Saturday, January 4, 2014

'Tis the Season - Celebrations and Memories!

Around here, we've had lots to celebrate!  This week my sweet husband and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary, then came the New Year.  We celebrated by chaperoning a youth dance... fun, huh?

Today, it is our daughters' birthday (birthdays?)
I consider it MY birth-day, as I'm the one who gave birth to these darling girls.  That's fair, isn't it?

Our favorite way to celebrate...
Huckleberries.

Found in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains and the upper Northwest US, (and maybe, Mongolia) these elusive little berries have a bright, zippy taste with a lemony-blueberry zing.... ah, heck, it's hard to describe.   From my house, head North about 238 miles.  Tromp into the wilderness about 20 miles East over the hills from Grandpa's farm, past a moose, a couple of deer, over three cattle guards, around a creek (pronounced "crick") into the forested hills to sit for hours in a bear's favorite berry patch picking these precious, teeny little sweeties.  Sometimes it takes all day to get a gallon!  And they don't always grow in the same spot or at the same density each season, or even every year - just depends on the weather.


I'm also thinking about my Dad.  He passed away one year ago today.  He joined my Momma, who has been gone nearly 14 years.  One of our family's favorite things to do in the summer was to go "Huckleberryin'".  Dad would scout out the best berry patches on horseback, a regular "huckleberry hound".  In later years, he'd use his "wheeled" horse.  He could find the biggest berries, complete with a nearby stump for Mom to sit on and pick.  Her raspberry-huckleberry jam was legendary.


So, last summer, my little brother found the perfect hillside for my sisters and nieces, and assumed the "Huckleberry Hound" title.  We picked, we reminisced, we tasted a few berries, we laughed, we cried a little.  It was a gooood huckleberry season.

I came home and made Raspberry-Huckleberry jam.  One bite is a mouthful of memories.

But now, it's time for some Huckleberry Cheesecake.

Ingredients:
1 8-oz brick of cream cheese
1 cup powdered confectioner's sugar
1/2 pint (1 cup) whipping cream
Pre-made shortbread or graham cracker crust(s)
Strawberry flavor Danish Dessert pudding/pie glaze/topping mix
1 to 2 cups berries
     (huckleberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)

Instructions:
  Blend together cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Set aside.

  In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.  Be careful not to over-beat!

  Gently fold in whipped cream with cream cheese mixture.  That's it!  Instant "Cheesecake".  It's more like cream cheese fluff, but we call it cheesecake, anyway.

  Spread half of the mixture into prepared shortbread or graham cracker crusts.   Use the leftover to pipe around the edges.    Use any more leftover cheesecake mixture and fill dessert dishes, a second crust or sometimes I use mini crusts.  Refrigerate.


Next, make the topping.

Put on an apron (see my newest apron next Monday at Cutting Corners for Riley Blake Designs).
Prepare Danish Dessert pudding/pie glaze/topping according to package directions using 2 cups water.
  Bring the water to a boil, stir in the mix, boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  (Click HERE for a made-from-scratch recipe from Anne at The Changeable Table.)

Remove from heat and stir in 1 to 2 cups fresh or frozen berries.  To serve, pour the partially cooled berry sauce over individual slices of cheesecake.

If you are making the cheesecake beforehand, pour berry sauce over the entire cheesecake, then refrigerate until cooled and set, then slice and serve.
Or not.  I couldn't resist.


Or, you could skip the cheesecake, and pour the huckleberry sauce over pancakes or waffles... ♥


... or pour the sauce over ice cream, OR over the ice cream on top of the waffles, just like we used to do for birthdays when I was a kid.


Any leftover berry sauce?  Huckleberry shakes.  You're welcome, honey!


Happy Anniversary, Happy Blogiversary, Happy New Year, Happy Birthday(s) to my girls;  Love and miss you Momma and Papa.

Please pass the cheesecake.  And the tissues.
P.S.  Hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and we wish you all the best for 2014!
Stay tuned for new weekly quilty/sewing tutorials resuming next week, giveaways, 
a block of the month quilt-along starting soon, new patterns, quilt rescue, 
blog hops, and sew much more! 
Now to clean up the kitchen and get back to sewing!

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your great memories and celebrations. (((HUGS)))

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  2. What a lot of happy memories. :) Your Huckleberry everything looks fantastic!

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  3. A very sweet tribute to family and love.

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  4. I am sure your Dad will be looking down on his anniversary at you and your family and see that you are enjoying life and thinking about both him and your Mum who are now together. Your food looks delicious but I am rather lazy when it comes to cooking. Congratulations on the wedding anniversary and happy birthday to your girls.

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  5. This was so wonderful to read...all the happy celebrations, the memories and the tradition that carries on. Thank you for sharing it.

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  6. A very sweet post about your family and memories..Ymmmm, I can't say that I have ever tasted a Huckleberry, are they similar to a blueberry? The food looks delicious, now I am going to make me a pancake or two and maybe have a little Raspberry Jam on it....Hugs, Sandy

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  7. Deonn, this post made me smile and brought me to tears all at the same time. It brought back lots of memories and feelings I thought I had forgotten. Thank you for sharing! I hope your new year is wonderful. Julie from Ric Rac and Polka Dots

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  8. I love hearing about your adventures picking Huckleberries and your Memories .I have never had Huckleberries they are not to be found in our area of Canada. We have wild strawberries in the summer on our farm or go to local growers for tame ones, raspberries and blueberries. Yours look delicious.

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  9. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories. I had to grab my tissue.

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  10. love the story, the pics, YOU ….this is an amazing post…there is something about the joy of family we just cannot put a price on…to a glorious 2014 you of all people deserve goodness in abounds

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  11. Dear Deonn, thank you for sharing your touchy story! Wish you happiness and piece this New Year! Lot of combined emotions, totally relate to you. Its always nice to stop by.
    Wish you all a very Happy New Year again!

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  12. I haven't had huckleberries in so many years....those and mulberries bring back tons of memories. blessings, marlene

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  13. Huckleberry picking is one of our family traditions as well! My mom likes to make apple-huckleberry pies. We will have to look into raspberry-huckleberry jam. Thank you for sharing your story!
    ~Brandy

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So glad you stopped by for a visit!

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