The earliest settlers called it "Indian molasses" or "Indian sugar", the Algonquins called it "Sinzibuckwud" (drawn from wood) and the Ojibways called it "Ninautik" (our own tree). They preferred to use the rock maple or Sheesheegummawis (sap flows fast) for sap collection. Basswood trees were excavated in order to make troughs to collect the sap. This was heated by throwing hot rocks into the sap to cause it to boil, thereby reducing it to sugar. This method offers evidence that sugar making was an established custom before the first settlers appeared in Canada.
Getting rid of the water in the sap is still the main purpose today, and although the technique is different, the basic idea remains the same. Boring holes in the trees with augers, and by using spiles and tin buckets instead of wooden buckets were the first improvements the Canadian pioneers introduced.
Boiling the sap in iron kettles speeded up the process. Later, flat bottomed pans were used to "finish" the syrup. By the early 1900s, the flue type evaporator came into use, which is still used today. The deep flues in the bottom of the pan allow flames to make a larger area of contact, which makes the sap boil sooner.
Visit The North American Sugarbush Directory for more Festivals http://www.sugarbush.info
Lalonde's Sugar Bush
“Little surprises” Along The Trail, By Peggy Lalonde
Here we are again in mid-February and no sign of spring yet.
Actually, we haven’t had a bad winter at all this year. Some mornings
have been pretty frosty, but we like to see that when we're making syrup.
If it stays like this, but warms up to plus temperatures through the day,
we will have ideal conditions for another great syrup season.
This year we have added a few points of interest to our Sugar Bush.
Some of you may know that we always welcome people to take a
peaceful walk in the bush and see the tubing throughout. This year we
have tried to encourage more birds and animals to make our bush their place of residence.
Tim and I noticed this past summer, a pair of Wood ducks perched in the big
oak tree in our back yard. We decided to build a house for them. I guess I
should be truthful here, I decided that he needed to build a house for them. My
dear hubby found himself climbing ten feet up a tree to erect this house. It was
quite a feat for him. Not the climbing, but trusting me with holding the ladder. It is
my hope, and his now, that they will move in this spring.
Further back in the bush, we have heard and seen an owl (not sure what kind it is),
so we decided to build an owl house. We also wanted to give those cute little
chickadees a place of their own (actually that was me too), and so we built
a little village for them as well. We know we have deer close by because we see their tracks all through the
bush and Tim often sees them when he's out there. They seem to like the
salt on the pile of highway posts that are sitting midway back in the bush.
You can see where they have been chewing on the posts so we will keep the
At night we can hear the coyotes yipping and yapping as they pass through
the bush ... on a hunt I suppose. I wonder if they are wary as they pass by the
tiny teepee that we erected (yes, I actually did help with this idea), or do
they even notice it.
I've always wanted to have "little surprises" along the trail for our guests as they
take their children or grandchildren for a walk in the bush. It is my plan to charm
my dear husband into helping me create these ideas that I have, over the next few
years. Who knows what I'll come up with! I bet he can't wait for my next incredible
feat for him!
Have a great day everyone! We hope you enjoy the festival!
We welcome you and your family to tour our maple farm at this year’s Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival…Generations of Greenlaw’s have been offering tours at our bush since the first Maple Syrup Festival, and we look forward to your visits for many years to come!
There have been some major changes at our farm over the last decade, including upgrades and a new generation of Greenlaw at the helm ... be aware that one thing will never change, that’s the quality and purity of our products which keeps our customers coming back! In 2008, we replaced all our plastic tubing with food grade tubing, and replaced our evaporator. New evaporators use stainless steel welds which do not contain lead. Our commitment to our customer’s safety is proven by our diligence to associations such as the Ontario Maple Syrup Producer’s Association, and the Food Safety Initiative, which offer education, resources and standards providing the knowledge to ensure a quality, safe and pure product.
When you visit, you may notice the shiny evaporator and some of our upgrades. What you won't miss is our strong family bond! There are generations of us working together at all times. Admittedly, this can get “interesting” to say the least, but at the end of each day we know we will be together tomorrow to do it all over again. Jaret and I sincerely enjoy every minute of it, and will occasionally chat about my grandparents' dedication to this craft ... it’s un-imaginable to us how hard they had to work with three young boys, traditional equipment, and a farm to run. Anyone who knows Myrt and Wally will agree that they aren’t afraid of hard work, and they always seem to do it with a smile, and always have time for a chat!
Our appreciation is an understatement! We have so many friends and family who help us throughout the season ... we are truly fortunate! Jaret and I consider one of our greatest fortunes is to be able to continue to work with Myrt and Wally ... they have built the reputation and we’re determined to uphold it! Thanks so much, Nan & Pa!
We look forward to seeing old friends, customers and meeting new ones at this year’s Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival!
Jaret and Pam (Greenlaw) McLaren
The Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association was formed in 1966. The provincial organization is comprised of 11 active districts similar to Simcoe and District Maple Syrup Producers Association. Maple Syrup has a long history in Ontario and we are proud to be a small part of that history. Maple Syrup is the oldest agricultural crop in the province and the 1st to be produced in the spring of the year.
From those earlier beginnings the syrup industry has seen a lot of changes. From the first equipment, which was a cast iron kettle, to flat tin pans, to stainless welded pans to today's all stainless equipment. We have come from buckets and a horse-drawn sleigh to tubing, vacuum pumps and reverse osmosis machines. Many of us use wood to create a fire to boil the sap some have oil burners and there is an ever-increasing interest in the use of high-pressure steam.
As an industry, Maple Syrup is unique to northeastern North America, the native range of Sugar Maple. Quebec is the largest producer. The maple industry in Ontario is a fifteen-million dollar business. In Simcoe and District we have approximately 50 members with approximately 45,000 taps. Our crop is valued at just over a half a million dollars.
As an association we hold our Annual Information day for our members, participate in a Breakfast for Learning Program, support the Collingwood Fair and have participated at the Barrie Fair. We have hosted the provincial summer tour twice in recent years. We are presenters at the annual Farm Comes to Town event of the Simcoe County Federation of Agricultural, and of course are active members in the best maple syrup festival in the province!
Maple sap is collected during early spring, usually March and April when maple trees are in dormancy state. This sap has only 3% to 5% total solid, consisting mainly of sucrose. Other components are organic acids (mainly malic acid), minerals (mainly potassium and calcium), phenolic compounds (aroma), amino compounds (trace) and vitamins (trace).
From the concentration process of this sap, without any addition, we obtain the pure maple syrup having the following nutritional information.
The comparative calorie value is:
Maple Syrup:50 cal./15 ml
Fructose:46 cal./ 15 ml
Brown Sugar:51 cal./ 15 ml
Corn Syrup:60 cal./ 15 ml
Honey:64 cal./ 15 ml
Nutritional information of maple syrup per 50 ml serving:
Potassium :117 gram
Percentage of recommended daily intake:
Maple Syrup can be declared a good source of 3 essential elements - calcium, iron and thiamin.
Yield: 8 -12 popovers
Preheat oven to 425°F
1 cup all-purpose flour,
2 tbsp honey,
1/2 tsp salt,
1 tbsp melted butter/margarine,
3/4 cup milk,
2 large eggs
1. Grease muffin tins
2. Sift flour and salt together.
3. Add the milk, honey, and melted
butter/margarine and stir to blend.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until light and fluffy.
5. Beat eggs into flour mixture.
6. Fill prepared muffin cups to just under 1/2 full.
7. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the sides are rigid and the tops are brown.
DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR FOR 25 MINUTES!
8. Serve immediately with plain butter and maple syrup.
Maple Chicken Breasts
Preheat oven to 350°F
2 tbsp all purpose flour,
6 large mushrooms, sliced,
1/8 tsp salt, 1 cup diced onion,
4 whole chicken breasts boned and halved,
1/4 cup maple syrup, freshly cooked rice,
1/4 cup butter
1.Combine flour and salt in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off the excess.
2. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.
3. Remove from pan and keep warm.
4. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken and onion and cook until chicken is browned and onion is tender, turning chicken once, about 4 minutes per side.
5. Transfer to 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
6.Top with mushrooms. Pour maple syrup evenly over mushrooms. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately over rice
Maple Custard Pudding
Yield: Serves 5
Preheat oven to 300°F
Ingredients: 2 cups milk,
1/8 tsp salt,
3-4 eggs, 3/4 tsp vanilla, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1. In small sauce pan heat milk.
2. In a medium size bowl, beat eggs and add the syrup, salt and vanilla. Stir in.
3. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly; strain into custard cups or baking dish; if desired sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. Set dish in a baking pan in the oven; add hot water to the pan to halfway up to the level of the custard; you may need to top up. After 30 minutes, test custard by inserting the point of a paring knife to see if it comes out clean. Immediately remove custard from the hot water and set in lukewarm water to prevent curdling.
Maple Basted Spareribs
Yield: Serves 4
Preheat oven to 350°F
1-1/2 cups maple syrup,
?1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp chili sauce,
1/2 tsp dry mustard,
2 tbsp cider vinegar,
1-1/2 tbsp chopped onion,
1/2 tsp pepper,
3 pounds spareribs, cut in 4 inch pieces,
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients, except spare-ribs, in a bowl and mix well. Brush sauce on spareribs and put them in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan. Do not cover. Roast about 1-1/2 hours, brushing frequently with sauce. Turn occasionally for an even glaze.
Tasty Pot Roast
Rub the sides of the meat with these
3 tablespoons maple sugar,
1/4 cup flour,
1 teaspoon salt and,
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Method: Brown meat in some fat then proceed as usual.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup soy sauce,
2 tbsp oil, 1/4 cup orange juice,
2 tbsp minced onion,
1/4 cup lemon juice,
1 crushed clove garlic,
2 tbsp maple sugar, salt & pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients together, add meat and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Meat can then be oven baked or barbequed. Baste with marinade as it is cooking.
Fruit Salad Dressing
Ingredients:1 beaten egg yolk,
2 tbsp lemon juice,
1/4 cup maple syrup,
1/4 cup whipped cream
Place egg yolk and maple syrup into a double boiler and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Cool to room temperature. Fold in lemon juice and whipped cream. Spoon over fruit salad.
Fried for breakfast, scrapple is most delicious when pure maple syrup is pored over it.
Yield: Serves 8
1 pound ground pork,
5 cups water,
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper,
1/4 tsp dried rubbed sage, 2 cups white cornmeal,
1/4 cup butter/margarine,
1/2 cup maple syrup
1.In a 5 quart saucepan gently saute the ground pork until it loses its pinkness. Add 3 cups water, the salt, pepper to taste and sage. Heat to boiling; cover and simmer over low heat 30 minutes.
2.Pour the mixture into a food processor and with the chopping blade, process until the pork is finely chopped. Return to the pot.
3.In a bowl combine the cornmeal and remaining 2 cups water. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook gently 15 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
4.Generously oil a loaf pan. Pour the scrapple into the pan and spread to make the top level. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
5.To serve, unmold the loaf and cut it into slices. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and fry the slices, several at a time until they are browned on both sides. Serve the scrapple with maple syrup.