Acorn muffins

It all started on a mild fall day when Sara went in for her regularly scheduled doctor checkup. The girls saw acorns on the ground, and gathered them to take home and play with (I realize that a preposition is not the kind of thing that you want to end a sentence with, but the sentence flows so well that I am going to leave it).

When I got home I saw the acorns and remembered a scheme that I had a few years back to look for butterflies that sleep among the wheat; and make them into mutton pies, and sell them unto men who sail on stormy seas.... no... that wasn't it. The scheme was to prepare and eat wild acorns.

We went out two times and picked acorns off the ground at the hospital. They had two trees that were bearing acorns fairly abundantly, and we got quite a few acorns. We have since then shelled most of them, and soaked them in water. It takes a week or two to soak them, so we are not entirely done, but we did do a faster method for some of the acorns to make sure that we like the final result.

The faster method is to soak them in boiling water, changing the water every hour or so. it took about 5 hours. Once we had them leached it was fairly easy to grind them up into flour and make muffins out of them. We have made two batches of acorn muffins so far. Right now we are going 50% acorn flour, but we do intend to get it up to 100% once we have more flour.

Acorn flour adds a nice umami flavor to muffins (I would assume that it adds it to everything), and seems to work similar to cornmeal in terms of its properties in baking. The acorn muffins have a nice nutty flavor (sort of like walnuts, but definitely distinct to walnuts.)

On Saturday we went shopping to prepare for Halloween, and after we were done we decided to visit a river that Rea sees often as we drive to the 215. She always says "I want to go to that river one day." When we arrived there we saw that there were grapevines growing all over the banks of the river. We couldn't find any grapes growing on them at first, but eventually we found a few. They turned out to be the type of grapes that we used to eat in the forest of Michigan as we were growing up. They were not as sour as we remembered, but it is probably because it is late in the year, and we were used to eating them earlier in the year.

My father picked lots of Shaggy Manes for me on Sunday morning. They had not deliquesced yet, so they were good to eat. We fried them up and have eaten a third of them so far (deliquescing is halted by cooking). They were excellent. A nice creamy flavor, and good consistency. Sara loved them.

He also found some mushrooms that I have tentatively identified as Inky caps. I have cooked them up, but we have not tried them until I become more certain about them. (the bottom picture is the inky caps)

Sara wanted to be a dragon for Halloween, so Alison built her a dragon costume. Rea wanted one after that, so Alison made two. They were really good (people recognized what they were during the trunk or treat.)

Rea fell ill on Thursday night with a stomach ailment. Sara just got it this morning. It seems to last two days and mostly makes them throw up at night. Thank goodness for sick days (as Rea threw up a lot the first night I took a day off).

Timmy is getting more and more insistent that he wants
our foods. Since he turned 4 months this week we decided to start him on solids. He is currently sometimes eating rice cereal, and sometimes eating tomatoes.

Timmy is also still not crawling. He really wants to, and flails all of his limbs into the air when he is placed on the ground. Any day now he will figure it out.

We have been trying to sprout seeds now for a few weeks (to feed to our goats and chickens.) Just yesterday we saw some little white roots shooting out of the alfalfa seeds that we are currently sprouting. The trick for us was to provide a better drainage system for the seeds.

This week Sara has decided that she wants to be a warrior. She grabs various weapons and fights people and tells them that they should lay down. She has also decided that she wants to be a squirrel (and collect acorns.) Time to read some Redwall :).

Rea has recently been in love with boxcar children. She tells all of us that we are various people from the books. She wants to be Benny most often since he is the fun one, but sometimes she wants to be Jesse since she is like the mother. She also makes Timmy be various characters. She is good friends with Timmy, and always plays with him.


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