ACORNS AND EAT ‘EM by Suellen Ocean
SUELLEN OCEAN is a native Californian, residing in Mendocino County, who has spent many “seasons” harvesting and cooking acorns. She has a Communications degree from Sonoma State, with concentrations in writing, public speaking and “nature.” A former radio personality, and mother of two grown boys, she lives happily on twenty-three oak-studded acres, with her husband Jon. Copyright©1993 by Suellen Ocean All rights reserved. Special permission has been granted to the California Oak Foundation to publish Acorns & Eat ‘em on its website. No part of this work may be reproduced or published without the written consent of the publishers. Published by OCEAN-HOSE P.O. Box 115 Grass Valley, CA 95945 www.oceanhose.com Published on-line by CALIFORNIA OAK FOUNDATION 1212 Broadway, Suite 842 Oakland, CA 946123 www.californiaoaks.org CONTENTS Introduction (How to Prepare Acorns) Field Guide: Black Oak Blue Oak Bur Oak California Black Oak California Live Oak Canyon Live Oak Curl-Leaf Scrub Oak Emory Oak Highland Live Oak Mesa Oak Mountain White Oak Northern Red Oak Pin Oak Scrub Oak Tan Bark Oak Valley White Oak White Oak Williow Oak Concow Acorn Song Recipe Index
COF note: Always seek and receive permission to gather acorns from agencies and/or private property owners. I don’t know why more people don’t eat acorns. Perhaps myths about them exist, and they’ve never been dispelled. I absolutely love them. Through the process of writing this book, I cooked a lot of acorns. Friends and family loved the recipes. The majority of “first-time-tasters” were surprised at how delicious they are. Unfortunately, in California the Oaks are falling to the hands of developers and agriculture. It is a great loss. Besides producing tons of food, there’s always the charming silhouette of your favorite oak against the horizon. Acorns are everywhere! In the parks, on school grounds, along the roads, maybe right outside your door. I use Tan Oak acorns a lot because there is such abundance where I live. Sometimes, if you don’t gather your acorns right away, the wildlife will gather them for you! If you have access to more than one variety, watch their cycles. When you see a “good” acorn, you’ll often see it ready to bust out of its shell. While hiking, I see acorns in different microecosystems. In the Fall you may pass healthy acorns on a southern slope, in the Spring, you may see tastylooking acorns nestled in the leaves of a northern slope, kept moist without a lot of sun.