Since huckleberry season is coming to an end, I thought it would be a great idea to let everyone know about a little book in the library called The Huckleberry Book by ‘Asta Brown. It is a great short read about the lore and facts of the huckleberry. There are many names for the huckleberry: scientific and common. Most common are whorteleberry, dewberry, bilberry, blueberry, Vaccinium globulare, Vaccinium membranaceum, Vaccinium caespitosum-the dwarf huckleberry, western huckleberry. I have to admit I did not know there were so many different names for the huckleberry and that the huckleberry is such a temperamental berry. You have to have the right climate, elevation, sunlight, terrain, and soil to satisfy this little purple ball of deliciousness that has so many people craving and hoarding all winter. Needing those huckleberries to celebrate that special occasion or just a friendly little reminder of how good those huckleberries really are when you are in the middle of a winter storm and you wish you were out on the mountain sides picking berries on those warm summer days.
This book gives you tips on the many methods of picking, cleaning, cooking, preserving, baking, history, collecting, cleaning huckleberries, keeping them fresh and navigating that special spot and how to watch out for the other animals who enjoy the huckleberry as much as we do. It is has family stories, traditional uses, absolutely a good sense of humor for the seasoned berry picker and a great informational resource guide for the novice berry picker or the berry picker who is just wanting to get some tips on next years crop.
This book also contains many preparations for huckleberries: how to freeze, dry and press them, add them to pancakes, muffins, quick-breads, fritters, cakes, pies, wines, pemmican, teas and dumplings. This little book has it all. It is quite the little read that will bring you back to your family outings, trips and summer berry picking adventures.
Originally posted September 2013