|The acorn harvest in my tiny yard was bountiful once again this year. Just for kicks, I decided to think of it as God's way of teaching me something. So instead of thinking of these stupid nuts as a nuisance that must be cleaned up, I thought of them as a gift from above (they literally fall from the sky). As such, I wondered if I could eat them. It turns out acorns have been part of Native American and other cuisines for centuries. And no, they don't contain cyanide or other poisons, as the old wives' tale suggests. They do, however, contain bitter chemicals called tannins, which can be boiled out. So I boiled some shelled acorns one afternoon, refreshing the water a few times, after which I baked them on low heat for an hour. But no matter how many times I boiled them, how long I baked them, or how many combinations of sugar, salt, and lemon juice I tried (Wendy said a sour taste like lemon juice might balance out a bitter taste, but instead I just got a mouthful of sour bitterness, which was new to me), they were still disgusting. Apparently certain kinds of acorns are less bitter than the ones in my backyard, so eating them straight up is not an option. Several websites said you can grind them into a powder and use it in place of flour, but I can't think of a more useless thing than a flour substitute. Oh well, perhaps I'll never understand God's methods.
I visited some friends yesterday who said the neighborhood kids were collecting acorns and selling them to passersby, sort of like a lemonade stand, except with completely useless nuts. The innocence of children combined with the generosity of parents to convert a useless commodity into a profitable business. God bless America. #nature