I will never look at flour the same way again.
It's because I'm actually going to gather acorns, extract the nuts, leach them, grind them, and make acorn flour. A woman from across the country emailed me to tell me about making acorn flour, and I can't get the process out of my mind.
Who has time for this? Who in her right mind would spend a Tuesday afternoon cracking acorns and boiling off the tannins to make a loaf of bread, some muffins, or even pancakes? I can buy flour at the grocery store, remember?
But I'm drawn to this work. It's an ancient work.
I talk to my daughters about the Native Americans surviving a whole year on acorn flour. I learn that acorns, according to the email, are a "superfood, having an ideal mix of protein, carbs, and fat." Right under my oak tree, sustenance--daily bread--rests scattered and trampled upon. What I see as inconvenient and messy, others see as nourishment. What I take for granted--flour, bread, food--others had to work all day to produce.
I want to remember this.
There's something special about being connected to the land, to the trees, and to the lost art of gathering food and baking meals right from the earth's offerings. There's something sacred about not taking food for granted.
My children cannot wait to begin this process. The oldest runs out into the cold night air to gather acorns, and I restrain the youngest from following after her. "Wait till daylight at least!" I call out. "We'll make our flour tomorrow!"
Some might think we're about to waste an entire afternoon, but something tells me it's exactly what I should be doing. I'll report back (with pictures!) about our efforts.
Living with flair means connecting to the ancient work of finding food and not taking it for granted.
Journal: Have you ever made something from scratch that reminded you not to take our food for granted?