Friday, March 26, 2010

Maple Biscuits

We've had an interesting maple season this year. We think the season is nearly completed and the removing of the taps and buckets from the trees, and the cleaning of all equipment must take place sometime this spring. When all the cleaning excitement happens outside, I get to now experiment with the maple syrup inside. Trying new recipes and then tweaking them to meet our satisfaction is quite fun. Some of our most popular maple items are our maple oat bread, maple pumpkin butter and our new product maple vinaigrette that we sell at market and online. Today, for dessert I made one of our favorite recipes that is both easy and delicious.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2 cups flour
1/2 stick of butter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups maple syrup
1/2 cup water.
In medium size bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt. Cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture becomes pea size. Add milk to mixture and stir.
In a medium sized pot,heat maple syrup with water. When this liquid mixture is near boiling, pour into a 9" x 9" pan. Scoop the flour mixture into spoonfuls and drop onto the maple syrup.
Bake in oven until golden. Serve hot or cold with or without ice cream.
Enjoy this delicious taste of Vermont.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sugaring 2010

So the sap has begun to flow from our maple trees in northern Vermont. The weather can differ a few degrees warmer on the Lake Champlain Islands where we live. Surrounded by the lake seem to protect us from severe weather that other parts of Vermont are known for. So lately we have been very fortunate to have the right temperatures, warm days and cold nights, therefore the sap is running well.
Now we are to the point that we need a few days of the sap not to run, just to keep up with the sap that has already been collected and is waiting to be processed.
The children go by tractor from one tree to the next as they help us empty the sap buckets from the trees and empty them into holding containers. From these containers the sap in transferred by tractor to a large holding tank in the sugar shack. The sap is then transferred to the evaporator. Where we try and process as soon as possible to make the best maple syrup.
As the children wander in and out of the sugar shack playing their games, they always manage to get as close to the evaporator as they can. They would argue that the best spring time smell is to inhale the steam right before the sap is turned into maple syrup.