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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Maple Madness!

Early Spring brings maple season to New Hampshire and it's one of our favorite times of the year....especially Maple Weekend in New Hampshire which is March 23-24 this year.  Over 110 sugar houses will be open for the 17th Annual NH Maple Weekend.

Maple syrup has several syrup flavors and grades

Grade A Light Amber-  This is the first-run of maple sap in the early spring.  This syrup has a delcate flavor and is used to make maple cream, candy and syrup.
Grade A Medium Amber - As the season progresses the syrup begins to darken.  This is the perfect grade for pancakes, and brings a richer maple flavor.
Grade A Dark Amber - The syrup begins to darken even further after the 4-6 weeks of the season.  This is a much stronger, robust maple flavor...perfect for table syrup and excellent for cooking.
Grade B-At the very end of the season some producers make smaller batches of Grade B....much stronger flavor and  primarily used for cooking.

While we use maple syrup and extract throughout the year in our cooking, we especially love using it during the spring at the beginning of the season.  Of course, we always serve pure New Hampshire maple syrup here at the Colby Hill Inn!  Here's one of our favorite recipes:

Maple Nut Bread
350 Degrees - 50 minutes

2 1/2 C Flour
1 C Sugar
3 tsp Baking Poweder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg Well Beaten
1 C Milk
3/4 Tsp Maple Extract
1 C Chopped Nuts

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Add  beaten egg, milk and maple extract.  Mix till well until moistened and stir in nuts.  Pour into greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.  Let stand 20 minutes before baking.  Bake 50 minutes or till center comes clean when a toothpick is inserted.  Cool before slicing.

Don't forget about Sugar on Snow --a Taffy-Like Treat!  Gather fresh, clean snow and spread out and pack on a cookie sheet (you can put on smaller plates too and put in the freezer in advance).  Boil maple syrup to approx 232 degrees (use a candy thermometer and run some butter around the edge of the pan to prevent it from boiling over).  Pour the maple syrup over the snow and move it around.  Using a fork you can pick it up and twirl it like spaghetti!  Some folks eat pickles and donuts in between...apparently it brings out the maple flavor!  Delicious and a New Hampshire favorite!

Join us to celebrate Maple Madness this year...we'd love to see you during this fun weekend! 

Our Maple Weekend package March 22-24  from $239 per couple (depending on room type) 
  • Two Nights Lodging
  • In Room Welcome Gift of Maple Candies and New Hampshire Maple Syrup
  • Bountiful Breakfast Each Morning featuring a special Maple Treat
  • Guide to Local Sugar Houses

We hope to see you all soon... Enjoy Maple Season!

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