This is one of those years where we seem to have a million acorns falling from the trees. Yesterday I even got hit in my back with one as I walked to the hen house. Beware the falling acorns!
When I was younger, I was a devout follower of Euell Gibbons (pre-Gape Nut cereal days) One of his tricks for eating from the wild was to eat acorns. But as anyone who has ever eaten an acorn knows, they are incredibly bitter, mouth-puckeringly bitter. There is no way you can eat more than a few of those babies without getting a nasty stomach ache.
Euell’s work-around for this was to boil the acorns in several water baths. Eventually, the heat and water leached out the bitterness and you could eat the nuts or let them dry and then grind them into powder to make acorn flour suitable for yummy pancakes while on the trail.
I tried this once while camping by using my campfire to boil the nuts. After several hours of literally watching a pot boil and getting a few burns on my hands, I still ended up with still-bitter acorns. That’s when I decided to eat an apple growing on the tree near my campsite instead.
Apples do not need to be boiled.
With all the many acorns in our yard and my access to a stove that would boil the nuts in no time, I’m wondering if I should collect them, prepare them and then feed them to our chickens? Even if I skipped a few boil rotations and they were still a little bitter, the flock might still be able to eat them, right?
But then I look at all those acorns, that first need to be cracked open and then boiled in a large pot over and over in this heat and I thought – to heck with that idea. I love my chickens, but I also love my sanity. Our chickens will get feed from the store.
And I’ll just have to be content eating a shiny red apple from the bowl on our dining room table.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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