Make it Monday: Make it Maple!

March 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm 2 comments

Last week we visited the sugar bush. This inspired me to cook everything with maple syrup, which means that this week’s make it Monday is all about maple syrup. First, a few things I learned at the sugar bush:

  • It takes 50 to 60 years before you can tap a maple tree. This means that even if I started now, I’m too late. I would have to buy a sugar bush; I cannot create my own. Sigh… I guess I will have to keep bees and make honey instead (more on that later)
  • To have a viable maple syrup bush (and a small one at that) you need to have at least 1000 tapped trees.
  • The sweetness of the sap from each tree can be tested (sign me up!) so that you can selectively cut trees down so that new trees can establish themselves. Maple trees need light to grow and will not grow under the canopy of other trees so to keep things healthy you have to cut some down every now and again.
  • You have to check the buckets every day – think how fit you would be checking a minimum of 1000 buckets! You could eat more pancakes (with maple syrup of course!)

I borrowed The Maple Syrup Book from the local public library. The edition I have dates back to 1983, but it is full of factual information, recipes, crafts and activities. However, the best education is to visit your local sugar bush or plan a family trip to a country that has one. Your taste buds won’t be disappointed!

I’ve made a lot using maple syrup this week and I will post a few of the recipes over time, but I wanted to share this particular experiment with you because it is one of those recipes that I absorbed from my childhood; kind of like this one. Although, this maple recipe, I’m sure is learned from my dad’s annual peanut brittle making at Christmas time.

Maple Lollipops

I scoured the internet to learn to make these and when I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I simple did what I thought I should be doing: bring the maple syrup to hardball. Pure and simple. You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • butter
  • 6 lollipop sticks

Butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Carefully butter the first inch from the top of a medium saucepan. This will prevent the maple syrup from bubbling over the pot. Add the maple syrup to the pot and carefully monitoring the temperature of the syrup while boiling it over medium to high heat. As soon as the temperature reaches 260F degrees (hardball) remove the maple syrup from the heat and allow it to cool for a about five minutes. Carefully spoon the maple syrup into circle shapes on the prepared baking sheet. Place a lollipop stick in each lollipop and allow to cool completely. That’s it.

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Entry filed under: Coffee Break, Greener, Recipes. Tags: , , , .

I wrote a small vegetarian cookbook On my Nightstand

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. veggiegrettie  |  March 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I love how simple these are!

    Reply
    • 2. moreoptimism  |  March 29, 2011 at 7:30 am

      Easy and yummy and people will think you spend hours in the kitchen, not 15 minutes.

      Reply

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