Don't you just adore that iconic red and black checked shirt of the gentleman testing his syrup???? Love, love, love it!!!! I have my own red and black shirt, scarf, gloves and hat ready to go!!!!
Anyways, I've been craving the sweet stuff for weeks now in preparation for my sugar house visits in CT and MA where they will be boiling a few weeks earlier that our northern friends in VT and NH. So far, I've had my Corse Farm syrup (Whitingham, VT) on Cabot plain yogurt (looks like sugar on snow as I pile it on!), cream of wheat and yes, vanilla ice cream. How about right out of the bottle???? We recently went to a sugar house in lower SW MA for our first official pancake breakfast but alas, not boiling yet due to weather conditions. A bit disappointed but understood. However, the breakfast was divine with LOTS of syrup on pancakes and sausage. We sat right next to the wood stove overlooking the cross country trails and later took a lovely drive through the back roads. Just divine! I still have two bottles of syrup purchased at last year's Dorset Farmer's Market during my VT foliage vacation and can't wait to open them! And I still haven't started this year's adventures!
What I love the most about visiting Vermont's sugar houses is not only the tasting/buying of their finished products, but it is their pride and delight shared with visitors when they showcase their sugaring process. I feel like family as soon as we enter the facilities. Moreover, the comradery shared with their fellow sugar makers is so special! Maple sugaring season is such a festive event, I can never get enough of it all. As I mentioned before, it comes close to foliage season at the top of my list! Last year we hit 6 sugar houses in one day in Whitingham's maple weekend (link to come, same time as the official open house weekend). I tasted every grade in each of the sugar houses and then some (maple ice cream, maple covered nuts, maple shakes, maple candy, maple cream, maple cookies and my latest and most epic new maple taste, sugar on snow! Wow, now that was amazing! And a pickle and doughnut to top it off! Needless to say, I didn't touch anything maple related for at least a week, well maybe to be honest, a few days!
I hope you all can visit your local sugar houses as the sweet season is taking hold very soon. Sugaring season heralds in the arrival of spring and I for one, am VERY READY!
Stay tuned for more updates! Cheers! CT
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot
The maple festival in St. Albans just came out. It is in the latter part of April, almost a month later than the state wide festival in March. I heard the one in St. Albans is absolutely amazing.
Still waiting for details on the schedule for March 23/24...… Stay tuned! CT
This year I want to try the hotdogs boiled in the sap in the evaporator! It sounds so yummy! Has anyone ever tried that?
Soon to come, the links for the amazing Whitingham VT Maple Festival. Been three times and last year was the first experience dashing through their snow covered fields on a horse drawn sleigh with two amazing Belgians! (Temps in the teens but sooooo worth the exhilaration!!!!!)
I'm adding this event for those of you who can't make it all the way up into central and northern Vermont for a day trip excursion from the very southern New England states (unless you are staying up there somewhere). If you plan your stops and leave southern MA or CT or RI by 7:30 a.m. you can make between 5 and 6 of the sugarhouses and get home by early evening! It is a long day but soooooooo worth it! You can also hit the craft fair at the local school in Whitingham, take a sleigh ride there (weather permitting) and have the time of your life.
Enjoy this festive season and help support all of the very hard working sugar makers throughout New England! The best combination in my experience is to find a sugarhouse that has a restaurant for breakfast and have pancakes, waffles, French toast and other maple delights! Then hit as many sugarhouses as you can fit in; each one is so different … from small family owned to state of the art operations with RO (reverse osmosis).
Because MA is having their maple open house the weekend before Vermont, I will add their site soon. I'm so happy to start in CT this weekend, the following weekend in MA and the Vermont weekend to follow!
Mapley yours, CT
Schedule of events:
https://whitingham-maplefest.weebly.com ... vents.html
List of sugar houses:
https://whitingham-maplefest.weebly.com ... ouses.html
For those of you interested in making the rounds for sugaring open houses here is the one for Massachusetts! We've been to several last year and they are amazing. Most of the ones we went to were in south central MA and we hope to get to some more next weekend! If you open the link, and check the box for restaurants, they will populate. The foodie menu for North Hadley sounds excellent for example, and we will be there for sure! You can do a few in your area and then head to Vermont the weekend after! Enjoy!
https://www.massmaple.org/buy-maple-syr ... e-weekend/
I'm looking for the CT sugarhouses as they are now tapping/boiling. Stay tuned!
All these links should provide you with a sweet tooth maple gratification for sure!
Vermont Maple's Instagram is incredible! They just posted a video of a solar powered sugarhouse; they were the first in Vermont to do so and others have followed. If you click on any of the Instagram posts you can view the operations, meet the awesome folks and their families and see the products showcased. I've never tried raised maple glazed donuts produced off the boiling sap right there in the sugarhouse and I have added that to my maple sweet tooth bucket list! And to top it off, dip it into some hot maple syrup! I just have to find a sugarhouse that makes them during Vermont's Maple Open House Weekend when I am tooling around Southern Vermont. I want the "real deal" right off the boiling sap, rather than buy them somewhere.
How about Citizen Cider's Tree Tapper Maple Cider! Unreal! The stuff folks come up with to partner with maple sap is ingenious!
My love affair with maple syrup continueth!!!! I'm off to pour some on my cream of wheat now that I think of it!
A nice article from the Bennington Banner about Robb Family Farm! We are taking a little diversion from the Whitingham Maple Festival to visit this sugarhouse! I've always wanted to go to this farm in any season and am excited to visit during sugarin' season!