Our love affair with the New England ritual of maple sugarin' began in February of 1987 at Tessier's Sugar House in Cummington. It was our first winter in town. Amy and I worked a couple of days a week for Peter doing carpentry. He waxed poetic about the tradition of producing maple syrup. "Come see for yourselves," he proclaimed "you'll see.". Our curiosity was piqued! We drove over to his sugar house on a warm-ish February day and were enchanted. I can still remember my first taste of Fancy-grade maple syrup, a mere hours after emerging as sap from the majestic maples. The flavor was floral, sweet, complex, nuanced, and delicate. The syrup dissolved on my tongue and the flavors transformed as if by magic. Thirty years later I am still in wonder.
Now it's 2017 and I wake up in the morning thinking of the billowing steam from maple sap boiling. I LOVE going to sugar houses to see the dramatic plumes of steam rising, to smell the sweet maple aroma, to taste the first of the season’s delicate, delicious syrup…to experience the promise of spring again. My seasonal rhythms are tied to sugarin’; it marks the final gasps of winter and the arrival of daffodils and forsythia and fruit tree blossoms and spring greens and warmth and sunshine. So let's all visit our local sugar houses, support our hard-working sugarmakers, and enjoy this hilltown ritual. Let me know if you need a pancake or waffle recipe!
Spring/Summer 2017 Schedule:
February 25: Grains & Beans
March 18: Pockets, Packets & Purses: Filled Goodies
April 15: Sauces From Many Cuisines, Building Blocks of Quick Meals
May 20: Fresh Pasta, Risotto, and Polenta
for more info. Come play in the kitchen with us! We have a blast in these classes, and everyone leaves with new knowledge, ideas, skills, recipes, and leftovers. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions. Hope to see you!