Ah, sweetest taste of Spring – Fresh Maple Syrup!

7 Apr

by Diva Karen
Saturday was the perfect day to take a trip ’round Huron County to pick up some fresh, organic maple syrup.  I visited Robinson’s Maple Products in St. Augustine and learned all about modern maple syrup production.  With 20,000 trees in five separate bushes, Bill and Susanne have built a business that provides fresh organic products not only to much of southwestern Ontario, but also to a large market in Japan and emerging markets in China and the Ukraine.

Read the full story at HERE at www.tasteofhuron.ca.

This equipment, called a PIG (it looks like one, eh?) churns thickened syrup for smooth creamy maple butter.

This equipment, called a PIG (it looks like one, eh?) churns thickened syrup for smooth creamy maple butter.

Saps contains 2% sugar,  After processing through this Reverse Osmosis System it's at 16%.

Saps contains 2% sugar, After processing through this Reverse Osmosis System it’s at 16%.

Holding tank on the second floor for the 16% concentrate … will flow down to the evaporator

Holding tank on the second floor for the 16% concentrate … will flow down to the evaporator

Evaporator on the left side uses steam coils to boil down the sap to 66.5 degrees Brix*

Evaporator on the left side uses steam coils to boil down the sap to 66.5 degrees Brix*

This filtering system removes the impurities

This filtering system removes the impurities

Dinner on Saturday night included Tangy Maple Meatballs – a recipe that Suzanne shared with us.

Tangy Maple Meatballs (Recipe below)

Tangy Maple Meatballs (Recipe below)

Robinson Maple Products
84548 St. Augustine Line
Auburn, ON  N0M 1E0
Phone:  519-527-7857
www.robinsonmaple.com

SUZANNE’S TANGY MAPLE MEATBALLS

Meatballs
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 egg
2 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Combined above ingredients and form into 1 1/2″ balls.  Please in 8″ square pan, bake for 20 minutes.

Sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 c water

Combine cornstarch, mustard and salt in small saucepan.  Gradually stir in vinegar, maple syrup and water.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Drain fat from the meatballs, pour sauce over meatballs.  Bake 20 minutes.

 

A DIFFERENT WAY OF COLLECTION
While the Robinson’s operation is automated – sap is suctioned via vacuum on those blue plastic lines strung through the bush the local Amish were tapping trees along the roadside and rather than the traditional pails (shown in last year’s story HERE), they’re using Wine Skins as shown in the photo below.

Amish in the area are using WineSkins for sap collection.

Amish in the area are using WineSkins for sap collection.

 

*Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution.  One degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution  and represents the strength of the solution as percentage by weight (% w/w). If the solution contains dissolved solids other than pure sucrose, then the °Bx only approximates the dissolved solid content.

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