Collecting acorns and baking bread 🌰 FAIL!

Collecting acorns and baking bread 🌰 FAIL!

We collected our own acorns and attempted to make tasty bread with them.

Collecting acorns from Live oaks near Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park

The experiment began on January 1st, 2022, when we collected acorns from Live and Valley oaks in Santa Barbara county.

Joy examining a large acorn collected from a Valley Oak at Cachuma Lake in Santa Barbara county

Grow Wild and online searches led us to look for Valley Oaks as the best acorns (bigger and without an inside film to remove). We were supposed to only search for shiny, heavy, unblemished acorns, but the kids picked up all the acorns they saw (which is fine!).

Rocko crushing acorns to remove their shells

Next we had to get them out of their shells and remove any that were moldy or buggy. Joy put them into the mortar and Rocko crushed them with the pestle. My job was peeling the shell off and making sure no fingers got crushed.

The majority of the acorns ended up in the green waste bin. Rocko found one that had a root coming out of the tip and planted it in the yard. He remembered to water it again the next day (but then never thought of it again)!

Then we put the naked seeds in an old cotton bag and placed them in the top of the toilet tank to soak out the tannins. Each flush would refresh the water. It took a moment for us to realize that it is clean water, not connected to what occurs in the bowl below it!

Update from three weeks later - I took a nibble of one acorn from the tank and it was still bitter! Back in the tank they went. I also managed to drop and crack the top of the toilet tank... So time to buy a new toilet?

Update from February 18 - still bitter. I pulled them out of the tank and instead boiled the ones that still looked firm in water on the stove. After fourteen water changes they were still releasing tannins (I'm assuming, as the water kept turning dark brown). So... Either I got the wrong kind of acorns or did something wrong when trying to leach them. The experiment continues!

 Valley Oak acorns they had been in the toilet tank for 7 weeks but still bitter.

Update from Match 8 - we give up. Every time we boil them, more tannins are released and the acorns get darker and darker but remain firm. The water never stays clear! Now they're just sitting in a pot on our stove taunting us.

 Acorns that never stopped releasing tannins

We will try again next year...

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