Lesson 990 – Following the NH Maple Syrup Trail

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This weekend Marc, some of the kids and I went on the Maple Syrup trail in New Hampshire. Although maple sugaring goes on throughout the spring season (until the maple tree buds come out), this weekend is set aside yearly by the State for different sugar shacks to display their operations, have goodies out for sampling and selling, provide tours, and to generally give everyone a reason to celebrate (and who doesn’t celebrate about Maple Syrup?)

On Saturday we visited 6 different sugar shacks where at each one you are given a medicinal cup with a sample of syrup in it. We also tried maple candy, cookies, brownies, crème horns, maple infused hotdogs, and maple coffee.  Even with that feast, there were many things we didn’t try. Have you figured out that maple is BIG in New Hampshire?

While maple sugar, as a sugar substitute doesn’t always work, most of foods sold did. Believe it or not the highlight of our tour was a hot dog that was pumped full with hot maple syrup – sounds gross right? All I can say is don’t knock it till you’ve tried it (and if you’re going to try it be sure to include the spicy maple mustard on top.) This was like eating a deep fried Twinkie – you know it’s bad for you but you can’t help licking all of your fingers clean at the end.

Trust me, though, as good as maple syrup and maple sugar is, at the end of the day all we wanted for dinner was a huge (unsweet) salad to wash all it all down. Even for us hard Granite Staters, too much of a good thing can sometimes be too much.

At every single shack, the owners told me that due to the very cold winter and lack of warm days for the sap to flow (you want warm days and cold nights) they were all at about half the production of what they normally made.  They also told me that the maple buds came out as a result of increased sunlight (much like the eggs are coming out in our hen house now that there is more sun) so if the weather doesn’t  get warmer very soon (and a blizzard is predicted in our area tomorrow) then it will be a very bad maple syrup season.

And for those of us who have grown up on the stuff and who would rather die than have a bottle of Aunt Jemima’s on our breakfast table, a very bad maple syrup season is a sad thing indeed.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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5 Comments

Filed under Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Holidays, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotable Chicks, The Family

5 responses to “Lesson 990 – Following the NH Maple Syrup Trail

  1. Sarah

    Sounds a lot like my weekend in NY. All over NY maple producers open their doors to visitors the last two weekends in March. Highlight this year was the “maple milk” at the pancake breakfast – the fresh unhomogenized whole jersey milk dusted up with dark syrup was a small piece of heaven. This was enhanced by the breakfast being served at one of the few places that had a enough sap to boil so the room was steamy with flashes of bright heat as the wood furnace was stoked. I also came home with locust honey on the comb from a producer with no sap to boil, but honey. It’s going to be a lean year in NY as well, if it doesn’t warm up during the day SOON. Thank you for your post, Wendy.

    • Wendy Thomas

      Sarah,

      I didn’t write about it but one of the highlights of our weekend was also trying “maple milk” for the first time! In ours they used 2 cups of milk, 3 tablespoons of syrup and just a splash of vanilla.

      It was heaven and something we will be adding to our celebration tables.

      Glad you also had a fun weekend on the maple trail.

      Wendy

      On Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 9:41 AM, Lessons Learned from the Flock wrote:

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  2. All five hens are still alive. My wife is pushing the odds and not ordering any chicks this year. She feels encouraged that “Big Mama,” the top of the pecking order, who has been feeling a little peckish, and perhaps a bit arthritic, has been the first one out of the coop the last two mornings. Though once she is out, she stands there looking a bit confused with an expression on her face (do chickens have expressions on their faces?) that I interpret as meaning, “I came outside because . . . Somebody remind me why I am standing out here.”

    • Wendy Thomas

      Well there are certainly days when I can identify with Big Mama. 5 chickens left and no chicks? Didn’t you have a time with air and land predators last year? This should be an interesting year for you and your flock.

      Wendy

      On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 12:18 AM, Lessons Learned from the Flock wrote:

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