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I had some other plans for this week but I'm still waiting for a package with some key supplies, so instead this week we'll be continuing our exploration of acorns! If you didn't have a chance to come last week and learn about the correct ways to process acorns, here's another chance. Last week we shelled and ground acorns to (eventually) make into flour. This is being cold-processed in my fridge right now to leach all the tannins out. There's another (faster) way to leach the tannins out, though: hot-processing. These different process yield slightly different results: cold-processing is better for making flour to bake with, since it leaves the starches intact. Hot-processing is faster and is suitable for nuts you want to chop up and add to things, pickle, or eat more-or-less whole. Since I have a bunch of acorns left over, we'll use this as an opportunity to compare and contrast the different ways of processing them.
As a thank you for the help of my "minions," each week I will feed you something tasty. This week it's blueberry pavlova with juniper-flavored meringues! The strong balsam flavor of juniper berries will (hopefully) go well with the light sweetness of meringue and blueberries. This flavor combination was inspired by a particularly delicious gin and blueberry drink I had this summer. Pavlova is an Australian dessert that I learned from my mom, who lived there for a year as a child. I've always thought it is like eating clouds...if the clouds were made of sugar. ;) It consists of a light-as-air meringue base, a dollop of whipped cream (I'll make some vegan whipped cream too!), and some fresh fruit. This dessert is gluten free. (Also, keep in mind: part of the reason I am doing this program is to have "guinea pigs" to test my weird creations out on. This means I may not have made these particular recipes before so be warned! I appreciate honest feedback on them.)
If you have any extra pliers, hammers, or nutcrackers, bring those! They are helpful in the extraction of the nut-meats from the (fairly thin) acorn shells. If you'd like to bring wine/beer or a treat to share feel free to, though it is by no means required.
Hope to see some of you there! :) Don't forget to apply, you can do so here: http://www.betsyhinze.com/#!apprentice/nxn7i