Sugar Shack Season

syrup samples in the window

Here in New England winter usually lasts a few more weeks than we’d like it to, as you may have guessed from all my grumbling lately. It snowed again last weekend, and then a little more Thursday and Friday.  But truth be told I wouldn’t have it any other way, because cold winters and the slow, gradual arrival of spring make for a bountiful maple sugaring season. Continue reading

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Sour Cherry Season

When I was in California last month, I had the most delicious breakfast I’ve ever eaten at Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland. We ordered a buttermilk biscuit to share while we waited for our meal (we should have each ordered our own), and on the table there was a pot of sour cherry jam to eat with it. After we’d polished off the last crumbs of the biscuit, I contemplated eating the jam right out of the pot with a spoon. That morning I vowed to finally get my hands on some sour cherries this year and make some jam. Sour cherries have a very short season and are far more fragile than the sweet ones, so unless you have your own sour cherry tree, you really have to be on top of things to get your hands on some. I’m usually not that on top of things. Continue reading

Sugaring Season

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After a few days of snow and rain and fog, the sun broke through this morning and we took a drive up to South Face Farm in Ashfield for a sugar shack breakfast. We ate maple syrup on pancakes, French toast, bacon, sausage, and corn fritters. And pickles too. Pickles are the traditional antidote to all that maple syrup. When sap is being boiled down great clouds of maple-scented steam billow out of the roof of the sugar shack. It’s the best smell in the world. Continue reading