It seemed the holidays were barely behind us when E asked me to help her think of a 4-H Food Fair entry. Food Fair came earlier than usual this year and the theme was A Taste of Montana. After brainstorming some ideas, she and I decided that her creamy huckleberry fudge would be a winner. Hoping to sway the judges even more, we bought western shaped cookie cutters to cut the fudge.
After an unpleasant Friday evening before Food Fair, it was off to Whitefish the following morning. The overnight freezing rain hadn’t made the roads overly slick and we safely arrived at the mall where the fair was being held. Clubs were setting up their booths as we helped E bring her supplies inside. This is what E’s club-table looked like, and honestly, I don’t get it.
Food Fair makes for a long day and the candy division wouldn’t be judged for hours. In order to kill some time, David, Mallory, and I went shopping at Ski Haus and the grocery store. When checking back in with E, I took some pictures, and this is how her dish of fudge was displayed.
The three of us left E again. In the mall parking lot under a big white canopy with a sign that advertised HOT TAMALES is where we met Mr. Espinoza. Of course the notion of hot tamales absolutely intrigued my husband and we walked over to the tent. Mr. Espinoza obviously understood how to influence potential customers, and served up a hearty sample of his spicy tamales and rice. We stood around the table eating and chatting and he told us that in addition to selling tamales, he was a diver. Piquing our interest, he began to tell us that he dives offshore for a company out of Fouchon, Louisiana which made me feel a connection as Louisiana is my old home state. After an enjoyable conversation, we bid him adieu and started driving north.
David pulled into the Grouse Mountain Lodge parking lot. Still passing the time, we went inside to see what it was like. I don’t know if you’ve ever done this before, but it’s fun to browse the lobbies and halls of lodges and hotels. “A Taste of Montana” would best describe the ambiance and decor of the lodge. Game mounts and animal hides dressed the walls.
Comfortable and logde-y, the lobby was still decked out in holiday trimmings.
Sitting near the warm fire for a short time, we watched cross country skiers pass outside of the window.
E called and said she was hungry – we picked her up and went for pizza. Afterwards, we returned to Food Fair for the candy judging. We waited through cake judging and I was impressed with this awesome hamburger cake.
Finally it was time for the candy judging. Another club member had made huckleberry fudge and we knew the winner could be either one. The judging was complete and E received a blue ribbon!
However, the grand prize went to this delicious no-cook cream cheese huckleberry fudge.
If you would like to try either of these award winning candies, please head on over to our Facebook Page, and look under notes for the recipes of creamy huckleberry fudge or no-cook cream cheese fudge.
Updated from original post to include E’s Huckleberry Fudge Recipe
Huckleberry Fudge Recipe
- 2 1/4 C. sugar
- 6 oz. evaporated milk
- 6 oz. milk chocolate chips
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 1 1/2 Tbs. vanilla
- 1 sm. jar huckleberry jam
- 4 oz. melted white chocolate
Butter sides of large heavy pan. Boil milk and sugar, stirring constantly, until it reaches soft ball on candy thermometer. Remove pan from heat and add milk chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, butter and vanilla. Beat with wooden spoon at least 5 minutes. Swirl huckleberry jam into fudge. As you are pouring the fudge into the pans, add spoonfuls of semi-melted white chocolate. Swirl melted white chocolate to make a marbled effect. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours to set.
Recipe Source: Recipe4Living