As the summer came in, it was traditional for farm families to go into the woods in the flats where huckleberries grew. The job was hot and tedious but all of the huckleberries picked and brought home berries that went to provide nourishment in meals. Some housewives made fritters using the fruit in batter. Many rolled a pastry crust and made pan pie. Fried pies were wonderful treats, too.
During the picking of huckleberries, they usually suffered from insect bites, chiggers and red bugs. I asked Mrs. Frances Zipperer what she did to get relief for her children who got red bugs. She said she washed them with lye soap. It was also said that Lifebuoy brand bath soap worked to rid them. Now berries are grown in yards as cultivated blueberry bushes.
My grandmother Exley whom I named “Kopy” made a dessert from huckleberries and later blueberries when they began to be grown around our area. She called it huckleberry dumpling. Although she gave few directions, I will share the recipe.
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp shortening
1/2 cup milk
Flour for stiff batter
She mixed it adding in a generous portion of berries. She baked it in a greased, round baking pan in a moderate oven. It was served with hard sauce, a whipped mixture of butter and pure sugar. It resembled a small pound cake with berries in it.
Boy would some of this be good. Enjoy some berries; they are full of nutrition and antioxidants.