I have to admit: maple syrup might just be my favourite thing about Canada. Everything cooked in maple syrup, whether sweet or savory, has a wonderful flavour. Salmon grilled in maple syrup. Vanilla ice cream topped with maple syrup. Crepes and homemade waffles with maple syrup. Roasted brussel sprouts with garlic and drizzled with maple syrup. Bacon with maple syrup and brown sugar. Maple bacon roasted pumpkin seeds. Maple pork chops with cooked apple and pear.
My childhood was filled with maple syrup tasting and annual visits to the sugar farm. I grew up in a small town with lots of wooded maple areas, and every year, our class, our youth group, and our family visited the local place where they cooked the maple syrup. Special memories. I also remember tapping our neighbour's trees beside the long road, and collecting sap in metal buckets. I remember sitting on wood stumps in our country backyard and boiling a huge pot of sap over a fire pit. Eating maple taffy off the snow. Maple sugar shaped like maple leaves. Going with my classmates to learn about the maple syrup operation at the 55-acre local sugar bush, and riding on the wagon, the cold crunch of branches under our wheels and the smoky smell of a wood burning fire nearby.
Happy 150th birthday Canada. May you always have an abundance of sugar maple trees and maple syrup!
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