A Sure Sign of Spring

robin in snow    crocus in the snow

If there’s one consolation after a long, cold, Eastern Ontario winter, it would have to be our first taste of Lanark County maple syrup in the spring.  Long known as the ‘Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario’, Lanark County has the highest quality syrup to be found not just in Ontario, but possibly on the entire planet.

maple syrup capital image

Our frigid nights, when the temperatures drop down well below zero are the perfect complement to the gradual onset of spring weather where the mercury rises slowly but surely into the single digits during the late mornings and afternoons.  This combination of freezing at night and thawing in the daytime creates the ‘perfect storm’ for the precious, sugary sap to drip in a constant stream from our maple trees.

maple syrup bucket.jpg

It takes no less than 40 gallons of this light, watery fluid to produce just one gallon of maple syrup, after a long steady boil in a large tank or cauldron.  It’s a lot of effort, labour and raw materials combined to produce a sweet, flavourful maple syrup, but not many would argue that the challenging and costly process is well worth it.

maple syrupmaple and pancakes

2016 marks the 200th anniversary of our pioneer settlers in Lanark County, and so this year’s annual Festival of the Maples in Perth will feature even  more vendors, music, and events.

maple festival gore st vendorsmaple fest syrup on snow

Some think of maple syrup as a ‘guilty pleasure’, but did you know that this tasty treat contains over 54 antioxidants and has many health benefits?   Recent studies done in Canada and the U.S. state that the botanical compounds found in maple syrup actually protect the brain cells from the kind of damage found in Alzheimer’s disease.  Article on health benefits of maple syrup

Whether you are a native of Lanark County or just a visitor looking for a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, a visit to the Festival of the Maples in the historic town of Perth is sure to delight everyone in the family. From the tiny tot enjoying maple taffy on the snow, to the grown-ups sampling some of the local maple beer there’s something for everyone at this annual celebration of all things maple!

Join us at The Book Nook between 1 pm and 4 pm!

Festival of the maples 2016

http://www.staffordwilson.com

For more information on Lanark County maple producers and the history of maple production:   “Taffy on the Tay”  from Lanark County Chronicle  ISBN 978-0-9877026-23, available in local book stores.

Easy, mouth-watering recipes for Maple Butter and Maple Fudge at the conclusion of this article.

Contact information listing vendors known for their premium quality maple syrup; many are award winners:

Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush
Address: 291 6th Conc Rd., Pakenham, On
Phone: 613-256-3867 Email: info@fultons.ca Website: http://www.fultons.ca

McFarlane’s Maple Syrup
Grant & Gail McFarlane
1550 Prestonvale Rd
Lanark, ON K0G 1K0
Phone – 613-259-5410
Email – grantandgail@storm.ca

Paul’s Maple Products
Brien Paul
267 Sugar Bush Way,
Lanark, ON K0G 1K0
Phone – 613-259-5276
Email – dpaul@storm.ca

Coutts Country Flavours
Address: 1230 Port Elmsley Rd. RR5 Perth, Ontario K7H 3C7
Phone: 613-267-0277 Email: couttscountryflavours@live.ca
Website: couttscountryflavours.ca/

Jameswood Maple
3231 Wolf Grove Road
Dwight James
249 Purdy Rd,
Lanark, ON K0G 1K0
Phone – 613-256-4466
Email – jameswood@storm.ca

Temple’s Sugar Camp
Address: 1700 Ferguson’s Falls Rd. (CR#15) Lanark, On
Phone: 613-253-7000 Email: TemplesInfo@xplornet.com
Website: http://www.templessugarcamp.ca

Dorian Heights Maple Products
3631 Watsons Corners Rd,
RR 1 McDonalds Corners, ON K0G 1M0
Phone – 613-278-2177
Email – dorian75@live.ca

Springdale Farm
Don & Marion Dodds
Home – 1790 Galbraith Rd, RR 2
Clayton, ON K0A 1P0
Sugar Shack – 1699 Galbraith Rd.
Clayton, ON K0A 1P0
Phone – 613-256-4045
Email – info@springdale@.ca
Web site – http://www.springdalemaple.ca

Fairbairn Farm
1827 Wolf Grove Rd,
Almonte, ON K0A 1A0
Phone – 613-256-5047
Email – dfairbairn@hughes.net
Web site – http://www.fairbairnmaple.com

Wheeler’s Pancake House & Sugar Camp
Address: 1001 Highland Line Lanark Highlands (McDonalds Corners), On
Phone: 613-278-2090 Email:webinfo@wheelersmaple.com Website:http://www.wheelersmaple.com

Ennis Maple Products Ltd
848 Ennis Rd,
Balderson, ON K0G 1A0
Phone – 613-267-3491
Email – ennismaple@yahoo.com
Web site – http://www.ennismaple.com

Ryan & Glenn Stead
5692 Hwy 511,
Lanark, ON K0G 1K0
Phone – 613-259-2578
Email – steadmaplesyrup@gmail.com

Sugar Maple Farms Ltd.
David & Paul Chant
3187 Thousand Acre Rd,
RR 2 Portland, ON K0G 1V0
Phone – 613-272-2616

 

Two of our favourite Maple Recipes:

Maple Butter

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup softened butter
• 1/4 cup maple syrup

Preparation Time 5 minutes:

Mix butter and maple syrup with electric mixer until blended. Serve on toast, cracker or warm muffins. This is so tasty and could not be easier to make. Use this creamy maple butter spread on bread, pancakes, muffins, toast, and biscuits.

Yield: about 3/4 cup

Maple Cream Fudge

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cream (I use Heavy cream/whipping cream)
1/3 cup of butter
1/4 cup of maple syrup
pinch of salt
vanilla

Add the two sugars, butter and cream, maple syrup and salt into a sauce pan. Place over medium heat. Stir while bringing to a boil. Lower the heat and continue to stir slowly while the mixture cooks. After about 7 minutes, test by pouring a small amount into some cold water. You want it to form a soft ball. You might need to cook it for another minute or two. Remove from the heat, add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla and start stirring. It takes about 14 or 15 minutes for the fudge to cool and thicken. Pour into buttered dish. TIP: If you let the fudge sit for 10 minutes after removing from the heat and allow it to cool slightly this will reduce the stirring time. Option: Replace the cream and cup of white sugar with one can of Sweetened Condensed Milk and increase the maple syrup to 1 cup

Arlene Stafford-Wilson http://www.staffordwilson.com

 

The Written Word Comes to Life

Writer's Festival 5 banner0001Writer's Festival 6 Lee Ann & Leslie0001Writer's Festival 10001Writer's Festival 7 with Steve Scott0001Writer's Festival 4 with Carol-Ann0001Writer's Festival 20001_1

Writer's Festival 20001Writer's Festival 8 with Irene Spence0001Writer's Festival 9 Authors0001

The written word came to life at the International Writer’s Festival in Perth on Saturday. Under sunny skies, perched along the historic Tay Basin, the Crystal Palace was home to nearly a dozen authors showcasing their work and chatting with locals and visitors alike. The event was part of a weekend of activities which included a writing contest and some notable guest speakers from the writing community.

Many thanks to the Chamber of Commerce along with the Ottawa International Writers Festival, the Farmer’s Market, the Town of Perth, the Perth & District Union Public Library, the BIA , Heritage Perth, The Book Nook and many local businesses who organized and sponsored this first-time event in the newly formed Perth Chapter of the well-known International Writers Festival.

We were pleased to be situated with author Gene Bassett to our right and with Irene Spence and Ron Shaw to our left. Irene was the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee award for her many years of service in promoting history and heritage and is active at Archives Lanark as well as the Lanark County Genealogical Society.

It was a pleasure meeting author and instructor Lee Ann Eckhardt Smith, member of the Board of Directors of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. Lee Ann, along with Leslie Wallack of The Book Nook presented each author with a smart black carry-all featuring the Writer’s Festival logo, a writing journal, pen and decorative ceramic keepsake.

One of the highlights of the day were visits from Carol-Ann McDougall and husband Ken who are building their dream home along the picturesque shores of Rideau Ferry. Another delightful visitor was an old friend and neighbour from the third line – Dr. Steve Scott. It was a wonderful surprise to connect once again and have a quick chat.

The day was a great success and we look forward to future events with the International Writer’s Festival!

International Writer’s Festival August 23rd, 2014 – Participating Authors:

Gene Bassett, author of: ‘Tall Tales’, and ‘Stolen Moments’

Allison Graham & Cathy Rivoire, author/illustrator of ‘Caterpillar Soup’

Joelle Hubner-Mclean, author of ‘Corvus and Me’

Shirley Mackenzie, ‘Orphan Sage’

John McKenty, ‘Square Deal Garage’, ‘Follow the Crowd’ and ‘Arden Blackburn’s Mail Route’

Anne Raina, author of: ‘Clara’s Rib’

Ron Shaw author of: ‘Tales of the Hare’, ‘Black Light’ and ‘Forgotten Hero’ (Co-authored with M.E. Irene Spence)

Claudia Smith, author of ‘By Word of Mouth’

M.E. Irene Spence, co-author of ‘Forgotten Hero, the biography of Alexander Fraser’

Arlene Stafford-Wilson, author of: ‘Recipes & Recollections: Treats and Tales from our Mother’s Kitchen’ and ‘Lanark County Kid: My Travels up and down the Third Line’ and ‘Lanark County Chronicle: Double Back to the Third Line’ and ‘Lanark County Calendar: Four Seasons on the Third Line’

Mick Wicklum ‘Grand Popo and Kanaga’ and ‘Wicklum’s Law and Other Tips on How to Survive in Africa’

http://www.staffordwilson.com