More on Maple Sugaring

Hello Folks, Aunt Eunice here!
At this point it looks like Maple Sugaring Day will be on Saturday March 16th as long as the weather cooperates. Fingers crossed. Quiet Valley members particularly enjoy this event even when it’s cold as you can gather near the fires that are burning beneath the kettles of maple sap. Sometimes you catch the faint smell of maple wafting up in the steam that is the water being boiled out of the sap. As you may know you have to boil down 40 gallons of sap to get 1 gallon of syrup. If you keep cooking past the syrup stage you can get to the maple sugar point!

The wood stove will be manned by one of the staff or an experienced volunteer. They will be cooking up both buttermilk and buckwheat pancakes for members to eat with some of last year’s maple syrup. The  last of the potatoes will be cooked in the coals and the first of the eggs from the chickens will be boiled in the sap. Demonstrations of tapping a tree and making a spile (which is like a wooden spigot) will take place throughout the day. If your not a Quiet Valley member consider joining as this is a member only event. We would love to have you join in the fun.

Pancakes are a typical choice for an American breakfast and maple syrup is a very popular topping. I read somewhere that George Washington ate pancakes at breakfast that were literally drowning in maple syrup since he loved it so much. Sounds like my kind of fellow! There’s nothing like a hot, fluffy buttermilk pancake, slightly crisp on the edge, with butter melting over the top and real maple syrup rolling down the side to form a small lake on your plate. Mmmmm!

On the World Food History website they say “The first colonial settlers were taught by local Native Americans to make griddlecakes from Rhode Island Narragansett maize. These griddlecakes soon became a staple, known among the settlers as johnnycakes”.

During the 1700s, the Dutch popularized the buckwheat cake. In the mid-1750s, the hoe cake became popular. There is a debate over why it was called hoe cake. Some say a pan that was called a hoe was used to cook them on and others claim they were actually baked on a large hoe. Either way they are tasty.

Today, pancakes are also called hotcakes or flapjacks. The usual ingredients are baking powder, flour, buttermilk and eggs. They are oft times cover with syrup of some kind before eating. Pancakes are not limited to America. There are versions in Europe, Africa, Asia and in a variety of countries. Wherever you go, there’s going to be a pancake of some kind.

Here is our farm recipe for buttermilk pancakes. Make up a batch and enjoy them with your favorite topping. You already know Aunt Eunice’s favorite!!

Hope to see you soon and thanks for checking in. Aunt Eunice


1 cup                    White Flour
2 teaspoons        Baking Powder
½ teaspoon         Salt
½ teaspoon         Baking Soda
Mix above ingredients and keep separate

Add ingredients below just before making pancakes
3 tablespoons     Oil
1 cup                    Buttermilk
1                            Egg – beaten
Cook on a greased cast iron griddle or frying pan. They are ready to flip when bubbles form in the batter.

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