Can't believe it's March and the chimney stacks at the sugar house are chug-chugging to high heaven. That's a sure sign that the sap is flowing and the first fresh batches of maple syrup are on their way.
Lots of Kev's farmers boil sap, so when he does his rounds this time of year, instead of stopping by the farm, he stops by the sugar house. Today, at one of those sugar house stops, one of the guys collected a water bottle full of maple syrup from the vat and gave it to Kev as a gift to bring home. Kev was so kind enough to share his treasure with us tonight after a yummy dinner of lamb stew and crusty bread.
"First maple syrup of 2010," Kev said as he brought it out to the table for dessert. "This stuff is so fresh; it never even went to the barrel."
If you're lucky enough to get your hands on syrup so fresh (which is easy enough, by the way, if you stop by a sugar house when there's smoke coming out of the chimney), the only thing to do—the proper thing to do—is to drink it straight up. So you can enjoy it's every complexity and sweet, caramel nuances.
So Kev poured us each a shot. We clanked our glasses together and toasted to maple syrup, the sugar season and to the farmers too. Chin chin. Mmm that stuff is good.