Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Frozen Fruit

frozen huckleberry (c) John AshleyBack up the mountainside to see what the first fall snows have done so far. The biggest surprise was all of the huckleberries we found. Last summer, this same area only bore an average crop of green hucks. And it's a popular picking spot, so I thought any berries that ripened would soon dissappear down the gullets of hungry hikers, especially along the trails.

Instead, this fall there are lots of berries still on the bush, from green to red to dark purple. Most of the huckleberry leaves are now on the ground, and this makes the remaining berries even more blatent. So in the name of science, we had to taste enough of them to have an adequate sample size.

Instead of picking summer berries and stashing them in the freezer, we picked them already frozen in the fall. Some were still juicy, some were like raisins, and all were sweet and crunchy. But none of them made it down the mountain, much less home to our freezer.

Fallen huckleberry leaves and fruit (c) John Ashley
Fallen huckleberry leaves and one frozen berry