Greetings, lovers of righteous food!
Thank you so much to all who attended the first CSK event of the season on November 15. We’re writing now to share some photos from that fabulous day and update you on the progress of the acorn processing.
We started the day with tons of acorns! Here you can see some red acorns that have been attended to by our fabulous acorn-cracking team.
Beleza and Geraldine with their hammers and nut-cracking boards (with ingenious divets drilled by Michelle -these kept the nuts from flying all over the garden after being struck).
Keoki Hala and Star Galaxy One shelling white acorns. While the red acorns needed the hammer treatment, these white acorns practically lept from their shells unaided.
Just a portion of the amazing dinner we prepared together. Some of you even took home sprouting white acorns (in the basket on the upper right) to grow into white oak trees.
After y’all’s fabulous work sorting, cracking, and shelling both the red oak acorns and the white oak acorns, Rose and I ground them into a flour (keeping red separate from white) and soaked the flours in cold water. The water was changed every day -lots of gratitude to Geraldine for attending to this while Rose and I were out of town! The purpose of this soaking time was to leach out the bitter tannins in the acorns. We’ve just now finished the leaching process and are suspending the flours in a mesh bag to drain out all the water. We will then be left with two clay-like lumps of acorn flour, which can be refrigerated, frozen, or dried until use. We very much look forward to doing some experimental acorn baking with you all soon! With so many acorns, this process would not have been possible without you.
If you’re interested in more detailed information on acorn processing, you can check out the book we followed, Nature’s Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Samuel Thayer. I appreciate the context he offers about the key role acorns have played in cultures and cuisines across the world:
For thousands of years our ancestors subsisted on acorns, living as part of the ecosystems they called home. From the hills of the Fertile Crescent to the great forests of Western Europe, from the coasts of Japan and Korea across the Pacific to California, from the Eastern Woodlands of North America to the mountains and valleys of Mexico, the acorn was once a cherished food as basic as bread. (p. 146-147)
Thank you for sharing in this bounty with us, and for honouring the fruit of the oak.
Be sure to keep your eyes out for more updates from the CSK, as season 4 comes to life!
With love and courage,
Acorn & Frances Rose