With two days in San Francisco under our belts, Jeniqua and I set off on Saturday morning to wend our way, via Caltrain, bus, and private vee-hick-el, to her current place of residence in the mountains. For the sake of Jeniqua’s (and the owner’s) privacy, I shan’t give exact coordinates, but suffice it to say that I’ve spent the past week on a mountain farm in the Monterey/Big Sur/Carmel Valley area, and
When we arrived, I discovered I’d be sleeping in my own private attic-loft, and my heart fell in an instant for this room that made me feel like I was Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Oh, how I adore the words that flew from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s pen, and oh, how I dreamed as a kid of living her life (minus the malaria and periods of near-starvation and farming struggles, but plus an extra-strength Almanzo, if you please).
As I stepped into the attic I felt my heart leap again in my chest, for the farm’s owner and Jeniqua’s friend, Lloyd, had placed not only a fresh bouquet of flowers by my bed, but a little box of chocolate covered cacao nibs on my pillow too.
Thank you, Lloyd. You are magical and made me feel truly welcome.
(I also appreciated honing my mountain goat skills by climbing up and down the near-vertical steps to the attic, particularly at 3am with a head-torch strapped to my head.
Yes, a head-torch. Sometimes I’m so glamorous I can’t even stand it.)
One of the most wonderful parts of my farm visit was the abundance of fresh fruit always readily available, including fruit I’ve never had the chance to try before.
Sweet, tart, tangy, juicy, delicious huckleberries, which I spent two hours sorting and picking over one afternoon, neck burning in the sun as I swatted bugs away from my (mine, all mine!) bounty.
Once the sour green huckleberries and twigs had been removed from the ripe glowing berries, Jeniqua and I called in Lloyd and the WWOOFers with the promise of frosty sweet huckleberry smoothies.
Listen ye well: our smoothies were magnificent. Into one batch went huckleberries, burstingly-ripe yellow plums, almond milk, vanilla, and ice. Into another went peaches, huckleberries, agave, ice, and almond coconut milk.
All sweet, all locally picked or foraged, all refreshing, all perfect.
Fresh Huckleberry Plum Smoothie
Serves 1 (ingredients are estimated; adjust to taste, and add sweetener if needed)
- 1/2 cup fresh huckleberries
- 2-3 ridiculously ripe and sweet little plums
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup ice
- Blend all to a gloriously thick magenta creation.
- Drink in the sun with friends, happy.
Question Time: Have you had huckleberries before? What did you do with them?