Well I finally got around to grinding some of my new season acorns so I can finally do this blog Yah!
Our acorns (Quercus sp) were late this year I normally get my lot of acorns from parliament lawns on Invasion Day 26th January in Hobart but not this year there wasn’t any on the ground yet so over the next coupler months I had to keep an eye out a bit closer to home which meant New Norfolk.
There is one public park and the council chambers grounds that have lots of different Quercus species in them in New Norfolk and on a trip to the doc I noticed heaps on the ground so I went into the council chambers and asked at the counter if I could rake up some of their acorns, all three people behind the counter looked at me with confusion written all over the faces and the bloke said sure knock ya self out what are you going to do with them? I said I eat them, oh he said and that was it I could see they had put me in the looney bin category with those few words so off I went back outside imagining what they were saying once I left, I grabbed my rake and bin out of the back of the car and headed for their trees.
I did get some strange looks but I didn’t care the bounty surrounding me was driving all thoughts of anything else but yummy acorns from my mind, I racked up a big bin full dragged it back to the car trying not to become road kill with acorns on top and headed home well I think there were a few foraging stops on the way which is usual.
I sat and peeled the skins off over a week or so and then leached the tannins out of them by soaking and changing the water everyday for about 8 or 9 days this can take less or more time depending on the species and the individual tree, and I read you can put them in a cotton bag and hang them in your toilet cistern so when you flush if you flush that is they will get fresh water over them every time, or if you live near a stream you could tie them to a stick in the running water you may need to cover them with wire so rats cant eat them, I’m going to try this one day, once leached I dried well and roasted in a very hot oven until they are crispy and dark brown almost burnt.
I store them like this as once ground the flour can go rancid so you need to store in fridge and my little fridge is full of ferments so I grind as I need them, I use the ground acorns as a hot drink on its own or mixed with malt and I use it in cakes, biscuits and breads.
Since grinding this lot I have used them for the first time in a fermented bread mix which turned out so good and I made biscuits for my mum when she visited, she liked them which was good these also had Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) seed flour in them too, they were so scrumptious adding acorns to cooking really adds richness and depth and makes thing taste chocolaty they are one of my all time favorite wild free food.
The fermented bread is just whole meal wheat and spelt flour, river water, acorn flour a little salt made into a runny batter and let naturally ferment then you poured this mixture into a frying pan like a pancake mix and cooked. I don’t use recipes for this you can just use what ever you like.
The acorn and dock seed cookies where a basic cookie recipe but you just substitute some of the flour in the recipe with the acorn and the dock seed flours not too much, you only need like half a cup of the acorn flour to make it really nice it can be to heavy if you use to much, you can use more dock flour no problem. Oh one warning once you grind the acorns I use a coffee grinder you ned to sieve it because every now and them you can get big bits and I can tell ya they aren’t to good on the old teeth!