Monday, March 14, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year. . . . . . . . maple sugaring season

Forget the groundhog. The sure sign of spring is when the sap from maple trees starts running and the maple sugaring season gets underway. After returning from a wonderful weekend in Burlington, Vermont - The Farmhouse Tap and Grill, Mirabelles, and Dobra Tea,
I'm in the mood to cook with my all time favorite ingredient....
Vermont Pure Maple Syrup - Grade B.
I'm partial to Vermont because I happen to be currently sending a lot of college tuition money to that state. Although I suppose New Hampshire, New York and parts of Canada have some pretty good maple syrup too.

Normally I reach for my favorite source of Vermont recipes, Cooking with Shelburne Farms, for things like Maple and Black Pepper Chicken, Maple Gingersnaps or Maple-Glazed Ribs (only served when the vegetarian daughter isn't home...due to the meat, of course, but also the use of Vermont's Long Trail amber ale).

This time I start the season with Maple-Glazed Sausages and Cabbage as found in the Sunday Boston Globe, Cooking section, March 6, 2011.
Forget boiling cabbage in plain water or with your St. Pat's Day Corned Beef. Cabbage braised with maple syrup and a touch of cider vinegar is very nice. Although it still did not appeal to the "selective" vegetable eater in the house. Yet, he did enjoy his carrots with a light maple flavoring.

For dessert, try the Simple Maple Cream Cake topped with maple whipped cream.

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