Peel the acorns and pass the mulberries

Mr D recently accused me (in humorous tones) of feeding him acorns. He’s not far wrong because I’ve developed a somewhat disconcerting (even to me) habit of including as many strange locally foraged edibles as possible into our diet.

Some of these are foods foraged from local hedgerows and trees, others I find in the garden (part of which is a tiny food forest). The habit can be helpful, for example if I’ve run out of onions, jam or something to put in a crumble. It can also be a tad time consuming. Picking tiny spinach leaves off plants that have gone to flower takes a while (but is surprisingly satisfying).

We haven’t actually resorted to peeling acorns yet although it would perhaps be an idea to practise as Mr D is a Torquay sourdough baker, and might need acorn flour one day. The phrase has however become a euphemism for going outside to find food.

We both know what I mean when I say, ‘I’m off to peel some acorns’.

Yesterday I spent all morning picking, cooking, squishing (harder work than you might imagine), and drying blackberries and rose hips to make fruit leathers. The result wasn’t attractive but it was tasty and free of artificial sugars. It did however leave the kitchen a mess, and my hands bright red.

The whole foraging thing can become a bit of an obsession, today I walked five kilometres to find five mulberries for breakfast. I only took one for each kilometre, mulberries are precious, and there to be shared. I suspect the foraging obsession is catching. Whilst I was mulberry hunting, Mr D happened upon some interesting plums (like a chap does).

Of course walking those distances, and far more to collect food was daily life for our hunter gatherer ancestors. Imagine how fit we would all be if we had to go back to that. I did a bit of breakfast calorie intake and expenditure calculation. Five mulberries gave me around three calories, five kilometres (plenty of hill) burned around 300 calories.

I’m going to have to find some more mulberry trees!


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