Recipe: James Beard's Huckleberry Cake

HuckleberriesAn Oregon native, James Beard was fond of the many types of wild berries that dot the Pacific Northwestern landscape. In Delights and Prejudices he recounts the springtime berry-picking excursions he took as a child with his family, searching for fruits to use in baked goods and jams. The holy grail of these outings was the huckleberry, which typically grows on mountain slopes and is difficult to reach. When the Beards had the good fortune to stumble upon an elusive patch, they gathered huckleberries to put in pies, clafoutis, or this simple but fantastic cake, a recipe from a family friend. Huckleberry cultivation is rare, so you usually won't see them at grocery stores or farmers' markets. Blueberries, which are similar in flavor and will be available soon, are an excellent substitute.

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Recipe: James Beard's Huckleberry Cake

HuckleberriesAn Oregon native, James Beard was fond of the many types of wild berries that dot the Pacific Northwestern landscape. In Delights and Prejudices he recounts the springtime berry-picking excursions he took as a child with his family, searching for fruits to use in baked goods and jams. The holy grail of these outings was the huckleberry, which typically grows on mountain slopes and is difficult to reach. When the Beards had the good fortune to stumble upon an elusive patch, they gathered huckleberries to put in pies, clafoutis, or this simple but fantastic cake, a recipe from a family friend. Huckleberry cultivation is rare, so you usually won't see them at grocery stores or farmers' markets. Blueberries, which are similar in flavor and will be available soon, are an excellent substitute.

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Happy Birthday, Mr. Beard

Beard at his desk If alive today, Jim Beard would be celebrating his 106th birthday. We’re more than happy to carry on the celebration, and the excitement of the annual Beard Awards makes for a pretty great birthday party. As a child Beard would always celebrate his special day with an enormous picnic at the Oaks, a Portland amusement park. There were tongue and ham sandwiches, salads, and relishes, and a giant coconut cake. In Beard’s memoir he proclaimed these outings “the most successful birthday party of the whole year, because of the good food and the excitement of the park.” Our friends at Culinate.com have written a lovely piece in honor of Beard’s birthday filled with remembrances from a number of Portlanders. Happy Birthday, Mr. Beard Portlanders celebrate James Beard By Kim Carlson May 5, 2009

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