Tag Archives: nature

Acorn Waffles

cropped-imag0106.jpg

The three of us picked acorns last fall under the thinning leaves of a red oak. We made sure to leave behind the ones with holes, cracks or stains.

imag4007

We placed them on a tray in a single layer by the woodstove to dry. And even though we were careful with our selection, a few wiggly acorn weevil larvae still found their way home with us. We looked through the acorns on the trays for holes and threw out the ones that the larvae had wiggled out of. After a couple days of drying we processed a few cups for pancakes and cookies. We stored the remainder in a bucket for later use.

Properly dried acorns can be stored for years.

imag4008

About a week ago, we started on another batch.

imag4011

We use a slab of wood and a stone to crack them open.

imag4014

We check each one for quality, even though we did a great job when collecting, we still find a couple of the nut meats with sign of weevil infestation.

imag4030

Using a hand crank mill, we ground down the nuts.

imag4031

This is what one pass through will give you. We grind it at least 2x for a finer flour.

imag4039

Then we wait. We soak the ground acorns in cold water to leach out the tannin, changing the water morning and night, until it no longer tastes bitter or astringent. The chaff will float to the top and can be poured out. The finer the grind, the faster the leach. This batch took nine days.

imag4151

This morning, we placed the leached acorn flour in a towel over a strainer.

imag4153

And working in small batches, we wrung out as much moisture as possible.

imag4155

We will keep the acorn flour in the refrigerator since we will be using it over the next few days.

imag4162

Acorn imparts a nutty flavor and a great texture to waffles. They are light and airy.

imag4159

Acorns are nutrient dense, containing complete protein, carbohydrates and fat.

Acorn Waffles

  • Servings: Makes 5 waffles
  • Print

  • 1/2 cup acorn flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons oil of your choice

Preheat waffle maker.

Whisk flours with baking powder, salt and sugar. Add milk, egg and oil and whisk just until incorporated. Lumps are okay.

Pour about a half cup of batter onto waffle iron (amount is dependent on your waffle iron).

Cook until done. Enjoy with pure maple syrup or peanut butter and bananas.

For more information on acorn processing, check out Arthur Haines’ website: http://www.arthurhaines.com/

Advertisements

September

There’s something special about September in New England.

img_20160924_1913391

The days are cooler but the sun still brings warmth.

imag3343

Flowers still bloom.

imag3429

Wishes can still be made.

imag3348

There’s a golden hue to the sun filtering in through the windows and splashing across the hardwood.

imag3405

It’s still warm enough for strawberries.

imag3415

But cool enough for fires in the stove.

imag3414

There’s abundance in September.

Here, in the form of apple cake.

imag3425

And center stage in September are the leaves turning from green to yellow and red.

imag3443

Get outside and enjoy these last few days of September.

These days that bring crisp air, bright sunshine, crinkling leaves underfoot, the smell of pumpkin spice, the taste of apples and the sound of acorns falling to the ground.

Summer Days

IMAG2265

Here it is, the last day of August.

We’ve enjoyed these summer days.

IMAG2363

Backyard fires, complete with roasted marshmallows,

IMAG2277 (2)

Mornings in bed,

IMAG2620

Walks in milkweed meadows,

IMAG2798

Foraging forays,

IMAG2834

Beach days,

IMAG2850_1_1

Family love,

IMAG2757

Treks on backyard trails,

IMAG2770

Cloud watching,

IMAG3115

Rock hopping,

IMAG3106

Garden growing,

IMAG2895

Wetland walks,

IMAG3012

Warm sunrises,

IMAG3091

Lounging,

IMAG3143

And a deep appreciation for each one of these summer days.

The last day of August also brings us the first day of school.

IMAG3146

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Woods

IMAG1561

When I was a kid I would wander the woods in back of my grandparent’s house for hours by myself. I’d pretend I lived out there among the hardwoods, the maples and oaks.

IMAG1578

Now, I have two amazing souls to wander with me.

IMAG1567

The sun was shining down on us today as we immersed ourselves in nature.

IMAG1580

For most of the day we meandered through a pine forest.

IMAG1583

We sat by the water.

IMAG1593

We picked pine needles.

IMAG1594

We stopped to notice lichen on bark…

IMAG1597

And patterns left by wood boring insects.

IMAG1585

We ate low bush cranberries.

IMAG1599

And we chatted with chickadees.

Now that we’re home we are enjoying those pine needles we picked and the vitamin C they will provide in a batch of Pine Needle Tea. We also picked newly sprouting black birch branches for Black Birch Tea.

Go wander the woods, it’s good for the soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change, the only constant

IMAG1241

Heart-shaped, fluffy white clouds in the blue sky.

IMAG1258

Purple and pink sky in the morning. A sure sign of an oncoming storm.

IMAG1308

Snow can change the landscape dramatically.

IMAG1334

And it sure is fun to play in. Peaking through the hemlock boughs as Ethan prepares to sled down the big hill.

IMAG1445

Have you ever browned butter? If not, you should. Swap out one stick of softened butter with one stick of browned butter and your chocolate chip cookie recipe will be forever changed.

IMAG1385 (2)

Do you see what Regan sees?

IMAG1446

Afternoon sun shines on cattails in the frozen ground. My shadow on the bridge.

IMAG1455

Daffodils are emerging from the leaf litter. Change is upon us.

 

New Year

Each year goes by faster than the one before.  Just like everyone else, I’m finding my way.

IMAG1021

We celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago. I’ve been on this planet for thirty-five years.

IMAG0923

We finally had some snow. I spy Ethan. Do you?

IMAG1214

This is our bedroom window on a cold winter’s morning.

IMAG1204

I’m in awe of the beauty of this planet. And I’m always looking up.

IMAG1188

It’s nearly February and the geese are still beating their wings and honking.

IMAG1222

I’m rewarded with color.

IMAG1196

And beauty.

IMAG1134

And squirrel tracks.

IMAG0961

Each year we reflect. I love what I see.

 

November in New England

IMAG0218

It’s November in New England, a very special month for my family. My son’s twelfth birthday is in a few days and the day after that marks sixteen years of marital bliss for Thomas and I. The love I have for these guys is inexplicable, more than I could ever put into words.

November is the month of Thanksgiving and we have so much to be thankful for.

IMAG0188

Queen Anne’s Lace leaves are still poking through the dry and browning leaves.

IMAG0192

Tiny rose hips lend color to the muted landscape.

IMAG0202

A single poplar leaf is bright in contrast to the dirt of a meandering trail.

IMAG0199

The shining sun gives a golden hue to the leaves that are still holding on.

IMAG0106

Autumn is acorn harvest time.

IMAG0229

Chilly nights and rainy mornings call for a fire in the wood-stove.

IMAG0222

Fires in the wood-stove call for a steady supply of fire-wood.

IMAG0209

Sweet treats in the shape of the ever falling oak leaves can be made with the processed harvest of acorns.

IMAG0233

The blue sky and white clouds can now be easily seen through the bare branches of our mighty maple tree.

I am forever thankful for all this life has to offer.

xo Jodi

Pine Needle Tea

IMG_3469

Pine trees in New England are ubiquitous. Did you know that all parts of a pine tree are edible? Here we are using the needles to brew a tea that is rich in vitamin C.

IMG_3450

First, make sure you are harvesting from a true pine tree, gather in a place free from pollution and take just a little from each.

When you have your cache, cut the sheath off the ends and chop the needles. For one cup of tea you will need a bundle of needles about the diameter of a quarter or a bit bigger.

IMG_3451

IMG_3459

Boil some water and let it sit for a bit before pouring into your container.

IMG_3463

I like to add a bag of mint tea to it for some added flavor.

IMG_3467

Let it steep for five minutes or so, strain and enjoy :)

pine needle tea

Join the Smoke Free Crowd

Exercise is a crucial part of life. Especially if you are like me and eat the goodies you blog about a few times a week. Even though I try to add fruit and vegetables to the mix, there is added fat and sugar that I normally wouldn’t have. Exercise boosts energy, promotes good sleeping habits, improves mood, and maintains weight. It’s recommended that you get thirty minutes of exercise a day depending on your lifestyle.

My exercise of choice lately is running. I have my husband wake me up a half hour before he leaves for work. I run a loop around our neighborhood that is about 2 miles, which takes me 20 minutes (there are hills!) I stumble out of bed, shuffle to my bureau and grab some running gear. This morning I pulled out a shirt I’ve had since high school. It’s the one I’m wearing in this picture. I’m the one kneeling on the far right. The Peer Outreach group took a field trip to the state capital and met the governor at the time, Jean Shaheen. Thank you God for pictures. They capture a moment in time that we might otherwise forget. The front of the shirt says SMOKE FREE New Hampshire and the back, Join the Smoke Free Crowd.

I run in the morning before breakfast, before coffee, before I’m really even awake yet! I get to see the sunshine peaking through the morning clouds, I hear the birds chirping, and inhale the crisp air.  This morning I saw two rabbits. Yesterday, a family of raccoons. Last week, a deer.

What is your exercise of choice?