Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Maple Sunday is a Maine tradition.
Maine's maple producers celebrate Maine Maple Sunday on March 27, 2011. It's the day when sugar makers around the state open the doors of their sugarhouses for the public to to join them in their rites of spring-making maple syrup.
Most sugarhouses offer free tasting and live demonstrations of how syrup is produced from tap to table. Many offer a variety of other treats and activities including syrup on pancakes or ice cream, sugarbush tours, sleigh or wagon rides, live music and lots more.
The farm I am planning to visit is Harris Farm
Harris Farm is close to our home, and it is locally owned.(280 Buzzell Road, Dayton, Maine) I do not think I'll have the pancakes, but I plan bring home some fresh local goods, and they are dog friendly.
March 26th and 27th, 2011
• All-you-can-eat Pancake breakfast
• Maple sugaring demonsrations
• Lots of maple products available
• Dairy store open
Sap can only be harvested while it's moving through the tree trunk. The sugar in sap is stored as starch throughout the year.
During the spring, the warm days and cold nights help change these starches to sugars and the flow of sweet sap begins
Old-Fashioned Baked Beans
6 cups dried beans
2/4 to 1 lb lean salt port or slab bacon on the rind
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/3 cup Maine maple syrup
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and stuck with 2 whole cloves
Cover beans with boiling water, soak 1 hour, then drain. (This will remove some gas-causing compounds.) Cover beans with cold water, bring to a slow boil and cook until skins split when the beans are blown on. Drain, saving liquid.
Drop the meat into a pan of boiling water, turn off heat and let sit for 5 or 10 minutes to remove excess salt. Drain and cut in half. Put half of the meat, rind down, on the bottom of your bean pot. Combine 1 cup bean liquid with the mustard, syrup, and pepper, then mix it into the parboiled beans.
Transfer this to the bean pot and bury the onion right in the middle. Pour in just enough additional bean-liquid or water to barely show through the top layer of beans. Cap with the remaining meat, set rind side out. Cover and bake 6 to 8 hours in a very slow (250 degree) over, adding boiling water if necessary to keep beans from drying out. Uncover for last hour so top can get brown and