Friday, December 24, 2010

Huckleberries? Easy as 1-2-3!

Dads can be tough to shop for. There's not a whole lot they need and usually if they want something they just go out and get it (women are different...we think to ourselves, "Hmmm...Christmas is coming up, I'll wait and see if someone buys it for me first!"). Plus, fathers are the type of people you don't want to get just anything for...they're special. They're one in a million and after everything a father does during his lifetime for his children, most gift ideas seem trite, simply not enough for someone who deserves so very much!
My wonderful dad is diabetic and works very hard to manage his blood sugar through his diet. Unfortunately, that means usually cutting out sweet stuff, including jam and jelly. He is fond of huckleberry jam and syrup in particular, maybe it's because he grew up near the Tetons in Idaho where huckleberries grow wild and abound. I searched and searched, but struggled to find sugar-free huckleberry jam. What's a girl to do other than make some from scratch? A month ago, I got online to see where I could purchase huckleberries as they are not in season in November. I found a website (Wild Harvest) that does one-day shipping for frozen huckleberries. I was so excited at the thought! It did in fact arrive in only *one day* in an insulated package loaded with dry ice - good thing I was prepared with all the other things I'd need to make the jam!
Here was the process in 3 easy steps:
1. Order 7 pounds of huckleberries and jump
for joy when the delivery man leaves them on my doorstep!
(Step 1 1/2. Sneak a few frozen huckleberries before officially starting! We once drove to Idaho to pick wild huckleberries. I had a small tin cup but hardly any berries were making it in there. My dad offered me $10 if I could just fill my cup. I couldn't do it - they were just too tempting!)*
2. Mash berries by hand and add sugar-free pectin (you should have seen how purple my fingers were after holding the messy masher!):
3. Pour jam into jars and seal in hot water.
Look at those beautiful purple-red bottles! And there you have it: "No Sugar-Added Huckleberry Jam". Can't wait for Dad to open his gift tomorrow morning - maybe he'll have it on some toast!
Love you,'re the "BERRY BEST"!!!
Hope Sig1


Josephine said...

We went over on christmas day and this was the first thing he showed us and he announced it like this... "See Mark, this is what you get your dad if you are the favorite child." My dad just laughed his face off but secretly I think he was trying to make a plan to "eliminate" you...

Jen said...

I'm glad I read Jo's comment, because I was just about to tell you that you seriously need to post a follow-up so we can hear how it went over! :)

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson