Friday, October 24, 2008

Another post about wild edibles.

worms.jpg
In real life these nut weevils are very small.

Don't worry, this post isn't about eating weird crawly things. It's actually about eating acorns. The maggoty things in the picture above just happened to be living in a number of acorns Mini and mambo had collected for me. Being rather short, they were limited to acorns which had already fallen from the tree. While a lot of these acorns were good, a fair number of them had already been invaded by these larvae, rendering them inedible.

However, the Wethergirls did find these critters to be quite entertaining. Mini wanted to build a little town for them out of bits of cardboard and straws, but Misseswether invoked her power of veto on that plan.

magnifiers.jpg
Oh wow, look at how big they are!

Mambo hasn't quite figured out proper magnifying glass techniques, but under Miniwether's guidance I'm sure Mambowether will soon become a solar-powered wielder of flaming photonic death. Luckily compact fluorescent lights don't put out the energy of 1989100000000000000000000000000 kilograms of fusing hydrogen so the girls were limited to just looking at these critters and occasionally poking one with a broken toothpick. I figured they would enjoy this for a little while, but it kept them occupied for almost an hour! They raced them, they rolled them over to see their tummies, they discussed the mechanical aspects of their movement (Mini thought they bit the paper towel with their teeth then dragged themselves forward, Mambo mumbled something about squishy and carrots and eat...sometimes I worry about her).

But I digress, this post is supposed to be about turning acorns into a yummy, nutritious flour not the joy of two little girls and a handful of maggoty-things. So, how to make acorn flour:
Step 1. Grind up the shelled acorns
Step 2. Extract the tannins with with hot water
Step 3. Dry the mashed nuts
Step 4. Grind them more

Now if you want more details and informative instructions you really should sign up for my Edible Wild Plants class over at the Houston Arboretum on November 15th. There are still a few spots open so sign up now!

Um yeah, this whole post was just one big commercial for my class. But then again you did learn the mass of the sun so that made it educational, too.

Peace be with you.

-Merriwether

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