What do you need to make Pickled Wild Huckleberries?
Well, you're definitely gonna' need a few things, so I've made a short list and included some of my photos, as usual.
You'll need a good source for wild Huckleberries, of course. I foraged mine in Mason County in Washington State but you can buy frozen wild huckleberries online.
It helps to have a couple old Pugs to watch over the huckleberry bucket...while you're watching out for bears.
You'll need clean water to wash your freshly-picked huckleberries.
And the patience to separate the berries from the leaves & stuff.
If you're like me, you'll probably need at least one curious dog, preferably a Pug, to keep you company while you take some photos.
You'll need some whole spices, like Allspice, Black Peppercorns, Cloves, Coriander and Cinnamon sticks.
And a special cloth-like envelope, tea infuser, cheesecloth bag or some other way to contain the pickling spices within the brine.
You'll definitely need a non-reactive heavy-bottomed pan for the brine ingredients and the pickling spice envelope.
Just be sure the pan is large enough to hold the spices, the brine mixture and the washed & drained wild huckleberries.
It's a good idea to keep the pickling spice envelope submerged under the fruit as much as possible; while heating the huckleberries in the brine and later, when they sit overnight. The spice envelope's constant contact with the brine liquid will ensure maximum flavor infusion, or MFI, for short.
Remove huckleberry-filled pan from the heat source and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, to absorb flavors.
The next day, you'll need to remove the pickling spice envelope, making sure to squeeze out the briny huckleberry goodness before discarding the used envelope.
Reheat the pickled wild huckleberries - just until boiling - then ladle into hot sterilized jars and process, or keep in your fridge in a pretty jar.
Need I tell you how many ways you can enjoy these spectacular little orbs?
How about a spoonful alongside a slice of roasted pork?
A sprinkle of them on a ham sandwich?
Chicken Salad studded with pickled wild huckleberries might be fun.
Perhaps scatter a few across your next cheese plate.
Or just eat them right off the branch...