Every spring, it gets me. When the snow starts to melt, and there’s a hint of warmer weather, I stick my noise in the air like the dog because I can smell maple syrup season coming.
We had a great family operation way back when. And the fillings that take up every one of our molars are no surprise given the amount of syrup and maple sugar we would consume during the six or so week season every spring. We had agro-tourism before it was even a thing, selling maple syrup direct from the farm, offering tours of our operation and serving up an impressive menu of pancakes, tea biscuits and johnny cake – as the carrier for some variation of our homemade maple products. Here are a few shots — from the Maplewood archives.
And maple, well, you know it goes with everything and with every meal. Maple sugar goes in my coffee every morning. Maple syrup is the only thing that ever tops pancakes or maple syrup in our houses. And maple butter is often just eaten off the spoon, or sometimes it makes it onto toast. I might just have an entire shelf in my frig dedicated to maple.
It’s not a new idea, but I’ve been enjoying the benefits of somebody else chopping up all the veggies for my salad, lately. If I waited until I bought the lettuce, shredded the carrots, cabbage and kale…well, I’d eat salad about once a month. Or only in the summer after a trip to the local farmers’ market.
This week, I stockpiled my 7 to 10 servings with a pre-shredded mixture of kale, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage and probably some other good stuff. I added in some delicious salmon that someone had kindly baked for me already (the store) and tossed it all in a delicious apple Dijon dressing that was expertly mixed and made by someone else.
There are definitely times when I want to make it all from scratch. And for all those other times, thanks to the choppers and mixers in the backrooms of local grocery stores.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say we are coffee snobs…we just happen to love a great cup of java. And the process of making it is as important as the first sip. Not unlike how we tackle a great G & T! When we are on vacation, there’s often a picture of a cappuccino among the scenic shots.
We are both pretty partial to our Freiling french presses. I also have an Aeropress and single cup drip/pour over. They make a slightly different cup for different times of the day.
We just heard about a cool new travel coffee set called Dripkit described as Great Coffee Made Easy that we’ll be trying out on our next trip.
And we’re just as particular about our mugs.
Caramelized citrus is a quick and easy dessert that makes you forget it’s still winter!
And if there is any left over, it’s delicious for breakfast and tastes like being in Greece.
Here’s the recipe from the NYTimes:
Spoon a cup of full-fat greek yogurt onto a platter or large bowl.
Peel and slice thickly 3-4 sweet citrus fruits.
Place the fruit on top of the yogurt and put the mixture in the refrigerator.
Make a caramel using 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and 1/2 cup water. Let the mixture come to a boil slowly without stirring, then lower the heat and let cook for 5-6 minutes.
I found the instructions for the caramel pretty vague…next time I make it I will skip the caramel step and just pour honey or maple syrup over the fruit!
Pour the caramel over the fruit & yogurt mixture. Eat right away or put it in the frig for an hour before serving.
Simple, colourful and delicious!
What do you do after a warm week in the Caribbean, when you arrive home to snow shoveling and realize winter is still sticking around? Make pot pie.
I haven’t cooked for a week, and didn’t feel much like starting just yet. But then I remembered I had frozen some roast chicken and a little ball of pastry. And a few root vegetables that didn’t have time to go bad while I was away. Here’s how it went.
I sautéed onions, carrots, potato and sweet potato in a little butter for a few minutes.
Added in some flour, then chicken stock. Simmered for a few minutes until it thickened. Flavoured with a little white wine, cream, salt, pepper and dried thyme. Dropped the shredded chicken in.
Rolled out the pastry. And baked in 375 F oven for 40 minutes. It was the perfect post-vacation dinner on a snowy, cold night.
I roughly followed this easy chicken pot pie recipe.