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Pioneer & Native American Cooking:
Acorn Flour

Ever wondered what the pioneers used for flour? Many of them used cornmeal ... but if there weren't any mills near or if the corn crop failed, they may have had to use the same thing that the Native Americans used ... acorns.

Acorn Flour

Put decupped, cracked, and hulled acorns in a pot, cover them with boiling water, and bil from 2 to 4 hours, changing the water for fresh, already boiing water whenever it becomes dark. When you change the water, taste an acorn -- they are leached enough when all astringency has gone. They will darken as they cook. Drain the acorns and let surface moisture dry off, then spread them in a shallow pan and raost them for about an hour in a 300F oven. The acorns are then ready to be eaten like other nuts or to be ground into coarse flour or meal to be used in bread, muffins, or cookies. The roasted acorns or the flour may be stored in airtight cans, or else frozen for future use. Uncooked acorns freeze well too -- they will keep indefinetely.



Acorn Muffins

This was once a “hard-times” bread because acorns are so plentiful and cost nothing. Sweet or nut muffins can be made from this recipe by adding 4 tablespoons sugar to the dry ingredients, omitting the garlic or onion salt (substitute 1 T. plain salt), and substituting melted shortening for the bacon fat. Add ½ cup walnuts or pecans to the batter, if you like.

1 c. acorn flour
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. flour
3 t. baking powder
1 t. garlic or onion salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1½ c. milk
2 T. bacon drippings, melted

Preheat oven to 425F. Sift together the acorn flour, corn meal, flour, baking powder, and the onion or garlic salt. Beat egg and milk together; stir in bacon drippings. Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened; don’t overmix. Pour into well-greased muffin tins and bake 15 minutes, or until brown and crusty. Makes about 18 muffins.

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