Location: Marquette county Michigan's upper peninsula
posted 2 years ago
Where I live we have big beautiful red oaks. I eat the acorns from them. The past couple of years I have been trying to train/encourage squirrels to collect them for
Me. I have boxes half buried and covered with brush. I put a little corn in for them as a trade. The first year I did have success, so last year I put out more but unfortunately last year was a bad acorn year.
If you're looking for acorn recipes, we have a few like acorn maple ice cream and acorn drop biscuits posted on our family blog and I'll be posting more in upcoming months. Here are the acorn posts we have right now. I have been writing a book on acorn cookbook and foraging guide, so I'll be sharing a lot of other info on the blog from that.
We do hot water leaching and cold water leaching. I tend to do both, since they produce such different results and each have benefits. We don't have livestock to make use of the buggy ones but the good ones are all used for cooking for us, as everything acorn flavored is so delicious. It's one of our favorite wild foods. I've made everything from "burgers" and "meatballs" (surprisingly tasty) to acorn extract to bread and muffins, pancakes, mini-donuts, waffles, casseroles...
I don't bother trying to dry them first. I look at it like anything else in season and I deal with it all when it comes. There are seasons of bounties like wild asparagus, apples, pears, morels, elderberries, etc. and they're just a huge part of our daily life during their times. So I process acorns all at once as harvested and then put them up as whole roasted acorns in jars (they keep well once roasted) or as dried flour in the freezer. I read about one family in the 1900's that had a whole room in their house for acorn storage. It had a Dutch door (top and bottom halves that opened independently) and they just poured them into this room and then put their kids over the bottom door into the room once a week to stir them all up and keep any from getting moldy. It sounds improbably but it makes me smile.
It's my understanding that different Native American tribes processed acorns in different ways, but this is a wonderful little free PDF book for schools that has good information on how some California tribes processed acorns, with photos.
Also, just a heads up -- don't let your dogs eat many of the acorns. They are poisonous to some animals like dogs and cattle (but cattle only if they eat a lot of them). They are fine for others, obviously, like squirrels and pigs.
All of the following truths are shameless lies. But what about this tiny ad: