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Importance of Survival Skills

Fall Harvest & Cook – Acorn and Mesquite

Fall Harvest & Cook – Acorn and Mesquite

I have completed final work on the rocket stove The edible pods of the honey mesquite tree ripen in November and December here The ripe pods easily come off of the branch Unripe pods are difficult to remove This species is called honey mesquite because bees especially like the flowers Hundreds of species of oak trees exist in North America alone The acorn is the fruit of the oak tree Most acorns contain high levels of bitter tannic acid and therefore must be leached in water before consuming This species of oak grows as a small shrub Acorns can be dried and stored for years before consuming A common technique to collect acorns is to shake the upper branches with a stick This is another edible fruit but lacks much flavor Toyon is also commonly called holly wood I allowed the acorns to dry for a few days Once dry they can be processed and made ready to eat at any time Native peoples often made mortar holes in large boulders to grind grains, seeds and nuts This bundle of palm fibers will be used to prevent the ground acorns from leaking out of the basket Acorns with mold or insect infestation are discarded Most acorns are very bitter due to the presence of tannic acid One way to remove the tannic acid is to thoroughly rinse the ground acorns in water I had placed the palm fibers in the basket to help prevent the ground acorns from pouring out with the water I will have to pour water over the ground acorns about fifty times to remove most of the tannic acid Hot water speeds up the process Another technique to leach the acorns is to submerge them in a running stream for several hours After pouring water over the acorns a few dozen times I taste it to compare the taste Most of the bitterness has been removed and I consider it edible now Next I am going to cook the ground acorns First I am going to heat some more water to pour over the acorns one more time While I wait for the water to heat I enjoy eating tasty mesquite pods Adding toyon fruit will enhance the bland flavor of the acorns I allow the ingredients to cook for a time over a low heat although cooking is not really necessary Different kinds of acorns have different flavors The taste of these acorns is quite bland but the nutritious value is very high I have made acorns a common food in my diet because of their nutritional value

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