From Tree to Table RSS

Nothing brings the family together like a Sunday tapping day. Snowshoes on, drills and chainsaw (for downed trees) in hand, heading out into the crisp white woods. It was also a good day to pack maple syrup in the sugarhouse, and one family member ran to the town hall for a few hours to work on the annual town audit because in small towns, everyone pitches in or nothing gets done. Some of us stayed inside with the next generation of sugarmakers, venturing outside for 10 minute sled rides before realizing it really is too cold to play. Soup on...

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Groundhog's Day has come and gone and it's definitely still winter. The tractors have chains and don't always want to start, the roads alternate between snowy and icy, and the tapping season is ready to begin. At this point in the year, the days are noticeably a touch longer but the idea of spring is far away. Slow cooker meals, hot toddies in front of the wood stove, and sore arms from snow shoveling are part of every week.  We look forward to the coming sugaring season even as we continue to enjoy a northeastern Vermont winter day by day!...

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If October is apples and colors and jack o'lanterns, November is light and shadow, the architecture of branches, and unpredictable skies of deeply faded hues. It's pie and roasts and the beginning of crock pot season, when you start your dinner early in the day and then at night when you clear the table you just put the covered pot outside because your front porch has become your walk-in fridge / freezer. The first snows have come hard and fast this year, there was a flirtation with snow in October but it came with a vengeance this week when we...

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There may be nothing lovelier than the colors of Stannard Mountain in September and October. Much like sugaring, one of the enigmatical things about foliage season is that it's difficult to predict. Wet summers, dry summers, hot summers, cool summers, the weather creates complex patterns that affect colors and timing differently every year. To live in a place with seasons is to appreciate unpredictability and to learn to live in the moment. Because tomorrow the wind might blow all the leaves off and foliage will be done until next year.

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As summer winds down and fall picks up, the Craftsbury Farmers' Market comes to an end. We had a great time selling maple candy and maple-sweetened baked treats. One of the biggest hits of the season was our chocolate-maple shortbread. The perfect mix of dense delicious shortbread and maple sugar, made bitter and perfect with unsweetened cocoa powder. Dip into coffee, hot cocoa or tea, or just enjoy as is. Cream 6.3 oz of softened butter Cream in 90 g of maple sugar, with a splash of vanilla extract (Yes, this recipe is in both oz and g - it's...

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