Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ode to Berries...


So, I know this is totally random but I'm bored and don't feel like doing anything productive... my sister and I were talking about berries and stuff this morning (don't ask...we are pretty lame...) and it got me thinking of a time a couple years ago when Dave and I went huckleberry picking in the mountains in Idaho with some very dear friends...so I thought I would post about it...

I was about 4 months pregnant with Sam and we (Dave, myself, and Steve and Jillian Holiday) decided we wanted to do something new and go pick berries. We had heard they were everywhere that year (in the spot we went...which I actually don't even remember now...). So we went to the mountains, set up camp (we camped too...found some interesting stuff in our fire pit...I wont go into that now...), grabbed our buckets and preceded to pick berries from the bushes all over the area. There were a TON! They were everywhere you looked and we didn't even have to hike to find them. It was so awesome. They didn't taste as sweet as we thought Huckleberries would taste, but we didn't care. We spent a whole afternoon picking and then got up the next morning and spent a good part of the morning/day picking more! Our buckets were full and we felt so at one with nature!

Anyway, as we were all picking berries that second day off some bushes next to the dirt road a truck pulled over and asked what we were doing. "We're picking huckleberries!" (duh!) was our response. Well, the look on the driver's face told us he thought we were all a bunch of idiots before he explained to us that what we were picking were actually called Saskatoon berries (A.K.A. "service" berries, or "bear" berries)...not even close to huckleberries. (The picture at the top of this post is actually of them.)

Well, we felt pretty dumb and defeated as we thought of all the time we wasted picking them...and all the people that saw us and probably wondered why we were picking them... So we found out then that locating the huckleberries was a little more difficult because you had to go to certain spots, so when we found out where that was (on the side of a mountain) we finally went. We did find a good spot and spent the remainder of the day (and the next weekend too, due to the lost time we wasted picking Saskatoon berries) picking them, but it was definitely more difficult. Not only were we surrounded by the brush on the mountain side, but the berries are a lot tinier (but much tastier!) and harder to see. And they're at ground level, so we kind of split up for a while as we each would find some, sit in the bushes and pick all the ones around us.

It was so much fun and we all had such a good time! That night when we went home we went to the Holidays and made Huckleberry jam with what we got (which didn't seem like much because they're so small, especially compared to how many Saskatoon berries we got!). Since there wasn't much we made huckleberry/strawberry jam and we even decided to make some jam out of the Saskatoon berries because we didn't want that time to be a COMPLETE waste! That wasn't as flavorful, but it was still good and worth it.

We also made a yummy huckleberry/strawberry pie! Anyway...it was a fun camping trip and I hope I can pick berries with the Holidays again someday! It might not be as good as Heather's blackberry picking adventure in VA when a snake fell on her...but it'll do...

Yay! We were so excited about our Saskatoon berries!...when we didn't know what they were...

Picking huckleberries for real now...

Look how many we got!

And lastly...I know this is gross, but can you point our the two "treasures" we found in our fire pit when we got there?? Now look closely because they're hard to point out... We missed out on some party I guess...

3 comments:

bek said...

thats what i thought you'd found. gross.

Steve, Jillian, and Addison said...

Oh Jennie we miss you guys!! I'll never forget our camping trip. I remember waking up and hearing your car running and I knew it must have been a horrible night!! Please move back!!!! PPPPLLLLEEEAASSSEEE WE love you guys.

Coltharp Golden Years! said...

I see an analogy in your berry story. Sometimes we go through life thinking we have it so good and are enjoying things and think "how can it get any better than this?". Then, someone or some thing prompts you to look beyond where you are to find something even better, even sweeter. You have to dig a little deeper and it takes a little more effort, but what you find is a greater prize, and you found it because you were willing to look beyond! Mommy