Making Gravy Out of Acorns

My father taught me how to make gravy. Growing up in New Orleans, he worked as a chef around a lot of French cooking. He had plenty of praise for “browning flour.” He called browned flour “roux.” Browning flour takes a little skill because it burns easily. The best skillet to use is cast iron, along with a metal spatula to scrape the flour so it doesn’t burn. A quarter cup of flour is all you need. More finesse is needed to add liquid to the flour but hang in there. You can get the lumps out. Add the liquid slowly and make sure it’s not hot. Cold is best. It will become a paste and with more liquid, it will become the desired gravy consistency. The liquid should be flavorful. Soup stock is preferable, the tastier the better. You can either make your own or purchase it. To turn it into acorn gravy, you only need to add a quarter cup of acorns that has gone through the leaching process I explain in my book.

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

Flour, Butter and Sugar … Until You Get to New Orleans

I’m reading an old cookbook written before WWII, showcasing different regions in the United States and sharing their traditional recipes with us. I’ve read pages and pages of recipes so far, and one thing most of the recipes have in common are flour, butter and sugar, over and over again. Until you get to the section on New Orleans. The various cultures who called Louisiana home (African, French, Spanish, Native American, etc.) combined with the availability of game in the swamps, a climate enabling early fruits and vegetables in great varieties and an array of seafoods, are why New Orleans became delightfully world famous for it’s delicious foods when a lot of the rest of America was figuring out twenty different ways to make flour, butter and sugar taste different. But we’ve been hearing for years that Americans eat too much sugar and how it isn’t good for us. Olive oil is being substituted a lot for butter and those on low carb diets desire cutting back on bread and flour. Butter and sugar are two ingredients we need to use moderately (some people not at all). It isn’t always easy but we’ll probably maintain better health if we do.

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: