Thursday, March 10, 2011

"What's in Your Bucket?"

For the past few weeks at Sugarmomma's Maple Farm in Northwood, NH, the Locke family has been busy with their usual late-winter chores. Debra (Sugarmomma), husband Ron, twin 15-year-old sons Nicholas and Wyatt, and 12-year-old Caleb have been hiking into the woods to tap maple trees and collect sap. Then Deb stokes the wood fire in the sugar house to boil that watery liquid until it is transformed into the thick, sweet, and flavorful regional product that people love to pour over pancakes and more: maple syrup.

Maple sugaring is hard work, and the weather during sugar season sometimes makes it downright difficult. Deb chuckles while talking about one day last month when she was out checking taps and her snowshoes sunk 12 inches into the deep, cold snow. "I was laying on my back in the woods with my snowshoes on, making snow angels!"

But frankly, Deb wouldn't have it any other way, because she is passionate about this 12-year hobby that has become her family's livelihood. "My syrup is made with love," she likes to say. And she knows that the sugar house fires that burn long into the night during this season will create the award-winning maple syrup that Sugarmomma's Maple Farm has become known for in New England and beyond.

Many local food producers, chefs, and gourmands seek out Sugarmomma's maple syrup, available in four grades and four sizes. It also is a featured ingredient in the signature products from Sugarmomma's Maple Farm: maple sugar candy, maple popcorn, maple soft-serve ice cream (a must-have at summer farmers' markets!), maple cotton candy, spreadable maple cream, powdered maple sugar, maple-chipotle pepper spice blend, maple-coated nuts, and maple hot sauce. What's more, these unique and delicious local products are made by hand in Deb's kitchen!

And even though March and April are the busiest time of year already for the NH maple business, Sugarmomma's Maple Farm is participating in the 2011 NH Maple Producers Open House Weekend, March 19 and 20, from 9 am to 3 pm. Come learn the art, science, and history of maple syrup production in a working sugar house! Meet the family behind Sugarmomma's award-winning maple syrup. Enjoy a pancake breakfast (with delicious syrup produced on site!) all day long. Tour tapped maple trees around the property. Say hello to heritage-breed chickens, turkeys, and quail. Purchase maple or poultry products from Chicken Nick and Quaileb!

Admission to the 2011 Annual Open House at Sugarmomma's Maple Farm is free; on-street parking. Sugarmomma's Maple Farm, 213 Ridge Rd., Northwood, NH (off of Routes 4/9/202, midway between Concord and Portsmouth).

More details coming soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.