Sugaring season is one of my favorite times of year. The days are getting longer, temps are over 32° during the day, though the nights are colder. The back roads are all mud, not fun to navigate. Sounds like early spring, doesn’t it? It is but it’s also sugaring time in Vermont. We’re fortunate to have a farm with a sugarhouse right down the road from us.
When the sap starts to run, you can hear the plink, plink as it drips into the buckets. See the sugarhouse through the trees? When they start boiling, steam will pour out of the roof. And the smell of sweet boiling sap can permeate the surrounding air. Often, the sugarmakers hold an open house to sell their new syrup and serve sugar on snow.
It’s time for sugar on snow! It’s traditionally served with raised donuts and dill pickles. First, snow is packed into containers, like pie or cake pans. I usually pack away some pans of snow in the freezer to have on hand so we can have this treat in the summer, too. Sugar on snow is really a maple taffy, simply made by boiling the syrup to 233°, then drizzling it on snow. You twirl the taffy on a fork to eat along with a fresh donut. When you’ve had so much of this sweetness that you can’t eat one bite more, you munch on a dill pickle – sweetness is gone, you can then start all over again!
Spring in Vermont – sweet!