles from them won’t hurt but make haste. Crack them and either freeze them for later leaching or leach them and then freeze them. Acorn chocolate cake… I can taste it now. 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
Sometimes there is a problem with acorns being infested with worms. They can ruin your whole basket of acorns if you leave them to it. There are a couple of ways I solve this problem. First off, I usually recognize that I’ve gathered some worms along with my acorns. You can tell because the acorn will have a little dot or little hole in it. If you’re lucky the worm didn’t get too far into the acorn. Once they do though, they will chew through the whole thing and a basket of acorns can turn to dust in no time. If you have a wood stove, place the acorns near the stove where the heat will kill the worms. If you have sunny weather, place them in the hot sun, open in a basket. You can also go ahead and shell them and dispose of the worms but if you won’t be getting around to them for awhile, try the wood stove or the bright sunshine (I live in sunny California).
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