…once in awhile you have to sit down and eat some wild blackberries
Summer is here and in full swing, for us, that means we are busy packing and unpacking dry bags, tents and coolers. There has been plenty of Idaho Whitewater Rafting for us this summer, with some more trips on the books. For others, it may mean that they’re planning last minute adventures before the kids go back to school. In the last couple weeks, we’ve not only been loving on summer time, but we’ve been enjoying the fruits of summer’s long hot days.
This past Saturday, we went to McCall’s Farmer’s Market and what did our wondering eyes behold? So many people, vendors and goods. We were drawn to the local wild foods that many of the vendors brought. In particular, the wild blackberries, huckleberries, plums, apricots and mushrooms. At the market we purchased some wild plums and a King Bolete mushroom- touted to be one of the best edible wild mushrooms, we didn’t realize that they were already out and growing in the forests near our house. We had some rain recently, followed by hot weather which is the perfect growing condition for the King Bolete. We took our wild plums home and snacked on them all weekend and used our giant mushroom in a tri-tip and veggie shish-ka-bob. And boy oh boy, was it delicious! I would have to agree with the mushroom judges- the King Bolete had such great texture and flavor, that it sent us into the woods on our own hunt for more mushrooms. We weren’t as successful as we would have liked to of been in finding any but we did find many other varieties and had a wonderful afternoon.
So, what does all of this talk about wild foods have to do with the Idaho Whitewater Rafting? Well, it just so happens that the river canyons (the Snake and the Salmon Rivers) are loaded with wild fruits and berries. There are many orchards left over from days past, when Hells Canyon was a mining and ranching area. Many of the orchards still exist today, on our Idaho Whitewater Rafting trips, we often stop to see if the fruits are ripe and if we’re lucky, we’ll be able to gather some sun kissed apricots that bake perfectly into a riverside dessert- dutch over cobbler.
Blackberries flourish alongside the river banks, there are a many camping spots along the river that are lined with blackberry bushes. But don’t forget about the apples, cherries, and peaches that hide away in maintained and over grown orchards lift by early settlers you never know what you may come up with on a hike along the river bank, the possibilities for a wild culinary adventure are endless. We have been known to mix up some blackberry mojitos, blackberry pancakes, blackberry chutney, a blackberry glaze for grilled chicken, and the list goes on. So, in order to experience some of these wild food adventures, you’ll have to visit Idaho for some whitewater rafting. We spend so much time in the river canyons, that we know when the fruits are ripe, so it’s not all about whitewater. Once in awhile you have to sit down along the river and eat some wild blackberries.
Here is a group from last summer in front of an apricot tree.
Until next time….