When father winter is getting a bit too long in the tooth for sending us arctic chills and when night frosts are followed by above freezing days, a new kind of winter activity takes place in the woods of New Hampshire. Maple farmers (and we have more than 350 of them!) are starting to tap sugar maples and they are laying lines in order harvest the maple sap. This is beginning of our March Maple Sugaring Season!
In sugar shacks the sap will be boiled down quite drastically to produce a new and oh so yummy batch of golden to amber colored maple syrup. Other mapley delicacies are being produced as well, anything from maple candy, to maple cream and maple sugar.
March is the high season for the maple producers and many shacks are open during this month for visitors to come, take a tour and learn all about the process and the varieties of maple syrups out there.
This is also the month where innkeepers in New Hampshire often incorporate local maple syrup into their menus, this could be anything from fluffy pancakes with maple syrup to maple French toast to maple cookies or even maple bacon.
Maple sugar farmers can be found at the New Hampshire Maple Producers website. Ben’s Sugar Shack in Templeton or Blueberry Hill Sugarworks in Raymond are less than an hour drive from our Bed and Breakfast.
This is the perfect time for a getaway weekend in New Hampshire and to indulge in all things maple and don’t forget to take some of the newly produced maple syrup home with you to enjoy your visit a bit longer!
For some inspiration on how to use maple syrup, here is our tried and true recipe for
Maple Bacon Muffins:
2 cups all purpose flour
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (save rendered fat)
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil (we substitute some of the oil with bacon fat for more flavor)
2/3 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 400 F; in big bowl mix together first four ingredients (dry); in medium bowl mix together remaining ingredients and stir into dry mix until just moistened. Fill dough into greased (for more flavor you can grease with bacon fat) or paper lined muffin tins (2/3 full). Bake for 20 to 25 min until toothpick comes out clean.