Saturday, March 19, 2011

Maple Sugaring in the Catskills

A life-long dream fulfilled!  I went to a maple sugar operation while they were boiling the sap.  I read in the New York Times that this weekend is Maple Sugar Weekend, checked out the website, and decided to visit the Catskill Mountain Maple Farm, 65 Charlie Wood Road, in Delancey, NY.  They advertised a free pancake breakfast.   Galina joined me on the trip, and we left Saturday morning.  We drove for 2 hours - mostly in very scenic country, and arrived at the farm.
It was a modest, working farm.  Up on the hill was the sugar house.  There were about 20 or so people having pancakes with syrup -- some tourists, but mostly farmers from the neighboring farms.  You sat down and waited your turn.  The coffee was good - sweetened with maple syrup.  Was doubtful at first, but it's really good that way -- you should try it.

Breakfast was 2 pancakes, eggs and a really good sausage patty, drenched in fresh maple syrup.  Very yum.  Talked to the farmer's children at our table. They tap around 3,000 sugar maples, some on their farm, others they rent from other people around the area.  The sap is late this year -- usually starts the end of January, but this year it began the end of February.  They have about 2 more weeks of sap.  
The sap boils down until it becomes syrup.  The different grades are distinguished by their color -- the light color, from the first sap, is the most highly prized; the later sap is darker, and the taste changes as the tree begins to divert more of the sap for the buds.
Lots for sale.  I got maple syrup, maple sugar candy, maple butter and maple cotton candy.  Passed on the maple mustard and the maple/pumpkin sauce.
Those are maple barrels.  Farm has a nice view...
Drove into Andes and hit a couple of antique stores.  Most don't open for until Memorial Day.  This place had a skeleton - named Fred -- a stuffed goose -- not for sale -- a lot of anatomical charts, and other cool stuff.

This was right outside the bathroom.
This great garage was just down the road.  To the left of it was another lovely antique store - Andes Antiques and Art, 171 Main Street.  Galina bought some wonderful jewelry there, and the owner, Merna, also had nice old furniture.  We had a delightful time visiting with her.  
This as outside town.  Can't resist a good God is Love barn.

The farm will be open next weekend as well for breakfast/demo/maple syrup in all its forms.  Go!

1 comment:

  1. wow, looks like you had a great time...and a great breakfast! I used to go up to that area years ago...nice to know there is still some good antiquing around :)