“I’m your huckleberry…” Doc Holliday
In Northwest Montana, there are few things as exciting as the first huckleberries of the season. The husband, dogs and I headed out to find some of these delectable treats this weekend. We went too high in the mountains at first where we usually like to go, and they weren’t quite ready yet. So, we decided to head lower to see what we could find, and we stumbled upon a “honey-hole” of berries. We picked all day in a a dream location – flat, open and shaded. The reason huckleberries are so coveted is that you really do have to work for them. The picking is slow, and you have to have just the right “feel” when you’re picking, so you don’t get the ones that aren’t quite ripe. These berries were to die for, and when I would reward myself with a taste, it felt like a burst of sunshine in my mouth. I love that huckleberries haven’t been domesticated. It adds to the mystery, when you know that the only berries out there are ones that have to be picked on a mountaintop. What a reward, what a treat! We had huckleberry pancakes for breakfast on Sunday, and sprinkled some on homeade ice cream last night. I will post my aunt Shelly’s huckleberry cake recipe soon, and will be freezing some of these for huckleberry cream cheese pie. I delivered a cup to my uncle who stopped by the cabin for a visit, and took some over to the neighbor to add to her oatmeal for breakfast. When you are a huckleberry picker, you don’t just hand out these treasures to anybody, so if you have been given huckleberries by a friend, you should know that you are very special, indeed.