Sugaring season in the northeast ended in mid-April. The taps have been pulled and our sugar maples are now in the phase of growing leaves which will begin the process of making next year’s sugar through photosynthesis. We are also continuing the cycle of preparation for next year’s season. Right now the most pressing job is to cut, split and dry wood to be used in our wood fired evaporator. Read on for more news from the farm and delicious, maple inspired recipes!
Sugarers were concerned when March started off with 60 degree temperatures, but the season quickly looked up as freezing nights returned.
Maple sap starts at 1% or 2 % sugar and the rest is water and various nutrients. Maple syrup is 67% sugar. The nutrients remain and a lot of water is evaporated. We boil over a wood fire for the best caramelized flavor. Matt is always a fast moving blur during sugaring!
After several hours…maple syrup is poured off!
The finished product is hot packed into our new custom glass.
All our firewood is sustainably harvested. Most comes from trees downed in windstorms. Being on a mountain means lots of wind damage!
Finally we are seeing spring flowers! Check out this fun guide to Vermont’s Spring Flowers.
The songbirds are back! Our sugarbush is certified as Bird Friendly through the Audubon Bird Friendly Maple Project. Every spring we are amazed at the number of birds who make their home on our hillside until late summer. Learn how to Bird By Ear in this fun article by Gwendoyln Causer.
King of the sugarbush! On April 1, we celebrated two years with our our little pandemic sugar dog, Archie. As a stray from Texas it’s taken a couple of years for Archie to feel comfortable in the woods and with Vermont weather. He has come around though, and spent lots of time helping with sugaring this spring.
Finally we’re getting some heat in Vermont! As a full-time teacher I spend most of the day inside. As soon as I get home, Archie and I head out to the sugarbush to look for Matt, check on the songbirds or just enjoy the beauty of quiet nature.
Sweet Treats for Spring
Maple Sugar Bars
These delicious bars are reminiscent of pecan pie, yet the maple and walnut create a much more robust flavor. Serve once they have cooled, maybe with a dollop of whipped cream to create a special dessert.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup Couching Lion Maple Sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup Couching Lion Maple Syrup
- ¾ cup Couching Lion Maple Sugar
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp flour
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine butter, maple sugar and flour and stir until the mixture is crumbly. Press mixture into an 8 inch greased baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine the maple syrup, maple sugar and walnuts and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter and stir until melted.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs with the flour and salt. Add egg mixture to maple syrup mixture and stir to combine. Pour over the base and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until set. Cool completely before cutting.
Extra Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
These pancakes are extra fluffy due to a shot of seltzer. See how it stacks up against your favorite pancake recipe!
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Couching Lion Maple Sugar
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
2 large eggs
1¾ cups buttermilk
½ cup cold seltzer water or club soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more
Pure Vermont Couching Lion Maple Syrup (for serving)
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and wet ingredients in a second small bowl. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir. The batter will be slightly lumpy and should not be over stirred.
Heat a greased griddle or frying pan. Scoop out batter in 1/4 cups, leaving plenty of space for the pancake to expand. Look for bubbles to form and then flip.
We always heat the maple syrup for pancakes! Add about 2 tablespoons per serving to a small pan. Heat slowly and watch carefully. Maple syrup boils over quickly!
Serve immediately and enjoy the rest of the morning (or evening if you’re having pancakes for dinner….an actual real thing we do in Vermont)!
Enjoy springtime wherever you are! We look forward to sharing this season’s maple syrup with you. Click the green links or the button below to shop for your own springtime sweet maple syrup!
XO From Huntington,
Chaska, Matt and Archie