This week’s installment is a little light on recipes, and heavy on the rambling part. But I’ve got a very good reason. Because this Saturday, February 15th, the nice folks at the Burton Chamber of Commerce will be holding their annual Tree Tapping Ceremony. This event signifies the official start of Maple Syrup Season, and hopefully, the end to this seemingly eternal bitter winter weather we’ve been having. So for those of you who, like me, are desperate to see ANY sign of spring, maple tree tapping is a pretty big indicator that some day soon, we’ll be seeing forsythia and daffodil blooms in places where snowdrifts have taken up residence the last few months.
So bring your family and take part in the official start of maple syrup season, the pre-cursor to spring in Burton. The festivities will begin at the Log Cabin on the Square from 10 am until 4 pm. At the Log Cabin, you’ll learn how to tap a tree, and as an added bonus, your name will be posted for the entire maple season on the very tree that you tap. You’ll be famous, like some sort of maple monarch or minister of maple…how cool is that?
(courtesy of seasonsandsuppers.ca)
Maple butter is great on pancakes and toast…but try some on carrots, sweet potatoes or squash for a different twist.
1 cup pure maple syrup
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
In a medium saucepan, add maple syrup and pinch of salt and cinnamon. Heat maple syrup over high heat until boiling (*be sure to use a deep pan, the syrup will double up when boiling) Boil until candy thermometer reaches 240° F. Remove from heat and quickly stir in butter until it’s completely melted.
Pour mixture into a bowl and mix until light and creamy, 8 – 10 minutes. The mixture will still be slightly runny at this point, but will firm up in the fridge. Pour mixture into a jar or bowl, then cover and refrigerate. If the mixture has separated after cooling, just stir before using. Maple butter will keep refrigerated in an airtight container about 2 weeks.
So bring your family (including your maple minions) to Burton Square this Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm for free demonstrations, hot cocoa, and donuts. You’ll be doing your part to help herald in springtime, or at least maple season, which is the next best thing. Maple monikers are optional.
Photo caption: 4th generation syrup-maker Mike Blair shares his technique for tapping trees at Burton’s Square.