Thursday, September 20, 2007

What do they taste like?

The acorns, that is. Well. Not much. A very, very mild nutty taste and texture. We still have quite a few more to process before I can grind them and use them in a recipe. So far, I've roasted them. And peeled them. And boiled them. And dehydrated them. I have approximately a cup of processed acorns. When I grind them, I'll have approximately half a cup. Not quite enough to do much with.

My analysis? This was a LOT of work. The only thing that makes this worth it is the nutritional pay off. In survival conditions, fat and sufficient calories are frequently the most difficult things to attain. One cup of acorn flour is 500 calories with high fat and carbohydrate values. It is an excellent survival food. If I were in the wild, low on food stuffs and had oak trees around (and it was fall!), then certainly acorn gathering would be on my must-do list.

I can tell you that picking up acorns is back breaking work. Every day that I went out to gather acorns I had a terrific back ache. After that, it's just tedious work. Not difficult--just finicky. Properly processed though, acorn meal can be stored for fairly lengthy time periods and would certainly help somebody survive through a winter. So, there you are. In the next couple of days, I should have sufficient quantities to try a muffin recipe that I have. I'll let you know how it comes out! I may even try the acorn chili recipe.

What's next on my agenda? Next I'll be looking at some wilderness grocery shopping. No, I won't eat any of it, but I want to see if I can even identify the plants on the list. If I find any dandelions, I might try the roasted dandelion coffee. We'll see about that. I feel pretty comfortable about identifying dandelions.

What is all of this in the aid of? I'm writing a time-travel novel where my characters travel from contemporary times to the distant past--500 BC. It's interesting finding out what our country was like back then. I would like to incorporate as much as I can without sounding like an encyclopedia. Ugh. The best way to do that is simply have my characters observe their surroundings. In order for that to happen, then I as the writer must observe that world first.

Some hands-on, in person research is required. And all that walking around will be good for me. So if you're near Baltimore and you see some woman down on her knees peering at weeds, that's probably me, checking out the local wild groceries.


It pains me to say this, but Amarinda pulled off quite a coup with the blogga saga today. Kelly took us into strange territory and Amarinda pulled it out of the fire, BUT she left me with a hamster attack to deal with. I don't know what I'll do. Go on over there and check it at at and then stop by Kelly's blog at and find our what our Kelly is up to. And then have a wonderful weekend.


  1. Do your characters have a muffin tin packed as well - or are the muffins just for your own amusement??

    Sorry, couldn't resist!! :D

  2. Anny - food comes naturally from a supermarket. Muffins are just magically there. I don't question it and neither should you.

  3. I wouldn't be able to do it. Nope. And I hear dandylion greens are a slightly bitter but nutritious salad green. And courtesy of Food Network, Sassifrass is found all over the eastern US from north to south. If you clean them, dry them, then pound them to dust they make a flavorful bonding agent for roux and soups and stuff. Starchy. I'm sure you know about willow bark. And then there's the local foodstore which pops up out of nowhere and hoards loads of supplies. If I were stranded. I would look for the mysterious foodstore location.

  4. Well, acorn muffins are for my own amusement. Actually, they sound pretty good. As for the rest, I'll take it one plant at a time. Glad I'm providing some amusement for y'all. Maybe you should get out more?

  5. Dandelion wine is really good!

    Are your characters going to have a coffee mill in the cargo hold?

    Is the taste similar to hazelnuts?