Monday, November 9, 2009

First family hike

Now that wonderboy is big enough, we are able to hike as a family. We climbed the nearby mountain just behind the house, it is 5 mins to the trailhead by car. We can hike it right out the door, but this would add another hour each way at least.

Parts of it are quite steep. He did great and never once asked to be carried, whew. He did however need promises of snacks at each rest stop, which worked like a charm.

The elevation gain is 400 meters over 1.6 km. ( 1200 feet in 1 mile )
The equivalent of climbing Bear Mountain NY, from the Hudson River, a decent climb.

This mountainous region extends uninterupted except for rough woods roads for thousands of square kilometers. It is the end of the spine of mountains that runs from 大山 Mt. Daisen in Tottori, past Hyounosen 氷ノ山 in Hyogo. It would be possible to walk all that way, occasionally encountering a village or crossing a paved road.

On the way down the forest floor was literally littered with beautiful acorns.

They say they are too bitter to eat. But I am processing them now to remove the tannin. If this works, there is possibly an enormous food supply lying in wait. Shelling the nuts was easy enough. Put them in the oven at 100C/200F for about 10-15 mins. and they will begin to split open. Take them out and give them a squeeze, the shell will split in two. After several boilings they were still too bitter. The other method is to put the shelled acorns in a mesh bag in a fast moving stream, which we have. I will try that if continued boiling fails.

boiling out the tannin


end result:about 6 cups of honey roasted acorns. Some are a little bitter, like the skin on a walnut, but not bad. The boiling out of the tannin was time consuming the way I did it, in small batches. I probably changed the water 12-15 times. A larger batch done on the stove in my large brew pot would work better I think. Again there is also the stream method, which I really want to try next. Have to get out and pick more acorns soon.

PS - after shelling split the nuts into halves or quarters.
you don't need a rolling boil to process them. Process until the water is clear and the nuts begin to lose shape a little.


  1. You are eating the acorns? I have 2 words for you "Food Chain". The acorns are to put around your property then the deer come and munch on them. See where we're going with this? You take aim and bam venison steaks.

    I will send you a cup full of night crawlers. Again I will remind you Food Chain. Don't eat the night crawlers. Use them to fish and eat the fish.

    If anyone sees farmer John here looking for night crawler recipes let me know.

  2. Nice, never thought of it that way.

  3. Hey Martin,Cousin John here,
    The Indians in Arizona did this too.
    Look at what happened to them ? They own
    Casinos know.
    Cousin John

  4. Hi godfather,I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. But there is a pot of acorns on the stove now. This time I've added baking soda to extract the tannin more easily.
    It is also used to take the bitterness out of edible plants, like fiddleheads/bracken. Hope to catch you on skype soon.