Be sure to stay tuned on Saturday, October 10 at 7pm when Topanga New Times presents another fun and interesting show with our local Kat High, and our resident naturalist, Suzanne Guldimann.

Kat, a longtime Topanga resident and member of the Native American Hupa community, returns to TNTV, this time to share how to use acorns. TNTV Producer Brian Chapman joins Kat at Kidiwische (Hupa for butterfly), her garden of native plants, to learn how to prepare this ancient, abundant, and nutritious food that was a staple for many of California’s Native Americans, including the Chumash and Tongva of the Santa Monica Mountains.

We’ve included a sample of Kat’s recipes for our readers to try making at home. 

Kat stresses that preparing acorn flour is a lengthy labor-intensive process and recommends purchasing prepared flour from a Korean market. Anyone planning to experiment with acorns from their backyard oak trees must make sure to leach the tannic acid out of the acorns before cooking them. 

“You can pound the acorn nut once shelled into a flour, and then leach the flour by putting it in a colander lined with cheesecloth and pouring cold water through the flour until it doesn’t taste bitter/turns lighter, or you can boil the nuts once shelled 3 – 4 times for about 20 minutes,” she explained. “The acorns need to be seasoned (dried) beforehand—as acorns off the tree have a lot of moisture, and it’s like pounding gummy bears. I am sure there are many ways of leaching acorns—but these are the methods I use.”

Also on Saturday’s show, Suzanne Guldimann, in her second episode of BioBlitz will be instructing us on a DIY native garden. The 7 p.m. show will be streaming on Facebook.com/TopangaNewTimes and then available to watch anytime on topanganewtimes.com/tntv.

Other Shows Coming Up

October 24 & 25. Don’t miss Topanga Actors Company Zoom production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in a new translation by Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky. Two performances: Saturday October 24 and Sunday October 25 at 7 p.m. PST:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81908675999 

November 8. Topanga New Times is sponsoring the Topanga Youth Services yearly talent show on our TNTV channel, on November 8. Look for more information in our October 23 issue!

Acorn Coffee

  1. Acorns will need to be gathered; the best are acorns without cracks or holes. 
  2. Shell the acorns, and chop the nuts into med size pieces.
  3. Boil the acorns for about 20 min. (May be repeated a second time)
  4. Spread the acorns in the sun to dry, for about 1 day, or place on a cookie sheet in the oven for 1 hour on low.
  5. Place the chopped acorns on a cookie sheet and roast in a 325 degree oven, until dark. Turn them often to prevent burning.
  6. Grind the acorns in a mortar and pestle, or in a hand food grinder for a coarse grind.
  7. Grind in a coffee grinder until fine.
  8. Use about 3 tsp per cup, pour boiling water into the cup. Or brew in a coffee pot with a filter like making regular coffee. Can also be put into a single serve pod and brewed in a single serve brewer. Don’t overfill the pod.
  9. Sweeten with milk & agave.

Acorn Pinenut Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup acorn flour

1 ½ cup regular flour

3 tsps baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup chopped pine or other nuts, or trail mix

¼ tsp each cinnamon 

¼ tsp nutmeg

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup salad oil

¾ cup honey or agave syrup

¾ cup milk

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

Preparation:

Grease a loaf pan (9x5x3). Sift flour with baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, & nutmeg and mix well with acorn flour.  

Combine eggs, oil, honey or agave, applesauce, vanilla, and milk, and blend well.  

Add flour mixture; stir in nuts.  

Bake at 350° for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Do not overcook.

Let cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove and cool on rack. 

Bread will keep in foil for one week in the refrigerator. Freezes well.

Grinding your own acorn flour is a very time consuming process. For already prepared acorn flour – shop for acorn starch in a Korean market.

katcalls@aol.com