Did you get your maple syrup?

It’s slowly starting to warm up and it’s hard to believe it was just maple syrup season.  Soon we will have the farmers’ market again!

We headed out a couple of weeks ago at the early end of NY State Maple weekend and while we put a number of miles on the car, in the end we triumphed and I have my new 1/2 gallon of syrup.  Pancakes – granola – ice cream here I come!

I was hoping to find something in the Clinton Corners area – I thought there were a couple of producers there.  We headed out and stopped for a fortifying lunch at Wild Hive Bakery and Cafe.

Since I had maple syrup on the brain, I opted for their french toast.  It was AMAZING.  And I typically don’t feel that way about french toast (except that it’s great in soaking up lots of maple syrup). This was homemade challah, good on its own, but then it was crusted in something.  I finally broke down and asked – and the woman told me it’s ground up day-old cinnamon rolls.  Again, challah french toast crusted in ground up cinnamon rolls, all made from their own flours.  Crunchy on the outside, eggy and squishy on the inside.  Upon seeing my expression of understanding and respect, the woman said “we get ugly like that”.  Yes they do.

When you are at Wild Hive and are waiting for your meal, it’s best to remember this:

With a very full belly and some fresh whole wheat bread flour, we headed off to find (more) maple syrup.  The first place we tried was a farm that was to be featuring a pancake breakfast with local syrup the next weekend.  We stopped (anyway), and when my OH said we would not be there the following weekend, the woman cleaning the shop said “That’s too bad.”  I managed to make it back in the car before I burst out laughing.  Then off to the 2nd location nearby, just down the road from Breezy Hill Orchard.  There were sap lines all over the trees, but the address I had did not look open to the maple syrup seeking public.  And there was a (kinda unfriendly looking) dog in the driveway.  We kept going.  Trying something completely different, we headed down the Taconic to Hopewell Junction.  Cronin’s Maple Farm was definitely open for business.  This was the biggest most industrial maple syrup setup I’ve seen yet!  We found the shed with the evaporator, which had a number of burly men in matching branded tshirts standing around supervising.  Unlike the smaller sugar shacks we’ve visited in previous years, these guys weren’t really interested in the visitors.  So we wandered around the side of the building to find the display of products for sale, bought our syrup and took off.  There were kids having fun chasing chickens and playing with fire, but the adults were really on their own.  I think we’re heading up into the hills again next year…

We figured out we were really close to Dia Beacon – every day is a little better with some gigantic art.   A good meal, a lesson learned about sugar shacks (smaller=better) and some culture.

A good day.

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