Tag Archives: maple-syrup

A few Memories of Maple Syrup

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A few Memories of Maple Syrup

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This maple syrup business near Ferguson Falls has been in Tom McEwen’s family since 1936. The sugar shanty that’s still used today was built in the early 1950s. The public is welcome to stroll through to see an open evaporating system fueled by logs that turns sap to syrup. Sunday travellers can also explore some of about 75 acres of forest and then sample some of the sweet bounty at the McEwen’s pancake house.

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Kathy Bradford Would that be Bert Hazelwood??

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Bill Davis on the right

I have been honoured to see a few local home movies and I don’t want to lose these so I am going to group them here and add new ones if I find them. If you have any, please send them my way..:)

First one--Thanks Terry Closs.. It’s Maple syrup time on Snow Road– Here’s a home movie that his father took, of a visit to a local sugar camp near Snow Road in the early 60’s

So What Did you Eat with Maple Syrup? Pickles?

Cooking with Findlay’s — Christine Armstrong’s Inheritance and Maple Syrup Recipe

Granny’s Maple Fudge —Lanark County Recipes

Life in the Sugar Bush in the 1800s

What You Might Not Know About The Maples

That Smell Of The Lanark County SAP Being Processed — Noreen Tyers

Sticky Fingers – With Apologies to Edward Gorey –Wheeler’s Pancake House

 

So What Did you Eat with Maple Syrup? Pickles?

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Shane Wm. Edwards sent me this and I was kind of baffled.

 

The classic combo of donuts, pickles, and boiled syrup make up this #RootedinVermont sugar-on-snow banquet, featured in the Time Life New England cookbook in 1970. The acidity of the pickles helps cut the sweetness of the maple and donuts.

A chapter on maple syrup-makers in Vermont documents “sugaring-off” parties, a day in the maple syrup season in rural Vermont when sugar-makers invite all comers to their “sugarhouse” to the taste the freshly-boiled maple syrup/sugar, turned into candy in the snow. Essential to this Vermont experience were fresh brown doughnuts and sour dill pickles. Roaldus Richmond, the author of this chapter writes:

The hot sugar is ladled onto the snow in fantastic patterns, quickly hardening into brittle amber pools against the white. The sugar is taken up with forks, wound around the tines, and lifted to the mouth. The taste is indescribable. It is rich and smooth and pleasing, delicate and pure. It is not sickish-sweet, yet sweet enough to require the sour bitterness of pickles to re-sharpen the appetite from time to time…Crisp plain doughnuts help temper the sweetness and strong hot coffee tops off the feast.

Maple syrup, doughnuts and coffee sound explicable and obvious; pickles and maple syrup is a historical flavour combination that I’d never considered. So I got out a dill pickle and dipped it in maple syrup (pictured below). They’re the only two American foods in my pantry, so I should have known that they could work together.

There are no two flavours that do a better job of cancelling each other out. With a little experimentation into the correct concentration of pickle to syrup, you could construct a pickle dish that tastes like nothing at all but full of good pickle texture; a textural amalgam of yielding and crunchiness. You wouldn’t achieve much at all from this. While palate-cleansing is a worthy pursuit, there is no glory in tasteless food.

Maple syrup production in Vermont is in decline. Winters are getting warmer and so maple syrup production is creeping north into Canada. Kurlansky writes that where “in the first half of the twentieth century 80 percent of maple syrup production was from the United States, today 75 percent is Canadian”. As it slips north, maybe pickles and syrup will no longer exist together.”

Yeah, the pickles are less common nowadays, from what I’ve seen, but they’re used for the contrast effect, and to cleanse the pallet. You taste so much sweetness, then you need to “reset” your taste buds in order for the next round to still taste as good as the first.
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Notes About Sugar on Snow

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20090406-sugaronsnow4To make, simply bring some fresh maple syrup to a boil and cook until it reaches a temp of 235.  If it’s not hot enough, it will be runny – if it gets too hot, it will become candy!  Once you’ve reached the correct temperature, simply drizzle the hot syrup over a pan of packed snow.  Grab a fork or a spoon and dig in!

HOW TO MAKE SUGAR ON SNOW

1. Collect snow from winter storm. Store somewhere safe. My father insisted on using day old snow and we had no idea who had stepped on it– or better yet peed on it outside.   I always told him to take the snow from the top of a car to make sure it was unadulterated.

2. Make maple syrup. Heat until bubbly and pour over fresh snow.

3. Devour.

 

The warm syrup crystallizes when reacting with the cold ice. What starts as a stretchy taffylike texture gradually becomes rock hard. At this point, the plastic spoons they give you are pretty helpless. The whole experience feels very Little House on the Prairie.

 

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

 

 

 

The Sugar Bush Fairy at Temple’s Sugar Bush

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I know that some have walked alone on warm and cold nights, while gently waking frozen or slushed lines that are pouring golden liquid.

It’s syrup season, boiling sap until the sun rises–maple syrup steeped is waiting to be cherished slowly.

 

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At Temple’s I find things made with love by someone who had been up at the crack of dawn making pancakes.

Crisp, sizzling bacon, slightly singed sausages and fluffy pancakes from a hot skillet, placed on a plate stacked high.

Dripping butter spreading from top to sides with warm maple syrup waiting for drizzle.

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Flip, flop, golden brown–num, num, add maple syrup,
Cut, cutting, pick up with fork, chew, taste— oh, that tastes good!

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Gluten-free pancakes drizzled upon me in maple syrup shimmer, coating my yearning lips with tasty sweet love.

 

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Outside the air is crispy, like the bacon, and now my journey on the road ahead brings rain,

Out of the corner of my eye I spot her. She seemed to smell like waffles and maple syrup,
and looked like a maple leaf, red, rusty, spinning, floating through the now damp air.

Under her feather umbrella the sugar bush fairy was slowly licking the red top off the maple syrup bottle with maple syrup kisses. No one tried to catch her, as one might only seize her with smoke magic in moonlit parks while shimmering indigo stars dance around her.

As if my life is captured in a raindrop caught with the wind I too drift away like the sugar bush fairy. My tired eyes are now focused on the road.

Inside we drank coffee and ate steaming waffles,
While outside the gray fog draped itself–even over our minds,
Painting things in a sweeping grey that glistens in the sunlight.

A lesson lived,
A lesson learned,
We can’t live on love alone– but maybe, just maybe, life can be lived on maple syrup and sugar bush fairies.

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THANK YOU to the staff of Temple’s for the great meal, and hugs and kisses to Moira Wilkie

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Temple’s Sugar Bush Restaurant & Venue

1700 Ferguson’s Falls Road
(County Road #15)
Lanark ON K0G 1K0

GPS: N 45.039  W -76.285

Phone: 613 253 7000

Fax: 613 253 0099

 

RELATED READING

Sticky and Sweet in Lanark County

Sticky Fingers – With Apologies to Edward Gorey –Wheeler’s Pancake HouseCooking with Findlay’s — Christine Armstrong’s Inheritance and Maple Syrup Recipe

 

 

Sticky and Sweet in Lanark County

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Lanark Maple Syrup Producers— choose one on the map to get some yummy nummies–follow this map

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Photo from Lanark & District Museum

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Looking at the lack of snow in this photo it looks like it could be this year. It is, in fact, the early 1900’s. This picture was taken at George Mather’s Sugar Camp near Middleville, with Elva Mather, George Mather, Evan Craig and Robert Nairn.

 

Come and see early syrup producing artifacts at Thompsontown Maple Products on April 2 & 3 and enjoy the fruits of their labour.-Middleville & District Museum

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Photo from www.chronicallyvintage.com

Here in Canada, where we’re partial to everything from maple bacon to maple glazed salmon, maple (usually maple walnut, to be exact) ice cream to maple flavoured popcorn.

 
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Poto from images.ourontario.ca

William Snow and Family Making Maple Syrup

 

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Photo from digitalflashbacks.wordpress.com

If you’ve been to a sugar shack this season, you’ve seen Maple Syrup in the making. This is how it was done in the early 1900s.

Lanark Maple Syrup Producers— choose one to get some yumy nummies–follow this map

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Almonte Gazette

April 9 1897–Sugar and syrup making have been excellent the past ten days. Large quantities of syrup have been brought into the village for sale from 7oc. to $1 per gallon

Sandy Iwaniw –When I was a kid, we made syrup in a sugar shack just like the one in the picture from the 1900’s. Once the sap was boiling we had to stay up to stoke the wood stove with wood which meant sometimes we were up all night helping dad. We had no hydro at the sugar shack and used kerosene lamps for light. I remember looking forward to this every year even though it felt like hard work for a kid. I loved to lead the work horses back with the vat of sap to the sugar shack.

RELATED READING

Sticky Fingers – With Apologies to Edward Gorey –Wheeler’s Pancake House

Cooking with Findlay’s — Christine Armstrong’s Inheritance and Maple Syrup Recipe

 

All You Can Eat at The Cheddar Stop – Say Hi to Judy Langdon

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George Bernard Shaw once said there is no sincerer love than the love of food, and when you walk into The Cheddar Stop you can feel the love oozing out of the coolers and displays. First and foremost let’s talk about the fudge, because thoughts of the Ottawa Valley Fudge I took pictures of is still imprinted in my mind. Families are like Fudge. Mostly sweet with a few nuts—and would you be considered nutty if you tried their Jelly Donut flavour? Or how about Tiger Butter? That’s what I thought. Let’s face it, a nice piece of creamy fudge does a lot for some people; it does for me, and my bootay.


Judy Langdon was once a service contractor and she sold Ottawa Valley Fudge on the side. In my personal view fudge is always a front runner and soon Judy bought The Cheddar shop on Hwy 7. She and husband Rob Hunt decided to expand on other delicious items for foodies.

Most of us have fond memories of food from our childhood. Whether it was our mom’s homemade soup or a memorable chocolate birthday cake, food has a way of transporting us back to the past. Judy stocks everything, and anything, that will bring up past memories or create new ones. Savoury and Fruit Pies from Delicious Baking in Perth. Frozen and ready to bake so everyone will think Grandma had a hand in it. Home made fresh-baked Butter Tarts to die for. As someone posted on her Facebook page:

“Someone gave Judy’s butter tarts a to-die-for recommendation and I totally agree. Perfect flaky crust holding a delicious gooey filling.”

You can’t get St. Albert’s cheese curds any fresher, or squeakier for your gourmet Poutine!  It’s delivered fresh to the store, Mon-Sat. for your enjoyment. There is Chris Bros Pepperoni available from down east and of course Balderson Cheese, fresh “Off the Block”. They are also carry Pilgrimage Cheese which is locally handcrafted in Elgin and Buschgarden Farmstead Cheese.

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul. So how about filling your inner soul with 12 different kinds of old fashioned milkshakes? Or memories of an old fashioned Root Beer Float made from Reid’s ice cream? If something less rich is your choice The Cheddar Stop carries real English tea so you can have a proper brew with those butter tarts. They even have de-alcholized wine for a relaxing glass on the patio with a side of their delicious cheeses.

The Cheddar Stop specializes too. Sue’s Gluten Free Cakes are in their freezer, and they also have gluten free ice cream cones too! Gift baskets are lovingly made to order for any occasion. The Highway 7 food emporium also has fresh Thompsontown Maple Syrup, Maple Fudge, Maple Cheddar, and lots of other goodies from Clayton. Just in time for some sugar on snow.

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food, all you need to do is pop in to The Cheddar Stop to make some of your meals delicious. This weekend The Cheddar Stop is going to be serving homemade ice cream sandwiches. That’s right– fresh warm cookies with Reids or Nestle’s ice cream in the middle. How is that for a foodie fantasy? Take your Mum to an ice cream brunch!

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The Cheddar Stop featuring Ottawa Valley Fudge

10471 Hwy 7
Carleton Place, Ontario
 
(613) 257-3000

Sticky Fingers – With Apologies to Edward Gorey –Wheeler’s Pancake House

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ALL PHOTOS BY LINDA SECCASPINA 2013

 

It was a cold snowy day when Basil and Una went for a drive,

It was just the type of day that made you happy to be alive.

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Basil had not wanted to make the journey to the house of sweet treats,

But Una had insisted, as she had heard it was quite neat.

Una was fascinated with the pioneer tales of yesteryear,

And had heard that magic lurked in the woods not far from there.

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Una was fascinated to see if these tales of golden sweet sticky syrup were true,

She had heard that magic poured from trees and her imagination flew.

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Una and Basil were hungry as they impatiently tapped their fingers,

Waiting for their delicious sweet treat to arrive without delays or lingers.

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As a kind woman made their pancakes in a large vessel,

Basil told Una that he was so hungry she’d better watch her Sugar Bush Special.

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Their pancakes were placed on the table with the utmost of great care,

Basil ate BOTH their meals quickly and Una gave him the darkest stare.

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Suddenly Basil disappeared and was nowhere to be found,

He was not outside by the sap feeders and there was nary a sound.

 

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The llamas giggled next to the sheep,

They had seen Basil but were not making a peep.

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There were no footsteps in the snow where Basil might have been,

It was so quiet and peaceful you could not hear the drop of a pin.

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There was no trace of Basil hiding behind the wood,

He was nowhere,  yet we saw a piece of his hood.

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All of a sudden from the depths of the earth came an fat orange-coloured cat,

He giggled and smiled and said, “I know where Basil is at!”

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“Basil was greedy”, said the very clever cat.

“He’s gone forever no matter how warm that chair is where he sat!”

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The moral of this story is not to have eyes bigger that your tummy,

Basil got what he deserved, and his fate wasn’t funny.

 

Just look carefully in that steaming boiling vat,

That was the very last place where Basil was seen at.

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You see Una was mad because he stole her sticky sweet treat,

She was last seen giggling and kicking up her delicate size 9 feet.

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The other moral of this story is not to steal someone’s food,

Just ask Uma who decided Basils’ fate in one dreadful mood.

Some say the remains of Basil lies in that black pot,

Or, maybe not!

And all that is left of him is his Ottawa Senators hat.

Basil is no more – he is no longer on the map,

No more Sugar Bush Specials as he is now nothing but sap.

Or is he?

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Photos by Linda Seccaspina

Shot at: Wheelers Pancake House and Sugar

Camp, Lanark Highlands, Ontario, Canada

Their huge pancakes are made from scratch!

Every night the dry portion of the ingredients are mixed together. When we are ready for fresh batter, the wet ingredients   (including farm fresh local eggs) are added… After a couple of flips, the big, fluffy pancakes are headed to your table!And they also have gluten-free ones!!

Homemade Maple Sausages  

Our Famous 100% lean pork sausages are made right here.  We mix in seasonings and our own maple syrup to create this one-of-a-kind maple sausage.

Yum!!

And major apologies to the late Edward Gorey 🙂

Carleton Place- The Happiest Damn Town in Lanark County

For the Facebook Group:


Tilting the Kilt, Vintage Whispers from Carleton Place by Linda Seccaspina is available at Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street, the Carleton Place Beckwith Museum in Carleton Place, Ontario and The Mississippi Valley Textile Mill in Almonte.  available on all Amazon sites (Canada, US, Europe) and Barnes and Noble

Sticky Fingers – With Apologies to Edward Gorey –Wheeler’s Pancake House

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Sticky Fingers – With Apologies to Edward Gorey

It was a cold snowy day when Basil and Una went for a drive,

It was just the type of day that made you happy to be alive.

Basil had not wanted to make the journey to the house of sweet treats,

But Una had insisted, as she had heard it was quite neat.

Una was fascinated with the pioneer tales of yesteryear,

And had heard that magic lurked in the woods not far from there.

Una was fascinated to see if these tales of golden sweet sticky syrup were true,

She had heard that magic poured from trees and her imagination flew.

.

Una and Basil were hungry as they impatiently tapped their fingers,

Waiting for their delicious sweet treat to arrive without delays or lingers.

As a kind woman made their pancakes in a large vessel,

Basil told Una that he was so hungry she’d better watch her Sugar Bush Special.

Their pancakes were placed on the table with the utmost of great care,

Basil ate BOTH their meals quickly and Una gave him the darkest stare.

Suddenly Basil disappeared and was nowhere to be found,

He was not outside by the sap feeders and there was nary a sound.

The llamas giggled next to the sheep,

They had seen Basil but were not making a peep.

There were no footsteps in the snow where Basil might have been,

It was so quiet and peaceful you could not hear the drop of a pin.

There was no trace of Basil hiding behind the wood,

He was nowhere,  yet we saw a piece of his hood.

All of a sudden from the depths of the earth came an fat orange-coloured cat,

He giggled and smiled and said, “I know where Basil is at!”

“Basil was greedy”, said the very clever cat.

“He’s gone forever no matter how warm that chair is where he sat!”

The moral of this story is not to have eyes bigger that your tummy,

Basil got what he deserved and his fate wasn’t funny.

Just look carefully in that steaming boiling vat,

That was the very last place where Basil was seen at.

You see Una was mad because he stole her sticky sweet treat,

She was last seen giggling and kicking up her delicate size 9 feet.

The other moral of this story is not to steal someone’s food,

Just ask Uma who decided Basils’ fate in one dreadful mood.

Some say the remains of Basil lies in that black pot,

And all that is left of him is his Ottawa Senators hat.

Basil is no more – he is no longer on the map,

No more Sugar Bush Specials as he is now nothing but sap.

Basil and Uma – My son Sky Seccaspina and daughter-in-law Carolyn Creighton who kindly took us for Sunday breakfast. It was delicious!

Photos by Linda Seccaspina

Shot at: Wheelers Pancake House and Sugar

Camp, Lanark Highlands, Ontario, Canada

Their huge pancakes are made from scratch!

Every night the dry portion of the ingredients are mixed together. When we are ready for fresh batter, the wet ingredients   (including farm fresh local eggs) are added… After a couple of flips, the big, fluffy pancakes are headed to your table! And they also have gluten-free ones!!

Homemade Maple Sausages  

Our Famous 100% lean pork sausages are made right here.  We mix in seasonings and our own maple syrup to create this one-of-a-kind maple sausage.

Yum!!

And major apologies to the late Edward Gorey

Sticky Fingers – With Apologies to Edward Gorey – Zoomers

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Sticky Fingers – With Apologies to Edward Gorey – Zoomers.

 

Photo blog of winter, sugary treats and my son who is going to kill me when he reads it..:)