March 22, 2013

The Simple Pleasure of Maple Syrup




Between the last freezing days of winter and the first warm days of spring, when the days get longer, the nights stay cold and the day temperature reaches a mild 5°C, sugar makers drill a small hole into the sugar-maple tree, place a tap onto the tree, hang a bucket on the tap so that the maple sap from the tree would drip into the bucket and wait for collection. The sap is basically the blood of the maple tree as it stocks sugar and nutrients for the tree to grow. Once the sap is collected, it is then boiled to evaporate water and become a syrup. The syrup is filtered, bottled and it is finally ready to be used over pancakes, French toast, popcorn, ice cream, in muffin recipes and salad dressings, or for an execution of sophisticated culinary...
In fact, long before the Europeans arrived in North America, the Native people have been practicing the art of making this natural product referring to it as "drawn from the wood".
Since, I believe, there is nothing more Canadian than maple syrup (or, perhaps, hockey, according to my son), each year small towns, villages and conservation areas across Ontario host annual Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festivals.   
Last week we took part in one of these truly special events, where we started off the morning the only possible way-by overindulging ourselves on the biggest warm delicious pancakes.
Next, we took the horse-drawn wagon ride, walked through the woods to experience again the entire maple syrup process, enjoyed the wood carving, hugged the little goats, bought the purest maple syrup from the "Sugar Shack", met the friendliest people in the area and headed back to the pancake house for more pancakes with more maple syrup... 
In other words, we simply did celebrate the first harvest of spring, the simple pleasures of the shortest season of "maple moon" which always comes as a sweet testimony of the arrival of the most promising time period of the year...





Pure Maple Syrup is one of life's simple pleasures and one of Nature's wonders. Moreover, the health benefits of real syrup are far more abundant that one might expect. Coming directly from a plant's sap, this natural sweetener features numbers of natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
But in order to get real maple syrup, we have to be conscious and always thoroughly check the labels when we buy it from grocery stores. Statistics show that very often leading pancake syrups contain zero pure maple syrup and rely on high fructose corn syrup and additives like artificial flavorings and coloring agents. Sometimes imitation syrups list maple syrup as an ingredient, when it only contains as little as 5%.
Double-check the bottle to make sure you are getting pure maple syrup and enjoy all the simple pleasure this all-natural energy booster provides.



Hope your days are happy!

Thank you!


Seasonal Sundays




19 comments:

  1. Hi Sylvia. Living in New Brunswick, we love the sugar bush here. In fact, we are hoping to go to one tomorrow. Kings Landing Historical Settlement is holding it's second Sugar Bush Weekend too but I think I'd like to go to a real camp as it's been quite a few years since we have. Your post with it's pictures show what a sugar bush camp is like. I have never heard of Maple Tea before. Is it actually maple flavoured tea? Thanks for this post! Pamela

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  2. These photos are wonderful. You really captured the process. Living in Ontario, we are big fans of the sugar bushes in the area. It is a family tradition to visit many times in the Spring. Nothing finer than real maple syrup. Deb

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  3. Good morning my beautiful friend!

    Nothing does speak more CANADIAN culinary culture than maple syrup! When I lived in Massachusetts, Vermont maple syrup was the best, ever. It makes for a delicious "Indian Pudding", a lovely dish served up at Thanksgiving and that requires about eight hours of baking. Maple syrup and molasses makes the flavors so distinct.

    I suppose your weather is still on the chilly side, like chez nous. But we will soon be getting a glimpse of the daffodils and hyacinth that will soon poke through the snow.

    Hugs to you sweet Sylvia! Anita

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  4. What a wonderful post! I love the pictures as they really show the process. I'd never had maple syrup until I arrived in the US! Now I'm practically addicted!
    Mary x

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  5. Ι've just discover your great blog!I'm your newest follower!

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  6. Hi Sylvia~ Your photos are a delight as always! Real Maple Syrup is a treat, I feel like I am there and ready for a sample! Hope your days are on a warming trend :)

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  7. I bet that fresh maple syrup fresh from the tree is unbelievable! I never knew there was a season for it. Your photos are stunning, I felt like I was there. Wonderful post!
    Jenna

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  8. Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

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  9. Oh, I have not had breakfast this morning - that pancake with maple syrup sounds divine!! I love all of photos - thank you for sharing this wonderful tradition with us. We definitely do not have this in Georgia!!

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  10. Nothing like the real thing!

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  11. We have a couple of vendors that sell maple syrup at our farmers' market in the summer and I stock up to last over winter. I liked the dinner plate sized pancake, yummy.

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  12. Hi, Thank you for sharing all about maple syrup.
    Being from New England this all brought back many
    wonderful memories of times spent in Vermont at the
    at the maple sugar festivals. Your photos are beautiful
    and make me very hungry for some maple syrup on some
    johnnycakes.....yummmmmmmm!
    Corinne

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  13. Oh, I love maple syrup. I so enjoyed looking at your beautiful pictures and reading about this simple pleasure.

    I also want to let you know that I will be sharing you and your wonderful blog on my 3rd Girl Time tomorrow (Tuesday). I will be introducing you to my friends. Sure hope you will stop by tomorrow and check it out.

    Blessings to you, Amy

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  14. Love your post and maple syrup which is so much better fresh made than from the grocery shelf.

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  15. I love this post, and it makes me want to travel to your neck of the woods to see all this for myself. I grew up in Maple Syrup country, but I have lived a thousand miles away from it for my entire adult life. You are so right about the *blech* they sell in stores and try to pass off as maple syrup.

    I also loved your post below. It is actually the "draw" for me because you were shouted out on both "At the Picket Fence" and Amy's Girl Talk on "All Things Home". So very glad I clicked and came. I would love to follow you.

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  16. Hi! I'm new to your blog - stopped over from Amy's! Enjoyed this post on true Maple Syrup. I've recently (about 6 months ago) gone off refined sugar completely and one of the things I've really enjoyed is 100% pure Maple Syrup - it is the best way to replace refined sugar!! Loved your pictures and look forward to perusing your blog a bit more. Have a wonderful week! ~ Dori ~

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  17. Dear sister, what a fantastic experience! I have always found the process miraculous, and we are fortunate to have sugar maples in our state...
    The syrup I end up purchasing, though, is mostly Canadian.. :)
    I also learned that Grade B is the one to go for, it is less processed, but I have yet to try it..
    Maple sugar is so yummy, and I have never heard of maple tea...I'll need to seek that out!
    Beautiful photos..I love those sweet animals...
    Have a BLESSED Easter, dear one...
    Sending love to you,
    - Irina

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  18. This place is awesome! Though I havent been there, my friend's family was and they had so much fun. tasting maple syrup is just one of the many things that they did. Makes want to go there too! :D! http://www.sugarshackvt.com/

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  19. Maple Sirup is one of my favorites. I bought some bottles during our summer trip through Ontario. Toronto is one of our beloved cities.
    Lovely hugs and a wonderful weekend
    Molly

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