Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Monday, September 14, 2015

Making Acorn Flour

Someone on Facebook asked today about making acorn flour.
I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California where the oak trees were plentiful and my Portuguese great-grandmother made acorn flour every year. I'm sorry I don't have photos, but I've done this a hundred times - here is our process:

  1. The larger acorns are the best - but any will work - some have more tannin than others
  2. Lay the acorns out on a baking sheet
  3. Put them in a hot oven (425) for a few minutes. Listen. When they begin to pop, pull them out.  The steam from the nut will crack the shells and they will literally just fall off. If the nut is cooked, that's ok.
  4. Put the nut in the food processor (easier than hand grinding these days but you CAN use a hand grinder)
  5. Put a little water in (doesn't matter how much) and grind to a nice meal
  6. Put some cheese cloth in a collander and put the meal in the collander
  7. Run cold water through the meal a few times, tasting each time 
  8. When it's no longer bitter, it's ready. This really only takes 5-10 minutes.
  9. Drain the meal and press out the water
  10. Spread the meal on the same baking sheet and put in a 325 oven
  11. Dry it (you can also put it in a dehydrator
  12. Break it up once dry and either use it as a hot cereal for breakfast or grind it fine in a flour mill to make wonderful golden flour - gluten free !
Good luck!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sad News

It is with great sadness this morning 
that I report the latest news 
in the case of the missing peregrina from Arizona, 
Denise Thiem.

A suspect, Miguel Angel, 
a 39 year old man from Madrid, 
was arrested yesterday for her disappearance. 
He later led police to a body 
buried on property he owns 
near the town of Castrillo de Polvazares, 
which sits on an alternative route 
on the Camino Santiago. 

The body has yet to be formally identified as Denise. 
However, the pilgrim community is shocked and saddened 
and fairly sure.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Denise's family and friends.
We can't begin to imagine the pain and sadness
you are feeling.

May something good come from this great loss, 
this brilliant life cut so short.

Denise, you began this adventure 
walking under the Field of Stars; 
now you have become one of those Stars.
A beacon, 
a light for others, 
an angel.

You will not be forgotten, Denise Thiem.
Your name has been on the lips of thousands 
these past long months
since you disappeared, 
thousands praying for some news,
thousands praying for your safe return. . . 

. . . and in the coming days,
prayers will go up for you and your family 
from every corner of this world,
as you continue to bring together 
that strong and blessed community of pilgrims
who brave the elements,
and occasional unspeakable danger
to make their journey to Santiago de Compostela.

Buen Camino, Peregrina.
May your light shine always,
and may you rest in peace.