Looks like it’s going to be a big acorn season: The clatter sometimes sounds like a hailstorm. Walking under an oak tree is like walking on marbles; you risk a sprained ankle every time. If only we could eat acorns!
We can. There are two main ways to turn acorns into meal for cooking. One involves shelling and boiling them and discarding the dark brown, tannin-bearing water until it runs clear.
This is a pain in the neck. You must keep two pots boiling at once so that you can dump the hot acorns straight into fresh boiling water. If put into cold water, the bitter-tasting tannins will bind with the meat. It takes several hours, and that’s the quick way.
The slow way requires soaking the shelled acorns in cold water until the water turns dark, tossing it out and adding fresh water, and repeating until the water stays clear. Depending on the kind of acorns, this can take anywhere from several days to more than a week. Then you have to dry the acorn meal. Grind it into a fine powder and refrigerate or freeze it.
If you’re determined to live like our ancestors, that’s okay. But I’ll bet that our ancestors did it only because they couldn’t go down to the store and buy flour.