Unbrave Eats: Maple Weekend

March 21, 2013

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Have you ever really thought about maple syrup?

Like, really, really thought about it?

Like how does maple syrup even exist? I mean, who was the first person that decided, “Hey, why don’t we just tap into this tree over here and if some kind of liquid comes out, let’s boil it down and pour it over some stuff.”

I mean, seriously, who did that?

Because we really need to have some kind of holiday already to celebrate that person.

I imagine this holiday would be like a cross between Christmas and The Best Day in the World Ever.

Instead of decorating Christmas trees, of course, we would decorate Maple trees.

And instead of Santa Claus there would be Syrup Sprites, who would bring gallon jugs of maple syrup to all the good little boys and girls. And to me because I’d really like a gallon jug of maple syrup, too, thank you very much.

And we would all eat pancakes all day long until we’re sick of eating pancakes. Which would never even happen because, you guys, you can’t get sick of eating pancakes. That’s not humanly possible, okay?

Well, it turns out that that holiday actually does kind of exist.

At least, here in New York State.

And it’s called Maple Weekend.

Despite what the name might have you believe, Maple Weekend actually lasts two weekends. Because, really, when it comes to maple syrup it’s best not to limit yourself.

During those two weekends you can visit local farms that produce maple syrup. And you can even go into their sugar shacks! (What? That’s not a dirty word. I swear, you guys. “Sugar shack” is the building where they make the syrup. It also happens to be the name of my future home. Just so you know.)

And, of course, Maple Weekend involves pancakes.

But not just any kind of pancakes.

These are ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT PANCAKES!

Which to me sounded like a challenge — a challenge I willingly accepted last Saturday when I went to Moore’s Maple Shack Pancake House to celebrate the first Maple Weekend of the year.

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Another possible name for my future home: Maple Shack Pancake House. Just keeping my options open.

This, apparently, is one of the places to go in the area, as we had to wait in line at least an hour before we were seated.

Luckily, the lobby was full of stuff to keep us entertained while we waited.

Like pancake drawings.

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And fascinating maple syrup facts.

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Because you never know when there might be a quiz.

Inside the pancake house, there were even more things to keep us entertained.

Like lots of old-timey knick-knacks and saw paintings. I mean, a pancake house really isn’t complete without a little saw art, amirite?

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Ooo, saw art!

And for our reading pleasure there was a detailed family history on the back of our menu. Possibly, well, a bit too detailed.

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Check out the 3rd paragraph — it’s a doozy!

Because, really, while I feel bad for Earl, I’m not so sure if I want to hear about his heart stents before breakfast.

And, of course, there was a maple syrup quiz.

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I totally knew there was going to be a quiz, you guys! I should have studied harder!

But, the real reason why we were there was not for the wall art and maple trivia, but for the pancakes and syrup, of course.

And, well, there were definitely some pancakes.

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And there was definitely some syrup.

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And then there were some more pancakes.

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And some more syrup.

Umm, where did all the syrup go?

Umm, where did all the syrup go?

Until none of us could eat any more pancakes. Which, apparently, is totally humanly possible. I really had no idea.

After breakfast, we headed out to the sugar shack to watch the maple syrup being made.

It turns out this is a rather high-tech, scientific process involving lots of big shiny equipment. And absolutely no sprites.

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Ooo, shiny. But about the sprites…

There was also a gift shop where you could stock up on all your essentials like syrup and cotton candy. Because, yes, I live in a world where syrup and cotton candy are totally considered essentials.

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And, then, because we hadn’t had nearly enough maple action for the day, we decided to hop on a wagon and head into the woods to see the sap being tapped from the trees.

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On the wagon into the woods.

Which, also, turned out to be a rather technical process involving a lot of rubber tubing.

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Ooo, very tube-y.

I do have to admit, the tubing did look quite festive as it ran from tree to tree across the forest. It was almost like the trees were decorated for the holiday.

Except next year, I’d suggest they add a little bit of tinsel.

And sprites. Let’s not forget about the sprites.

Are you a lover of the maple syrup? What do you like to put it on? Where do you go to get your maple syrup fix?
38

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On March 21, 2013 at 7:56 am Rose said:

    My favorite use of maple syrup is to make mojitos! Lime juice, maple syrup, whiskey, mint leaves, and seltzer makes an incredible drink. Move over pancakes! I am getting my drink on — maples style!!!

  2. On March 21, 2013 at 8:28 am cosmoHallitan said:

    I am so hunting down Shanghai’s best pancakes tomorrow morning. Thanks for the motivation!
    cosmoHallitan recently posted..Touring the DMZ and Dorasan Station

    • On March 23, 2013 at 10:44 am Sally said:

      Hope you were able to find some! That was one thing I missed a lot in Asia — decent places to have breakfast or brunch. Luckily, breakfast is the one meal I’m pretty good at making.

  3. On March 21, 2013 at 9:57 am Zandria @ I Choose Buffalo said:

    I am so jealous of your maple experience! I’ve always thought it would be fun to see how syrup is made. I’ve already added it to my Buffalo Bucket List so I can make sure to do it next year. :)
    Zandria @ I Choose Buffalo recently posted..I Saw the Buffalo Sabres in Washington, DC

  4. On March 21, 2013 at 10:22 am Jenni said:

    OMG a maple mojito sounds amazing! I remember as a kid not liking maple syrup…only crazy fruit syrups like boysenberry. I’m glad I finally grew out of that! Send the syrup sprites to Colorado!
    Jenni recently posted..First Ever International Day of Happiness = YAY!

  5. On March 21, 2013 at 11:22 am Carmel said:

    I’ll admit, I’m not a huge pancake fan. I think I’d prefer to use it on French toast. It is better than pretty much every other syrup.

  6. On March 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm Ceri said:

    Sugar shack is the name of my bedroom.

    Anyway … is it REALLY humanly possible to get full on pancakes? I remember Pancake Day as a child and just having heaps and heaps of them, going back into the kitchen, making my mother make me more and more and more until she told me to stop. I don’t think I ever would have if it hadn’t of been for her discipline.
    Ceri recently posted..I Came to Mexico and Got Eye-Fucked by Diego Luna

  7. On March 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm Priya said:

    Crap. Now I want pancakes. And maple syrup.
    Priya recently posted..Your Handbag Does Not Define You

  8. On March 22, 2013 at 4:23 am Sarah said:

    Dude. What about honey? HONEY! The nectar of the gods. I’m sure they’ve got loads of it up there New York.
    Sarah recently posted..Cat Bites and Coffee Shops

    • On March 23, 2013 at 10:40 am Sally said:

      Yeah, honey’s good. But it’s no maple syrup. :) I think part of the attraction of maple syrup for me was that it was so hard to get in Asia — you could only ever find it in import stores and it was super pricey. I would spend over $20 on a bottle and hoard it for months. It was definitely a huge luxury for me. Whereas honey is pretty common-place — especially in China where they have like a million-billion different kinds of honey.

  9. On March 22, 2013 at 11:46 am Corinne said:

    Unfortunately we are never in the States in March, so we don’t get a chance to go to Maple Weekend which has been on my bucket list for about two years. We were in New Hampshire a couple of summers ago and popped in a one of the farm stands. They sold maple syrup, candy, cotton candy, butter, etc. and we were given a tour of the quiet facilities. I’ve wanted to go back during the season ever since. So jealous!
    Corinne recently posted..Reflection #519 – Ostriches

    • On March 23, 2013 at 10:38 am Sally said:

      This was my first time back in the States for maple season in years. And back when I used to live here I didn’t even know Maple Weekend existed. So I was glad I had a chance to experience it. Makes me appreciate my maple syrup even more. And I didn’t even know that was possible!

  10. On March 23, 2013 at 1:32 am Ruth said:

    This is my favourite current use of maple syrup. I make it into bacon jam. Now, how’s THAT for an awesome use??
    http://www.notquitenigella.com/2009/10/08/bacon-jam-your-wildest-dreams-come-true/
    It is sooooo good.

  11. On March 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm Stephanie - The Travel Chica said:

    I just went out to a friend’s house to collect sap and make maple syrup a few weeks ago. An interesting process, but soooo much work.

  12. On March 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm the life pursuit said:

    *finds pen, scrawls on back of bank statement, TO DO: MAPLE MOJITOS.*

    I also have an excellent recipe for maple sours – basically whiskey sours but with an extra hit of maple-y goodness.
    the life pursuit recently posted..Caketastrophe

  13. On March 24, 2013 at 7:37 am Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) said:

    As a Canadian, I’m pretty sure that maple syrup runs in my veins… but when we were in Malaysia and I was talking to a Finnish couple, trying to explain exactly what the stuff is and why it was so delicious was remarkably difficult!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Drifting About in Dauin

  14. On March 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm Susan - Splendor in the Lemongrass said:

    Mmmmm. One of the best things about coming back to America is the maple syrup! I’m lucky enough to be part of a maple syrup-producing family. My Aunt and Uncle actually tap the maple trees on their land in Minnesota and have their husky run buckets of the sap back to the house. They boil it themselves, and–if you’ve been a good girl–you might just get a jar or two of the spoils! I eat it with a spoon or mix it with whiskey, generally. Pancakes dilute the good stuff a little too much!
    Susan – Splendor in the Lemongrass recently posted..Online Train Tickets in Thailand No Longer Available

  15. On March 26, 2013 at 1:03 am Jonathan Look, Jr. said:

    I love maple candy. I love it so much I should be ashamed. And I don’t even like candy.
    Jonathan Look, Jr. recently posted..Jungle Ziplining in Thailand

  16. On March 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm Red Hunt said:

    Love it, every weekend should be Maple Weekend! My favourite is maple salt…it comes in a grinder just like salt or pepper, mmm! I’m impressed with how many different syrups you saw….great stuff. Now I need to get out to a maple sugar shack near home and enjoy some myself.
    Red Hunt recently posted..Wildlife Photo: Uinta Ground Squirrel

  17. On April 5, 2013 at 9:07 am Nishi Jain said:

    I am reading this, and I am visibly salivating. Hey I haven’t tried maple sugar candy! I am not even sure if I’ll get it in my part of the town. I am a little envious here.
    :(

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