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Acorns roasting on an open fire?

Posted by zahzeen 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 31, 09 at 15:30

We've all heard the song about roasting chestnuts on an open fire but what about acorns? Has anyne done this - are the aromatic or make nice crackling noises? This is probably where you all think I've really lost it this time. I spent a lot of time raking leaves this afternoon and as we all have, I have a bizillion acrons. I'm trying to think of what to do with them other than yard waste (compost???). I do have a nice fireplace and make fires in the winter. Can I and do I want to use them in the fire or will I end up blowing up my house. So, New England, what do you think? Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

Guess it's not such a great idea - and here I thought I was on to something! Did a web search and you can make some kinds of food from acorns (like the Native Americans did) and roast chestnuts to eat them. Couldn't find anything at all about throwing acorns in the fire. Did find some ACORN scandals though. If anyone has any creative ideas how to use them, please let me know. There was one site about using acorns for home insulation - something they did during the depression but I don't think I'll try that one.


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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

There was just recently an article in the paper regarding acorns, and their use by Native Americans. I can't remember exactly what they did with them, but if I recall they treated them first to get the tannins out - usually by soaking.

I'm putting a link below to a google search. Some interesting things. Funny how I never thought of roasting them like chestnuts, lol. Goodness knows we have plenty of them!

:)
Dee

Here is a link that might be useful: acorns as food


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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

So glad you brought this up! Use your acorns as nature intended: to sustain wildlife over the winter. There are 2 ways to do this.

You can pick them all up, preferably on a dry sunny day when there hasn't been any rain for awhile. Put them in the basement or garage (in rodent-proof containers), and check them about once a week for mold or other damage. Every few days take about a pound of them and sprinkle them around the bases of your oak trees.

The second way to do this is to leave them where they fall.

Please don't take offense, but what is the compulsion to "do something" with whatever we find in nature? I'm not criticizing you or anyone else, I've got this problem myself and I always wonder where it came from (and how to get rid of it!).

Anyway, don't roast them like chestnuts. Don't roast chestnuts either, unless you like to eat them. (We do.)


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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

"...You can pick them all up..."

Oh my goodness, I'd be old and gray by the time I picked up all the acorns from this year alone, lol!

Reminds me of an incident. My son, when he was younger, was very interested in animals - absolutely loved animals and pretended to be them, read about them, played with animal toys, etc.

One day in spring I noticed a bad smell in my front hall - which, of course with kids, was full of toys, shoes, boots, probably some dirty socks underneath the pile, etc. - so I didn't pay too much attention to it.

By the end of the week it was nauseating. So I dug out the pile of stuff, and found a shoebox with a disgusting, moldy mass of ... what the heck was it? My son, who was about six at the time, came up to me and told me that he was a (can't even remember what animal, although I know it wasn't anything as common as a squirrel, lol) and that what I had found was his stash of food for the winter. He had collected acorns in the fall and left them in the shoebox in the front hall. They must have been wet or gotten wet. It was disgusting, but funny as heck.

So, if you are going to collect acorns, make sure they are dry. And don't forget about them for six months, lol!

:)
Dee


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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

Um, maybe that was too subtle ...


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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

Diggingthe dirt - thanks for your response. I got the great idea to collect the acorns and put them in the fire before I asked the forum. While raking, they ended up at the bottom of the pile because of their weight and I collected them in buckets and then proceeded to sort out all the leaves and grass so I now have two buckets of cleaned off acorns. The morale of MY story (stealing a little from diggerdee) is to ask the forum first! I have two problems with leaving them where they lie. First, I tend to stumble, trip, losing my balance while walking on the lawn. I also can't kneel when trying to do something in the garden beds (knee pads don't even work) so I have to clear them out anyway. Second, they tend to grow! I have several new oak trees starting from years past of leaving the acorns on the ground. None are full grown trees yet but I find them difficult to uproot once I even notice one growing. There is one near the driveway I think I may have to get removed. It's just nature being nature but I don't want a yard full of oak trees - LOL! In my convoluted mind, putting them in fire was sort of using them "naturally". Oh well, with what I have, I'll use them as some kind of a decoration. The next batch from raking I'll put around the oak trees. I like the idea of using them as they were intended.

Diggerdee - I loved that story! Does your son remember doing this? What a great tale to tell his children someday.

Thank you both again - now off to do more raking....


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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 1, 09 at 11:25

DTD; Maybe it's related to the primeval monkey tool-using instincts. It got us a long way (arguably too far in some respects) and we just can't let well enough alone. In the back of the mind, the world is all about us humans and Mother Nature has just scattered toys everywhere for us.

It's very hard to fight it, but we probably should while we still have a viable ecosystem to live in.

Claire


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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

A search for "acorn flour" should help those interested in how to remove tannin from acorns and make them edible.

Everyone should have the experience of roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Cut an X in the bottom of each chestnut and set to roast on white coals or in a special perforated pan designed for roasting chestnuts in the fireplace. Pour a glass of white wine and enjoy.

Once upon a time I used to be able to harvest bushels of American chestnuts. Some of the new introductions on the market have come from those trees. I had to share the chestnuts with the local deer herd which paid no attention to me collecting as they pawed the bristled shells to remove the nuts. I sold most of the crop, keeping a few pounds for cooking. These I boiled gently for about 30 minutes then cooled and dried them for freezing in plastic bags in the shells. The act of freezing makes the meats easier to remove.

If you have the space, treat yourself to several of the new chestnut introductions. They are not lawn trees as the husks are a nightmare to clean up similar to horse chestnut trees. But, anyone with back forty land should plant and enjoy the nuts. They begin bearing chestnuts about six years after planting.


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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

Zahzeen, yes, my son does remember - as a matter of fact, it was him that just brought it up the other day, or I probably would have forgotten, lol. My husband was sweeping some of the zillions of acorns off the patio (they truly are a real walking hazard) and was putting them in a bucket to throw in the woods, when my son, now 16, started laughing and said, "Remember when...?

You know, I have to say, I really don't have a problem with someone wanting to do something like eat acorns. After all, nature didn't originally intend all these foods just for animals. The fact that native Americans used them as a food source shows that humans needed them too. Granted, today, most humans don't NEED to eat acorns, and the local wildlife does probably NEED them more than we do, but I still have no problem with the concept of humans living off the land and the bounty that nature provides.

I also have an acre of new oak forest every spring, especially in years with a massive crop of acorns like this year. When I was cleaning up one of my beds the other day I was scooping up as many as I could, because all I could think of was all the tiny little oak trees I'd have to be ripping out next spring! There will be literally millions! But as annoying as it is, for the most part I find it easier to pull up little oaks than try to pick up all the acorns - as long as you get them early. For now, as long as the acorns are off the walking areas, it's a good thing!

:)
Dee


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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

We also love roasting chestnuts at this time of year and through the holidays.

Thanks for the tip on freezing, Nandina; I like to include them in stuffing and they are a BEAR to skin (and that's after they're shelled) and this might make it less of a production.

I read the trees forum pretty regularly, and there are some threads about which oaks produce the best acorns - focus on good to use/eat - so I presume that some people still do eat them. It sounds like a lot of work, so I think I'll stick with chestnuts for now.


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RE: Acorns roasting on an open fire?

Just this afternoon my three small grand children and I gathered hundreds of acorns. It was a nice cool fall day, I started a fire, and we roasted hundreds of them. The fire was nice, and noisy, do be careful though, I recommend some sort of screen to prevent the acorns from shooting out of the pit. I used my outdoor Chimney, and acorns were shooting out, the acorns got so hot, they literally glowed red hot. It was nice. We plan to do this again once the weather gets cooler, we can build a nice fire and enjoy some hot cocoa outside. I couldn't find anything on the web either, so I say, have the fire, enjoy and just be aware the acorns do jump out when they get hot. I used some dry fire wood to start the fire and just poured the acorns into the chimney from our baskets. Kept the kids entertained, and they say it's a "tradition starter" for our family. Couldn't figure out the "zone" but we're in San Antonio, Texas. God Bless!


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