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Maple Goodness

March 24th, 2014

Yesterday, my neighbor BJ and her twins and I all loaded up in her car and headed out for Maine Maple Sundays. We visited three sugar houses, the first one was our favorite. It was Simmons & Daughters Sugar House, awesome, usually it’s so-and-so and sons – but he had four daughters.
Maine Maple Sunday 1
Maine Maple Sunday 2
Maine Maple Sunday 3
Maine Maple Sunday 4
Maine Maple Sunday 5
Maine Maple Sunday 6
Maine Maple Sunday 7
Maine Maple Sunday 8
Maine Maple Sunday 9
Maine Maple Sunday 10
Maine Maple Sunday 11
Maine Maple Sunday 12
Maine Maple Sunday 13
We weren’t as impressed with the other two places we visited, one was maple syrup on an industrial scale and the other one was just not as quaint and friendly as this one. Of course I didn’t buy any maple syrup as I’m making my own right now. After finishing up this current batch of sap I should have about a gallon and a half. I probably won’t get the 5 gallons I was hoping for, but I may get lucky and get 3 gallons. That will provide me with all the sweetener I need this year.

What’s your favorite natural sweetener?

10 Comments to “Maple Goodness”
  1. kristin @ going country on March 24, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Maple syrup, without doubt. This has been a really, really bad season so far here, though. We didn’t set any taps this year around our house, since our friend we boil with always sets like 80. Except there’s still about three feet of snow pack where his trees are, and the sap just isn’t running. Too cold. We haven’t boiled once.

    We might have to buy our syrup this year. We’ve gotten too accustomed to it (and a lot of it, at that) to go without . . .

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  2. Kathi cook on March 24, 2014 at 6:26 am

    My sugaring friends in Ct are complaining about the poor season here too.

    Reply to Kathi cook's comment

  3. Adelina on March 24, 2014 at 6:47 am

    We went out and visited our favorite sugar house last weekend – just to avoid the crowds. We got very lucky and had an awesome tour of the boiler and the whole barn! We still bought a pint of syrup even though we make our own, and the kids bought maple sugar candies.

    As for a sweetner, I don’t like maple syrup. In fact, I don’t really like sweet things that much. But having your own maple syrup for pancakes is truly awesome, so we keep doing it.

    Reply to Adelina's comment

  4. Joan on March 24, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I love maple syrup! I use it on crepes (we don’t eat pancakes very often) as well as on yogurt (unsweetened plain, with some fresh or frozen homegrown fruit on it), and sometimes in cooking. If it weren’t so expensive I’d use a lot more of it! One of these days we’ll get a good system set up for making our own…

    Reply to Joan's comment

  5. daisy on March 24, 2014 at 7:26 am

    That looks like a blast! How cool that it’s “and daughters” instead of the usual “and sons”! I’ve been using sucanat instead of white sugar, but overall am trying to cut back on sweeteners of any kind. Ain’t easy!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  6. Marina C on March 24, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Maple syrup and cane sugar for when sugar is the way to whip egg yolks into a ribbon consistency, or for shortbreads. Honey for tea!
    We do not have trees to tap, but we get it from a farming family who does right in our village. We get local honey also.
    Our friends have a few trees and make two to three gallons every year. That is very special to them.

    Reply to Marina C's comment

  7. Lemongrass on March 24, 2014 at 8:15 am

    my favorite natural sweetener is very, very ripe bananas. I grew up on a banana/cocoa plantation.
    honey is my second favorite…………….my uncle kept bees in a mango tree close to the house.
    next comes maple syrup. i will say i love, love, love maple syrup.

    Reply to Lemongrass's comment

  8. Lorna on March 24, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Maple syrup (our own) and local honey! We set eight taps in four trees this year and have collected more sap than we can boil down–we have a gallon of syrup we did the old-fashioned way; the rest of the sap went to an aunt who has a hobby evaporator. I don’t know why our trees have done so well this year; it seems everyone around us is having a bad season. Even Aunt Gail’s 30+ taps haven’t produced as much sap as our 8! But doing it all ourselves is just not an option–we don’t have land or trees to cull for burning and the cost of bringing in the wood is just too high–I’m sure some people don’t realize how much wood it takes to get a gallon of syrup. Doing it ourselves really makes us appreciate just how good it is, and makes the high price of real maple syrup seem a bit more reasonable.

    Reply to Lorna's comment

  9. Nebraska Dave on March 24, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Susy, making maple syrup sounds like a good time for sure. Visiting a family small business that makes maple syrup would definitely be high on my list to do in the spring but no one does that in Nebraska. Clover honey is the preferred sweetener for health minded folks here. Of course I think it’s the best flavored honey there is but that’s just my opinion. Molasses would be another Midwest sweetener but it’s strong flavor doesn’t make it the best sweetener for every thing. Maple syrup from the store as with everything else is probably not the same as fresh from the homestead boiling pot and well it’s super expensive. So when we do use maple syrup in my household, it’s Mrs. Butter’s Worth. I doubt there’s any real maple syrup in the bottle but this Midwesterner doesn’t really like too much sweet any way. Well, unless it’s peanut butter wrapped in chocolate. :-)

    Have a great maple syrup day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  10. DebbieB on March 24, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Honey, definitely. Sorta local – it’s made 30 miles from here.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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