It’s huckleberry and blueberry time. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)

Liam’s Lowdown: A recipe for wildberry season

Rain, rain, and more rain. However, knowing my luck by the time this is published, the sun will have returned. And the wet will be nothing more than a forgotten memory.

Regardless, we’re entering harvest time in Revelstoke. At least, for some things.

If you wander the trails, you’ve probably noticed flecks of blue and purple. The blueberries and huckleberries are ripe for picking.

Some people think it’s best not to pick wild berries because they are much-needed food for animals, such as bears. Like anything, it’s all about balance. There’s a difference between picking enough for a pie and ramping up a commercial operation. The B.C. government defines commercial harvesting as picking more than 10 litres per person, with the intention of selling.

It’s hard not to snack. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

I can never bring myself to buy the things that can be foraged. Why buy rhubarb when it grows like weeds? Why get blueberries, when just a few woods over, they carpet the forest floor? Many trees in town are loaded with cherries, just waiting to be picked.

Of course, this might not be the cherries’ year. The fruit splits if there’s too much rain. But they still taste good.

Since summer is a time for harvest, here is a recipe for the blueberries/huckleberries. And heck, if you’re feeling adventurous, try it with cherries. Or maybe go crazy and off-recipe with something like sweet potato and dill grunt. The kitchen is meant for adventuring, after all.

A blueberry grunt is a dessert from Atlantic Canada. It’s a dessert of tea biscuit dumplings cooked in blueberries, typically served with ice cream. The name comes from the “grunting” sound the blueberries make while being cooked. Here is an excellent recipe from the Taste of Nova Scotia website:

Ingredients

4 cups Nova Scotia wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup sugar*

1 tsp lemon or lime juice

2 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp sugar

1⁄2 tsp salt

1⁄2 cup butter

1 egg

about 1/2 cup milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 425F.

Pour blueberries into oven-safe deep-dish pie plate and add sugar and lemon or lime juice. Stir well, then place the dish in the oven and bake berries uncovered. 10 to 15 minutes for fresh berries or 20 minutes for frozen berries.

While the berries are in the oven, make the biscuits: In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt to mix.

Break butter into pieces with hands and add to flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour with a fork until butter and flour are combined in small crumbly pieces.

Crack an egg into a measuring cup and top with milk to 3⁄4 cup.

Mix egg and milk with a fork. Add to flour mixture and blend with a fork until combined — mix in any remaining dry bits with hands.

Take hot blueberries out of the oven – scoop biscuit dough with a 1⁄4 cup measuring cup and arrange on top of hot berries (approximately 11 biscuits).

Carefully cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and return to oven.

Bake, covered, 15 minutes. Remove dish from oven and carefully remove foil. Place the dish back in the oven and continue to bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until biscuits are lightly golden.

Allow to cool 10 minutes or so —the longer the grunt sits, the more blueberry liquid the biscuits will soak up. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

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