Company blog

Crazy weather, Vermont style

As we in Vermont watch the news of floods and tornadoes, we give thanks that — long winters and the occasional ice storm aside — our weather here tends to be pretty mild. (Of course, as I drove home from a business trip yesterday afternoon I heard actual tornado warnings for north-central Vermont, something I’d never heard before. So far as I know, no tornadoes actually formed, but still…)

But last weekend Catherine and I were at home when we had...

Free at last!

Came back last night after a short time away, and woke up this morning to the sound of a grouse doing his mating “drumming“. (If my clever link doesn’t work for you, try going here and look for the little “play” control.) When I looked out the kitchen window I saw that, miraculously, the last of the snow covering the path into the woods had melted in the recent rains.

So, time to walk the dogs; down through the woods, around the (still mostly...

Sugar Season’s End

There’s a poignancy to the end of sugaring.  We talked around the dinner table about whether there would be more good sap, whether it was worth boiling again.

Someone remarked how unusual it is to finish sugaring when there’s still snow on the ground.

“Call it!” someone else said. And that, more or less, was  it.

There’s lots of clean-up to do, and the urgency is gone.  Now the trees are all revisited,  taps pulled out of the holes.  Equipment is...

Fascinating article on maple syrup and health

Thanks to Tom Lincoln of Santa Monica, CA (one of our customers) who forwarded this article (“54 Beneficial Compounds Discovered in Pure Maple Syrup“) to us; it makes interesting reading.

We’ve long been of the opinion that maple syrup is not only wonderfully tasty, but is also good for you. This article seems to offer some hard evidence in support of the latter opinion.


Sugarhouse is cranking!

Stopped by the sugarhouse last evening (I brought Fra and his “crew” an apple pie I’d baked with some of the last of last year’s Grade B syrup.)  They are really hitting their stride — they capped their 77th barrel while I was there, which comes out to just over 2,900 gallons made so far this year (which means they’ve gathered over 116,000 gallons of sap!.)  The weather forecast for the next week looks pretty good, too:  warm days, below freezing...

My first crack at 2011 syrup

I took the dogs up to the sugarhouse this morning — the snow is still deep enough that it’s hard to find a good place for a long walk that doesn’t involve snowshoes.  We did a nice loop up through the sugarbush, on trails that Fraser and his tapping crew have packed down for us.  (A good time was had by all!)

On the way back, I stopped in to the sugarhouse and found Fraser getting things ready for another boiling session.  Sap is running, even...

2011 Sugar Season

The 2011 sugar season is underway!


Good news / bad news

The good news:  the sap is running and boiling has begun!

The Sugarhouse, in full swing!

The bad news:  we had a wicked ice storm, and there’s been a bit of damage to the sugarbush.

A little ice on the lines themselves is no big deal.

But when the trees get a heavy load of ice — and get stressed by high winds (which also came with this storm) — things fall down.  And lines get damaged.

This isn’t anything new; every few seasons, nature throws a...

Storing Maple Syrup

Containers of un-opened maple syrup can be stored in a cool, dry location, out of direct sunlight, for up to one year.
Maple syrup should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer after the container has been opened. Un-opened maple syrup can also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. When stored in the refrigerator or freezer, opened or unopened containers of maple syrup will retain their flavor for up to one year.
Maple syrup does not freeze...

Baking with Maple Syrup: Pecan Pie

I like baking with maple syrup — it’s a natural sweetener with its own subtle flavor, and it has the added advantage that it’s perceived by most adult palates as less overpoweringly sweet than granulated cane sugars (like white or brown sugar).

Nowhere are these attributes more apparent than in pecan pie, which is just about my all-time favorite pie.  Caramelized sugars coating toasted pecans, atop a sweet custard and flaky crust…wow.  (Disclosure...