The big trip we’d been promising all week – the visit to the cabane a sucre, a half hour drive from us. Now, let’s be clear that this place is definitely a tourist trap, but that's OK. It’s hard to find things that are authentic sometimes, and with children in tow, authenticity can be a little…well, boring. So the whole experience for them was magical. A trip to the woods is exciting enough (oh yes, this country girl is raising very suburban children). A trip to the woods in the dark with the promise of a sugar fest and some dancing to local music is just beyond my children's wildest dreams!
So let me tell you what we learned about sugaring off. First of all you have to grow the right kind of maple tree. Then the weather conditions have to be just perfect (freezing nights, warm spring days). Then you stick this simple metal bucket into the tree and wait a few hours and hey presto you have maple sap. Then you boil it and voila – maple syrup. It takes 40 litres to make 1 litre of pure sap and absolutely nothing is added.
Then you may eat it any number of ways in sausages, beans, meatballs, sugar pies, and on just about everything - most commonly, waffles and pancakes. But the most special of all is the maple taffy. Hot molten sap poured straight on the snow – insert stick and roll away!
We had a wonderful time, an extremely late night and a belly full of maple syrup.
If you like maple syrup then enter my giveaway later this week as I have a small bottle of the real deal and a little handsewn art up for grabs to celebrate the passing of my 100th post last week without me noticing.