Huckleberry Buckle

Posted November 17, 2016 By sandy

Making Huckleberry Buckle for your next special meal will be a favorite for everyone.  I bet that most most have not tried baking or eating buckle and with the huckleberries, it is sure to be a hit!

Huckleberry Buckle

Huckleberry Buckle

Ingredients

    Batter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (plus extra to grease the pan)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Fruit Topping
  • 2 1/2 cups huckleberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw frozen berries)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch square pan with melted butter.
  2. Cream 1/4 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar until just combined.
  5. Stir the milk and vanilla extract into the batter until just mixed – it will be thick and lumpy.
  6. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Mix the berries with 3/4 cup of sugar. Pour the boiling water over the berries and sugar, then fold until mixed. Pour the berries over the batter.
  8. Dot the top with the pieces of butter. Bake 45-50 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 6-8.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/11/17/huckleberry-buckle/

View the full instructions and story about this recipe

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Huckleberries in Siberia?

Posted November 3, 2016 By sandy

Who knew huckleberries grow in Siberia?

A reader, Alexander Kopeykin, contacted us with this photo of wild huckleberries from the Eastern Sayan Mountains in Siberia, Russia.

According to Alexander, this past year was the best crop he has seen in 10 years!!

Huckleberries in Siberia

Alexander shares information about the huckleberries he finds in Siberia:

We have two main huckleberry species here.  The lowland type plants grows north of N57°30’ latitude near the sea level. Another type grows in the South in the Sayan Mountains at elevations from 3,000 to 4,000 feet.

The northern species give a little larger berries and so is more convenient for commercial harvesting. The mountain berries are more delicious and have an excellent flavor.

The plants are rather low, usually not higher than 15 inches, stems are green to the roots, and berries are covered with a waxy bloom. There is no soil in usual sense – just moss on granite stones. The roots in the moss form a sort of net.

Alexander, THANKS for the information on our huckleberry cousins near the same latitude, elsewhere on the globe!

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Huckleberry Jello Cheese Cake

Posted October 14, 2016 By sandy

If you are one of those who found and picked huckleberries this last season, you probably want to carefully plan how you are going to use those huckleberries!

Last this summer, ChefSite4U.com posted the following recipe that I think would make a perfect huckleberry dessert for a party.

And, in case you find the recipe complicated, there is a nice video posted on the site, outlining the steps to make this delicious looking huckleberry dessert!

Huckleberry Jello Cheese Cake

Huckleberry Jello Cheese Cake

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • • 1 bag crushed oreos
  • • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • • 1 cup (200g) fresh or frozen huckleberries/blueberries
  • • 2 tbsp (25g) granulated sugar
  • • 1 tbsp honey
  • • 1.5 blocks (375g) cream cheese
  • • 3 tbsp (45g) granulated sugar
  • • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • • 375 mL whipping cream
  • • 1/2 cup (60g) icing sugar
  • • 2 envelops gelatin
  • • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • • 1/2 cup cold water
  • • 1 grape jello
  • • 1 cup cold water
  • • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions

  1. Prepare crust buy combining crushed oreos and butter. Press into a 9″ springform pan and flatten. Place crust in fridge to solidify.
  2. Place berries, sugar and honey in a small sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until berries break down and sauce has thickened. Set aside to cool.
  3. Bloom gelatin in a small bowl by sprinkling it on top of 1/2 cup cold water, stir, then add 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl. Set aside.
  5. Whip cream, and icing sugar in a medium bowl until stiff peaks have formed. Transfer whipped mixture to creamed mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Add gelatin and whip until mixture has no clumps remaining.
  7. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture onto the crust and level flat. Pop into the freezer for 10 minutes to solidify the top of the layer before adding the huckleberry filling.
  8. Pour huckleberry filling on top of cheesecake layer and level as best as you can.
  9. Pour the remaining cream cheese mixture on top and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to solidify the top again and then transfer to the fridge until topping is ready.
  10. Make jello according to package and allow to cool to room temperature before pouring on the cheesecake. Once cooled, pour onto the top of the cheesecake and add some huckleberries to the jello all over the top. Place in the fridge to solidify at least 2 hours.
  11. Slice and serve once ready. Cake should be kept in the fridge and should be consumed within 2-3 days.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/10/14/huckleberry-jello-cheese-cake/

What do you think — wouldn’t this pie make a wonderful New Year’s Eve dessert!?

 

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Adult ‘Huckleberries in a Glass’ Recipe

Posted September 30, 2016 By sandy

Our friends at the Idaho Statesman featured a special article about a bartender, in the Boise area, who squeezed fresh huckleberries to make a wonderful ‘adult’ drink.  He lovingly calls his drink the Huckleberry Hound!

Here is his recipe:

Huckleberries in a Glass

Huckleberries in a Glass

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. fresh huckleberries
  • .5 oz. Lemon juice
  • 2 oz. Premium vodka
  • 1 oz. Simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar boiled until sugar dissolves)
  • Sugar (to rim the cocktail glass)
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle huckleberries.
  2. Add simple syrup, lemon juice, vodka.
  3. Shake for 30 seconds and double strain into cocktail glass with a sugared rim.
  4. Alternately, pour contents into 6 shot glasses with sugared rims. Rinse glass and repeat.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/09/30/adult-huckleberries-in-a-glass-recipe/

READ THE FULL ARTICLEAdult huckleberries in a glass

Now, if you like simple recipes with as little fuss as possible, you can create something very similar to this recipe by mixing your favorite alcoholic beverage with our concentrated Huckleberry Lemonade (made right here in Idaho).

Check it out here!

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Preliminary Success in Taming the Wild Huckleberry

Posted September 23, 2016 By sandy

The Spokesman Review reports success in taming the wild huckleberry in their recent article which is quickly spreading to many news outlets.

Combining the original research, by Dr. Dan Barney at the University of Idaho’s Sandpoint Research station, WSU and others are working successfully to cultivate wild huckleberry plants.

Here are the highlights of the article By Becky Kramer:

Preliminary Success in Taming the Wild Huckleberry

WSU researchers taming the wild huckleberry

…Washington State University researchers are setting their sights on domesticating the wild huckleberry, a goal that has eluded plant scientists for decades.

Huckleberries are notoriously fickle plants. The mountain shrubs don’t transplant well and even huckleberry bushes grown from seeds seldom produce fruit.

But in a WSU greenhouse, cloned shrubs are producing berries. Scientists say their ultimate goal is a sturdy plant with high yields of the tangy-tart berries….

At the Pullman campus, rows of potted huckleberries are starting to display red fall leaves. They’re the cloned descendents of two huckleberry plants that Biotechnology Manager Nathan Tarlyn purchased at a commercial nursery several years ago.

Huckleberries growing in the mountains don’t produce until they’re about 5 to 7 years old. But in the greenhouse’s controlled climate, the 18-month-old plants flowered this spring. Tarlyn brought in bumblebees to cross pollinate the huckleberries with blueberries.

Now, he has 2,000 tiny seedlings from this year’s berry crop, which will be studied for desirable traits….

The work at WSU is taking a different approach to domesticating huckleberries than previous efforts at the University of Idaho’s Sandpoint research and extension office.

UI horticulture professor Dan Barney’s research focused on developing a pure strain of domestic huckleberries, without a blueberry influence. In a 2005 interview, Barney said he didn’t want to sacrifice flavor for abundance. Budget cuts ended the research, and Barney has since retired.

But higher yields are important for making huckleberries viable for commercial growers, Dhingra said. He hopes to release a domestic huckleberry within a few years that can be licensed. It would be sold with a proprietary high-acid soil mix and fertilizer….

Joe Culbreth has 1,200 huckleberry bushes on his 15-acre fruit and nut farm in Rathdrum. Six years after after the bushes went into the ground, he picked his first berries this summer….

But why the bushes produced this year remains a mystery to Culbreth, who wondered if the plants’ age or weather-related conditions triggered the fruit….

The bushes spread by rhizomes, which means an entire patch might be one or two plants. That’s why the shrubs don’t transplant well. Even starting a huckleberry bush from a transplanted rhizome is tricky. The plants seem to lack something from their original environment that they need to flourish.

But the cloned huckleberries in the WSU lab appear to be thriving in the potting soil mix. “We’re giving it a new environment,” Dhingra said…

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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Huckleberries Important to Animals too!

Posted September 15, 2016 By sandy

We hear lots about how important huckleberries are to the Native Americans, commercial pickers and gourmet food producers, but we seldom think about how huckleberries are important to animals living in the forest.

Last year, we shared a couple posts about the huckleberry research Tabitha

Tabitha Graves

Tabitha Graves

Graves was conducting.

The Missoulian recently published another article on her research.  Here are some of the highlights:

Researchers start long-term hunt for huckleberry secrets

When Tabitha Graves took up carnivore research for the U.S. Geological Survey base at Glacier National Park, one of the biggest puzzles needing attention was the role huckleberries play in the food chain. Although creatures from grasshoppers to grizzlies like the purple fruit, we know little about what the berries themselves like.

“The more I’ve gotten into this, the more I’ve realized how important they are,” Graves said. “All kinds of birds eat them, as do small mammals. We’ve found coyote scats with berries in them. We’ve seen wasps eating them. And of course, humans eat a lot of them.”

Then there are the snowshoe hares and deer and moose that munch on huckleberry leaves, at least six species of bee that collect huckleberry pollen, and who knows what kinds of mycorrhizal fungi that grow together with the roots. Did we mention bears eat them, too?

All that might explain why huckleberries have resisted all attempts at domestication. The inability to grow huckleberry bushes in a greenhouse or garden has frustrated researchers for decades. It’s also left big parts of the plant’s life cycle unknown.

… Wildlife managers know that good or bad huckleberry crops influence how many black and grizzly bears wander into town looking for apples or bird feeders – but they don’t know how to predict a good or bad year. Huckleberries react to drought and drenching conditions, but can they forecast them? How might forest thinning and hazardous fuels work affect huckleberry patches?

Read the rest of this interesting article

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Huckleberry Lemon Ginger Yogurt Pops

Posted September 6, 2016 By sandy

Now that huckleberry season is winding down, we are featuring some really interested recipes that you can make using your huckleberries.

Of course, huckleberry pie and muffins are some of our readers’ favorites, but have you every tried making yogurt pops with huckleberries?

Here is a recipe I found the State Eats website (Montana recipe, but not just for folks from Montana!!)

Huckleberry Lemon Ginger Yogurt Pops

Huckleberry Lemon Ginger Yogurt Pops

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 heaping cup huckleberries
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. In a small pan, combine sugar and water. Heat over medium until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat, add ginger. Set aside until cool, then refrigerate.
  3. In the meantime, in the bowl of a food processor, process huckleberries until smooth.
  4. Place huckleberry puree in a sieve over a medium bowl. With a rubber spatula, press puree through the sieve, so that seeds and skin are left behind. Add lemon zest and lemon juice to the puree.
  5. When simple syrup is cold, remove from refrigerator, discarding ginger slices.
  6. Add simple syrup to puree, then add yogurt. Pour mixture into molds.
  7. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until hard.
http://wildhuckleberry.com/2016/09/06/huckleberry-lemon-ginger-yogurt-pops/

Sounds like a cool refreshing dessert on a warm day!

 

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Beware of Bears

Posted August 31, 2016 By sandy

Huckleberries are an important source of food for bears, so if you are out picking, make sure to watch!

Here is a recent story published in the Spokesman Review Outdoors Blog by Rich Landers …

Berry picker suffers bites after surprising grizzly

A park employee, while off duty picking huckleberries in the Swiftcurrent valley, surprised what is believed to be a grizzly bear. She sustained non-life threatening injuries to the leg and the hands. The surprise encounter which led to a non-predatory attack occurred on Saturday in the early evening.

The woman walked most of the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail back before she was met by park rangers an taken to medical help.

She was carrying bear spray but it was not deployed. Hikers reported a grizzly bear sow and two cubs leaving the area shortly after the incident.

The last Glacier National Park visitor injury by a grizzly bear was on Sept. 29, 2015, when a 65-year old male hiker surprised a sow grizzly with two sub-adult cubs, receiving puncture wounds to his lower leg and injuries to his hand.

READ MORE HERE

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Domesticating wild huckleberries is a project that several different agencies have researched over the years.  Dr. Dan Barney,who has been a friend of this organization since its inception, has several articles on his findings while working at the University of Idaho’s Sandpoint Research center (which was closed in 2010).

New Development on Domesticating Wild Huckleberries

Dr. Dan Barney presentation at the Elk River Huckleberry Workshop held in 2005

Nathan Tarlyn, a research assistant at Washington State University, has recently picked up the torch on domesticating wild huckleberries , according to an article by Taryn Phaneuf in CrossCut.com.

Here are some excerpts from her article:

Taming the Northwest’s beloved huckleberry

Huckleberries are completely wild — they won’t be found lined up in rows on farms like their tamed cousin, the blueberry. Instead, thousands of people appear in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest each year, armed with buckets and permits, looking to cash in on a berry crop that retails for upward of $10 per pound.

Previous attempts have failed because wild huckleberries’ dependence on their ecosystem makes them notoriously hard to grow anywhere else. But Tarlyn works in a lab known for its deep dives into plant genomes that wind up solving major problems in the world of tree fruit, and the huckleberry puzzle caught researchers’ attention. Three years after he introduced the challenge, a set of huckleberry plants growing in a campus greenhouse produced fruit — a process that takes closer to seven years in the wild. Researchers estimate that within another year, the first domesticated variety will be ready….

The lab began with tissue cultures from wild huckleberry plants Tarlyn bought at a wild plant store. Normally, it would take years for those cuttings to reach maturity, but a previous breakthrough by Dhingra’s lab altered the timeline. They pioneered a method for propagating plants five times faster than traditional nurseries using a soil-free, nutrient-rich medium….

Step by step, the lab saw success with huckleberries: With the right soil mix, plants survived in the greenhouse, where researchers could manipulate the conditions to speed up growth. To get berries this year, Tarlyn put blueberry plants in the greenhouse and released bumblebees for pollination. The unorthodox method worked, and now they’re germinating new huckleberry seeds to see what traits the crosses will have that may lead to an attractive variety later….

“Our goal is to have the productivity of a blueberry and the quality of a wild huckleberry,” Dhingra says….

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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I have heard wild huckleberries called lot of things, but ‘crack cocaine of the Rockies’ was a new one on me.

Seabury Blair Jr. wrote a very interesting perspective on huckleberry pickers for the Kitsap Sun.

Huckleberries -- 'Crack Cocaine of the Rockies'?

Here are some excerpts form his article:

Berry picking like a drug at Mount Rainier

B.B. Hardbody, my infinitely better half, says she has noticed several differences between the hikers we’ve met over there and the hikers we see in the Olympics and west side of the Cascades …

One of the differences I’ve noticed is that while the lure of chanterelles and other fungi draws many to the great outdoors in our neck of the woods, there’s an even greater siren on the other side of the state. They call them huckleberries, but I call them the crack cocaine of the Rockies.

Yes, you will find blueberry or huckleberry pickers on trails around the Olympics and Cascades, but the pastime doesn’t hold a candle to the droves of berry hunters there. They stampede up the trails like bull elk in the rut, trampling through the forests wild-eyed and drooling.

I may exaggerate. But not by much….

Hardbody stopped to pick a few and mentioned how tasty they were. I’m something of a berry snob and only stop for those delectable low bush huckleberries that grow on the alpine slopes.

“You gotta try these,” she said, already displaying the telltale purple tongue of an addict.

So I did. I found them sweeter and more succulent than almost any huckleberry I’ve ever tasted.

Still, we had miles to go and little time for picking. I charged ahead — if my waddle these days can be called “charging.”

Hardbody lagged behind, slurping berries like an anteater might inhale its food. She reminded me of a berry-sucking Dyson….

Well, I hope all you huckleberry ‘crack addicts’ got your fill of huckleberries this season!!

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