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
Follow the adventures of Acorn while he ventures into the home of “the lady” whom Acorn has caught stealing his acorns. She gathers, leaches and grinds the acorns in a blender, infuriating the little mouse until he realizes what benefits he might retrieve. Children introduced early into the art of eating acorns will learn that nature provides not just grocery store produce but wild foods from the forest.
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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Whether it be soup, stews, dressings, desserts or dips, acorns provide an appealing depth of color. There have been quite a few gatherings where I have brought an acorn dish only to find the young and old gathered around it as if they couldn’t get enough. Is there something in this wild food that our bodies are longing for? Acorns also contribute a wonderful texture to any dish. Seek out Suellen Ocean’s website for a free download of her book, Acorns and Eat’em.
When leaching acorns, the ratio of water to acorns is important. Acorns are rather starchy and when they’re dry, they soak up a lot of water. I probably use more water than is necessary but I usually say 3 parts water to one part acorns. For example, if you have one cup of acorns, I recommend using at least three cups of water when you put them into the blender to leach them. That’s probably enough. It’s fine if you use more water than that. If you have several cups of acorns, only grind one cup at a time. And don’t forget to take the shells off first!
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