Huckleberry Muffins
Lifestyle

Where to Find Huckleberries

When we moved to the Idaho panhandle in the summer of 1998, I heard people talking about huckleberries. I had never tasted a huckleberry, but I love berries of all kinds, so I was intrigued.

“You say they grow wild? I’d love to pick some. Where can I find them?”

“Oh, they grow all over. Just go up in the mountains. They’re everywhere!”

“Okay, but… I don’t know what a huckleberry bush looks like. I’m not even sure what a huckleberry itself looks like. Could you be a little more specific?”

“They look kinda like blueberries. Just go up anywhere. You’ll see ’em!”

Apparently “more specific” was asking too much, as I later found out.

Having a secret huckleberry spot is a big deal around here. Most people won’t tell exactly where they pick berries because they don’t want others to go and pick them before they get to them.

huckleberriesHuckleberries are time-consuming to pick. They don’t grow in clusters, but rather along the stem. And they only grow in the wild.

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I learned that they can’t be cultivated. They reproduce by means of an intricate root system linking one bush to the next, so I guess it’s not possible to transplant them or grow them from seed.

They are also delicious. Juicy and very flavorful.

huckleberries3

Which is why they sell for upwards of $50 a gallon. After spending an entire morning picking berries to finally get a gallon, I decided I wouldn’t even be willing to sell them for that.

However, I’m not reluctant to share my berry picking spots. In fact, I’ll even provide a map for you:

selway14

Now you know exactly where to go, don’t you? Ha.

We couldn’t make heads or tails of that map, even when we were standing in front of it staring at the “YOU ARE HERE” arrow.

Seriously, though, if you come see in me in late July or August, and you’re interested in picking huckleberries I do know of several spots, and I will be happy to take you there.

Last week when I talked about picking huckleberries on my post about our Selway Falls Day Trip Sheila asked, “What are you gonna make with them? Or do you just eat them?”

Well, we talked about making huckleberry milkshakes, but I ended up making huckleberry muffins. And yes, you can just eat them.

huckleberry_muffin

Huckleberry Muffins

Recipe adapted from The Huckleberry Book by ‘Asta Bowen.
  • 2 cups flour (I used Wheat Montana Prairie Gold)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh huckleberries
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons raw sugar for topping

Stir dry ingredients together. Wash and drain huckleberries so they are still damp. Add huckleberries to dry ingredients and stir gently until they are all separated and coated with flour mixture. Add liquid ingredients. Stir just enough to dampen all ingredients. Fill greased or papered muffin tins. Top each muffin with 1/3 teaspoon raw sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes. Makes about a dozen muffins.

 

10 Comments

  • pse

    I want some! One time, about 50 years ago, we went to visit one of Grandmother’s cousins in Northwest Arkansas. Along the way we stopped in the forest and found huckleberries. We picked enough for a pie. If I remember correctly, there were not very many there. The pie was good!

  • Michael Ann

    Yum! Huckleberries are new to me. When I was growing up we’d go blackberry picking..always in snake-priority areas! Picking was never fun (super hot), but the blackberries sure were tasty. These days I buy mine frozen or in clear plastic tubs in the produce section. I still love them, especially on pancakes with some whipped cream!

    • Karla Ezell Cook

      I love blackberries! That’s what I am familiar with picking in the wild as well. Not only snakes to watch out for, but also ticks and briars! A friend invited me over last night to pick blackberries in her backyard. Much to my surprise her plants had no briars! I didn’t know there was such a thing as a briarless blackberry plant.

  • Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

    These look yummy! I am so curious as to what they taste like! I like berries of all sorts so I’m sure I’d like them. Deena of Saskatchuan sent me Saskatoon berry jam and I LOVE it!

    We were in the mountains of GA a number of years ago and came across some blackberry brambles. We picked and picked and picked. It was so much fun! (Minus the pricks we received.) Then I made a crumble. They were AWFUL! Bitter and no amount of sugar would remove that bitter aftertaste. I even tried making jam with them but ended up throwing it out. Too bad because they were beautiful!

    If/when I come visit you, I’m definitely going to take you up on your offer to take me berry picking!

    • Karla Ezell Cook

      I didn’t get enough huckleberries this year to make jam or I would send you some.

      The blackberries you mentioned almost sound like the thimbleberries that grow around here. Very pretty but not very tasty.

I look forward to reading your comments. Thanks for joining in the conversation! ~Karla

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