Yup, I did say that.

I spent Saturday afternoon picking the berries off of our Evergreen Huckleberry bushes. These things are all over our property and we use them a lot like a hedge. They are ever so much better than boxwoods! We apparently have two varieties.

One makes dusky blue berries kind of like miniature blueberries and the other has shiny black berries. They are both quite tasty, but have tiny seeds.

I managed to pick one and half milk pails full of these tasty treats. The pails are 9 quarts, but that is measured in fluid quarts and not dry quarts, whatever that means. (Maybe it is similar to “dry heat” like you would find in the desert???) Anyhow! We have lived here for five, going on six years, and I have never seen this big of a crop of berries. I am usually lucky to get half of a gallon size ziptop bag done before I am too tired of hunting down these little dudes. Not a problem this year. The bushes are loaded, and the berries are huge. I could harvest two more pails and still leave plenty for the wild birds. We did not get any good blackberries this season though. Bummer.

I brought the berries in and picked out the bugs, leaves and other big debris, washed them, and then ran them through the Mighty Squeezo.

I really love this thing. I just have to figure out how much puree to use with the “normal” recipes. I should have enough juice to make two batches of straight Huckleberry jelly and one batch of Huckleberry/Apple jelly. I will have to see how much more juice drains out overnight.

I had a snazzy Jelly Bag setup with the metal legs that hook over a bowl to catch the juice, but the juice drips and splatters everywhere. I also have this loathing for fruit flies. (I have no idea where they hide, since I did not have any until about 5PM, but now they have a small posse hovering about my kitchen.) I took one of my glass milk jars, sterilized it, and hung the jelly bag inside. It can drip all it wants and the juice will stay inside the jar and off of my counter top. I put the lid on, and the fruit flies can not get inside! Ha!

I also have about 2 gallons of applesauce to cook down a bit more in the morning and then can up. I think I’ll spice some and leave some plain. Perhaps even some apple butter will come out of that. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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