Monday, October 4, 2010

Gathering and Smashing

Yesterday, Chris got busy constructing a device to hold firewood (made from recycled lumber), and loading it up. While he did all of that manly lifting, I did some traditional women's work. . .

. . .shelling acorns! Yes, that's right, for eating. Humans around the world have eaten acorns as a staple for far longer than they have eaten today's cultivated grains. I had never tried acorns before, but I hated to see our tree's last crop wasted.

Behind me is the rest of the tree, all chipped up for mulch.

How to shell acorns: find round rock. Hit acorn.

This is what a bad acorn looks like. Silly me, I stored my first batch of acorns indoors in a sealed tupperware for a few days. This cause many of them to get yucky like this. Acorns need to be dried in the sun immediately, or perhaps soaked in water, or refrigerated.

Now this acorn looks yummy! Being a white oak, these acorns should be sweeter than red oaks, but I still found them to have an unpleasant raw flavor. The texture is lovely, though - soft like a chestnut, but less grainy.

I had to put down my rock and forage for more acorns to get the two cups of nutmeats that my acorn bread called for. Alas, the wildlife had cleaned up most of the nuts, and those remaining had been out in the rain, and were busily germinating. I was frustrated until it occurred to me to crack open a germinating acorn. Voila! Perfect nut meat. And of course: a living nut wouldn't be rotting, would it?

Two hours got me two measly cups of nutmeats, which felt even more pathetic in comparison to Chris' filled wood wrack. But oh, look at how much wood he has left to go! And I can't help him with the lifting, since I am pregnant. Sorry Chris!

Next: acorn bread!


Karen said...

You were both busy! I hope you keep us posted on the acorn bread, after all your work, it will probably be extra-delicious.

Pam J. said...

Would love to see a report on the acorn bread. 2 hrs = 2 cups isn't so bad actually. That's a fair amount of protein don't you think??