Yesterday, Jeff and I made our annual pilgrimage out to the Berkshires to South Face Farm, one of our favorite maple sugar shacks. We drive out there – a 3 hour drive via the scenic route – basically to have breakfast!
South Face Farm is quite cute inside: green and white gingham tablecloths and curtains, yellow walls, twinkling lights (sorry the pic is a little blurry), and antique pots, pans, cooking tools and packages.
Plus, they make great maple syrup, maple cream (If you have never had maple cream, you must. It is one of life’s treats, if you like maple flavor), homemade cinnamon bread, corn fritters and the usual delicious pancakes and waffles. Here’s Jeff’s combo plate with “one of each”, or the carbo-loading breakfast 😉
The owner decided to give up the restaurant that’s only open for about 6 weeks on weekends, but he will continue to boil maple syrup. But some friends of his took over the restaurant. Though the food was as yummy as ever, the prices definitely went up. We spent $36 including tip for breakfast for two. A tad pricey IMHO. We may need to shop around next year 😉
At any rate, here is one way that maple sap is collected from trees…with a collecting pail attached to a hole made in the bark of the tree. This is a decorative pail. The utilitarian pails have a tent-like aluminum cover to protect the sap and they don’t have cute pictures on them 😉
The outdoor temperature has to be at a certain level for the sap to run. This frigid winter has delayed the start of the season ‘coz it’s been too darn cold.
Another way to collect sap is to run tubes from tree to tree and back to either a large collecting container or to a vat in the sugar shack itself. Then the maple sap is boiled down in an apparatus like this.
The maple syrup that results from the boiling can be different grades with different colors and depth of flavor, usually light colors at the beginning of the season and darkest at the end of the season. My favorite is actually Grade B because it has the most flavor…though this year, the “powers that be” changed the grading system so everything is Grade A with different long explanations. That makes no sense to me, and South Face Farm just ignored it and carried on grading as usual.
Because yesterday was the first day of the season and also because no boiling was going on, there wasn’t a crowd at the restaurant. This is the first year we didn’t have to wait for at least an hour to get in, yay. I enjoy watching the boiling but I was happy not to have to wait to eat.
Then, we drove on to Northampton, the home of Smith College, and a nice college town with galleries, shops and restaurants. We went to several galleries and in one, we stopped to look at the photographs by Leonard Nimoy, R.I.P. It was a nice day, and the sun cooperated thank goodness!
Have you ever been to a maple sugar shack? Do you like maple syrup?
So that was my Saturday. Sunday should be a relaxing day. If you have a relaxing day too, take a look at the weekly roundup from the Beauty Blogazons. It’s a short list this week but a good one!
- TheFabZilla: Get Un-Ready with TheFabZilla using Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Line
- Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog: purminerals Air Perfection Cushion Foundation offers gorgeous coverage, a natural dewy finish, and it’s filled with antioxidants! It’s amazing!
- Kizzy Online: Kizzy reviews the new Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection Around-the-Clock Blush in ‘Brush with Brilliance’, available exclusively at Walgreens.
- Beauty by Miss L: Find out why Leelo from Beauty by Miss L is loving Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Hair Masque.
- Beauty on the Bayou: TOP 5 FAVORITE LIP GLOSSES
- Never Say Die Beauty: Allison talks about her positive early impressions of NeoStrata Intensive Eye Therapy gel for hydrating, lifting and smoothing