Wolf's Ways with Acorns

Wolf's Ways with Acorns

It helps to have the proper baskets for preparing and storing acorns and acorn meal. You can do without, but the process is slightly different.

The steps are, essentially:

1) thank the oaks for providing food
2) prepare the acorn kernals
3) grind the meal
4) leach the meal
5) prepare the food

We thank the trees for providing us with acorns for a couple of reasons. First, the acorn used to be very important for food -- if we didn't have them, we'd go hungry. Second, the oak is giving up an important part of itself for us. Every acorn we eat is an oak tree that will never grow. Therefore we respect an honor the oak for providing for us, and promise to use the strength it gives us to continue to protect and honor it.

To prepare the kernals, crack them open and remove the insides. Usually, you'll end up with a pile of brown-colored lumps of acorn meat. Arrange them in a single layer and set them in the sun to dry, or put them in a low oven. You don't want to roast them, just dry them out.

Once they're dry, grind them into flour with a mortar and pestle. It's important to break up all the large chunks into fine meal. Make sure the meal is evenly textured. If there are any unground lumps left over, they'll take a lot longer to leach, and make the meal bitter.

Place the meal in a thin layer at the bottom of a flat pan. Cover it with water (about two inches). Let it sit for a few hours, then change the water (you can use cheesecloth to strain the acorn meal, or you can just carefully pour off the water.) Let it sit again, and change the water again. You'll have to do this several times - how many times depends on the acorns, the time of year, what kind of growing season they've had, how strong a flavor you're looking for, etc. The meal will lighten with each leaching.

After leaching the meal a final time, pour off the excess water and pour it out to dry. Usually, this was done in specially made baskets, or else on a patch of sand in an undisturbed place. You can lay it out on a clean towel, if you want. Let it dry slowly, either in the sun or at room temperature.

Collect the resulting powder and store it like flour. You can make mush by cooking it in some boiling water (think Cream of Wheat). You can make bread by mixing with a little fat and/or water and making dough (sort of like making thin biscuits or matzos or tortillas) and then baking.

From: Wolf Logan (umuhk at TALAMASCA.ORG)
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