It’s Time to Gather Acorns
I am not sure why, but this is not something that we did as kids and we did a lot of wildcrafting. I do not think I ate my first acorn until I was 20, I was skeptical, certain that it must be foul since we had never eaten them. I was pleasantly surprised.
Acorns should have already begun to fall. By this time of the year it is much easier to tell which ones are infected with weevils. The infected nuts will have one of two (or both) telling signs, they will either have bore holes in the outer shell, or the nut itself will be a significantly lighter color than the healthy nuts. Leave these lay, collecting the darker acorns without any holes.
Ideally you would have gone out in the spring/summer and identified the Oaks that you want to harvest by leaf shape, tree formation and bark. However this is not always the case and we are not always in home territory when harvest time comes.
White Oak have the sweetest nuts but are not always easy to identify by sight in the fall. When you find acorns simply crack a healthy one and taste it, if it is bitter, spit it out and move along. Emory Oak are mild and pleasant the acorn is easily identifiable because it is longer and more tubular in shape. I do not fuss around with the rest because they are bitter although many people harvest them to make acorn meal and the like. Be sure to leave nuts for the animals who need them to get through the winter.
Drying: Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Wash your acorns and discard any infected nuts that you may have missed. Lay out on a cookie sheet in a single layer and place in the oven. If your oven has a fan turn it on, if it does not, leave the oven door slightly ajar to release moisture. Bake for 20 minutes stirring once.