Seasons of New England Part 4

Spring

Spring announces its arrival in New England…or so the calendar says!

Finally old man winter is in the rear view mirror and warmer weather (hopefully) is just down the road. Pour a cup of tea and curl up in your favorite chair by the fire…you’ve come to the right place. I’m about to share with you a few things us New Englanders love about spring in our little corner of the world.

The picture you see here is the road I live on and was taken just last week after Mother Nature dumped over 14 inches of snow with an additional 12″ just 4 days later.  It’s been a tough winter with 3 Nor’easters just in the month of March. The first Nor’easter earlier in the month was mostly freezing rain with extreme high winds causing power outages and a dozen or more trees to come down in our 10 acre forest…two nearly hitting the house.

The day before I took this photo, I had spring fever and was looking for any excuse to linger outside. I took my Airedale pal, Jack, on the long walk to see the horses he loves to watch; the sun feeling warm on my face albeit the cold temperature. Tempted to rake and wake up the gardens from their winter sleep under the protective blanket of fall leaves, I decided against it. New England weather is very unpredictable, especially in springtime. I remember one early May, years ago, we received about 8″ of snow and all the perennials I had just planted, didn’t survive. So, I impatiently look forward to the long awaited season of awakening and the rebirth of everything beautiful in my gardens. On quiet Saturday mornings I can be found perusing garden magazines and taking notes for upcoming outdoor projects.

Soon, tulips, daffodils, lilacs and hyacinth will be blooming and buds will burst open on the Crab Apple tree in the side yard.  And there will be weekends filled with cleanup time with the fallen trees.

Memories…

We had been shopping for a new home over several months and after visiting listing after listing after listing, were a little discouraged and not very happy with what was on the market. Then I came across one that peaked my interest and thought we should check it out.  My husband was playing in a golf tournament early Mothers’ Day  morning and my daughter and I were to meet him at the country club for brunch…a perfect opportunity to check out the property located in the historic part of a small New England town.

The Crab Apple was in full bloom and covered with so many pink and white blossoms, the leaves were barely visible. The house faces south, away from the road and towards 10 acres of untouched forest full of places to explore and make forts…and the home to lots of wildlife to observe and enjoy. The white and lavender lilacs that line the west side of the house were blooming and the smell of the air…intoxicating. My daughter and I took our time walking around the grounds and I remember admiring the gardens and the flowering ground myrtle that framed both sides of the long driveway. It was beautiful. When the realtor asked if I’d like to see the inside of the house, I said I didn’t need to. You can always change the inside but you can’t change the setting. It was perfect.

Long story short…we did tour the inside and I brought my husband back later that day to show him the gem I found. We made an offer that day, it was accepted and we moved in over Memorial Day weekend, just 26 days later…25 years ago. So this time of year is very special to me and as I anticipate the crab and lilacs showing off their beautiful blooms in the weeks to come, spring fever is returning again.

Harbingers of Spring in New England

Chipmunks are out of hibernation and when the ice finally melts, I will hear the high pitch chirping of the peepers that live in the pond across the road. Red headed woodpeckers can be seen on the suet feeder daily. They don’t like to share, so the white breasted nuthatches, tufted titmouse and chickadees perch patiently on the branches of the Crab Apple tree in wait. Bluebirds are back and are stunning to look at. And my favorite…the cardinals.

This winter, we had 8 suet feeders dangling on branches of the old crab looking like winter ornaments that kept dozens of birds happy and fed. We also learned that squirrels rather enjoy suet. Just this morning we saw bear tracks in the snow and every feeder was pulled down and ripped apart. I guess they’re out of hibernation. One gray squirrel was seen trying to drag a forgotten suet cake across the snow to his den.

Robins are returning from their migration down south and honking Canadian geese can be seen flying in formation overhead.

Did you know… Robins can fly 30-36mph during migration and often find their way to the exact yard they nested in year after year.

Tiny crocus and violets will soon be showing their colors and I’ll want to take a drive into Boston to attend the annual New England Flower Show. You can smell spring in the air. I don’t know how to describe it but it’s there. You can smell it and I love it.breaching Humpback whale

Other signs of spring in New England are the running of the Boston Marathon and if you’re a baseball fan…the return of the Boston Red Sox.  Let’s not forget about the return of Humpback whales from their trek to the Caribbean where they mated and gave birth to calves. Sounds like they had a joyful winter. haha

This is sad and deeply unsettling…

Just recently there was a news report that 150 pilot whales stranded themselves on an Australian beach in Hamelin Bay on the west coast. Volunteers were able to haul 6 survivors back into the water. Unfortunately though, rescued whales often re-strand themselves. Why???

The short-finned pilot whale is a species of dolphin. They are intensely social and highly intelligent.pilot whale

Did you know… in 1996, 320 long-finned pilot whales beached themselves at Dunsborough, Australia, just about 50 miles north of Hamelin Bay.

Here in the states, Cape Cod is a hot spot for stranded whales…about 226 whales and dolphins each year!

Why in the world does this have to happen?!

Some scientists say it’s the location where whales tend to habitat. As an example, take Cape Cod that has hook shaped pieces of land jutting out into the water. Add in sloping sandy beaches and rapidly receding tides. This combination may confuse the whales sonar making them think they’re in deeper water. Or, could it be due to astronomical influences/events and the earth’s magnetic field making the whales internal compasses vulnerable and thus difficult to navigate? I wish I knew…it’s deeply unsettling.

On a happier note

Did you know… One of the rarest creatures in the world, the endangered North Atlantic right whale, has been seen by scientists feeding in Cape Cod Bay. I think it’s a good time to plan a whale watch cruise, don’t you?

Back to Signs of Spring in New England…

Mating seasonWild turkeys still visit us every day to eat black oil sunflower seeds that we scatter for them in the field by the barn. It’s mating season and the “Toms” can be seen all puffed up strutting around the hens trying to impress them. If you’d like to know more about wild turkeys, please click here to read my blog “Seasons of New England  Part 3” where I write more about them. I know you’ll find it both informative and quite interesting.

Spring Happenings

Looking for something interesting to do this spring? if you’ll be in New England, I’ve got some great weekend ideas for you.

May I suggest…

  • Take the kids to the Children’s Museum, Science Museum or the Museum of Natural History.
  • Visit the Aquarium in a city near you. The New England Aquarium in Boston has been a favorite of ours over the years and is a must stop if you’re in town or the perfect destination spot after a fantastic meal at the infamous Union Oyster House, America’s oldest restaurant. Check out the booths where you will see little signs of what famous person sat in that exact booth, enjoying a meal, even hundreds of years ago. The oyster bar as well as the booths are in the same spot they were in 1826.
  • Home shows are popular in the spring and will get you juiced up with great ideas for those home improvements you’ve been putting off. You know who you are.
  • Surprise someone and take in a flower show.
  • How about white water rafting? Been there…done that…never again. I went on a wild trip down the mighty Penobscot in Maine on a raft named “Pure Screaming Hell”.
  • There are outdoor antique shows to wander through and maybe pick up something you can’t live without.
  • Vermont has “Open Studio Weekend” where over 280 artists and craftsmen open their studios and invite the public to see their craft in the making. I’ve always wanted to observe a glassblower create something beautiful.
  • Should you be in New England, take a drive into Boston to watch and listen to the Boston Pops.
  • While in Boston, I highly recommend taking the Duck Tour around Boston Harbor. It’s an actual authentic WW II amphibious landing vessel which has been converted into a sight seeing boat. You’ll love it.

Spring is Maple Madness SeasonNew England maple sugar tappingTake a drive through the country and you will see hundreds of buckets tapped on the sides of maple trees everywhere. When the snow starts to melt and the days get warmer, sap starts to flow and will fill those buckets.

Visit a Sugarhouse during maple season where you sugar shackcan encounter all sorts of activities, demonstrations and enjoy the entertainment festivities. You can sample maple syrup and maple products. Take a tour and watch how maple syrup is produced and pick up a bottle or two to bring home. I love to drizzle maple syrup over hot breakfast sausages.  I’ll bet you’ve never had a “maple dog”… hot dogs boiled in maple sap. How about maple coffee and maple doughnuts?

Pick up a few treats to tuck in an Easter Basket! Have a child away at college? Send her a little love from New England with an Easter Basket full of maple treats like maple cream to spread on a bagel, maple popcorn that tastes like caramel and maple cotton candy. Yep…they make that too.

Speaking of Easter…

I have lots of fond memories preparing Easter eggs over the years, even trying to come up with different ideas to decorate them.  Here’s a fantastic and fun way to tie dye Easter eggs with your little one this season. This is so simple…and easy.

You’ll need to pick up:

  • Eggs
  • A tub of whipped cream
  • White vinegar
  • Gel food coloring (gel works best)

Instructions

  • Prepare hard boiled eggs, cool and place them in a bowl.
  • Cover them with white vinegar.
  • Empty the tub of whipped cream onto a pie plate. 
  • Drop a few dots of each color you choose (for example neon pink and neon purple) over the whipped cream.
  • Then, take a knife and swirl it through the whipped cream just a little.
  • Dry off a few eggs and place them in the whipped cream.
  • Gently fold the whipped cream over the eggs using a spatula and let sit a few minutes.
  • Pull each egg out, rinse it off with water and look at what you’ve created…a beautiful tie dyed Easter egg. Pretty cool.
  • You can use the leftover whipped cream as a pretty topping over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Prepare this sweet dish for breakfast this weekend…

Maple French Toast

MAPLE FRENCH TOAST

Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup milk
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbls cream
  • 1/4 Tsp Kosher salt
  • Dash of cinnamon

Directions

  • In a bowl, beat the eggs and whisk in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt a pat of butter.
  • Dip each slice to bread in the egg mixture to coat both sides.
  • Cook 2-3 minutes until golden then flip over and cook until golden.
  • Melt a pat of butter over each hot slice of French Toast and finish with a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Or how about this delicious breakfast treat…

Apple Maple Muffins

Apple Maple Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 2 Cups chopped apples (your favorite kind)
  • 1 Cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbls baking powder
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cream the butter and eggs until fluffy
  • Add the apples and maple syrup and mix well
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and stir well to combine
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
  • Sprinkle the muffins with a pinch of maple sugar, if desired, for a nice finish.

And for dinner tonight, make something amazing like my Maple-Glazed Salmon (click for the recipe) I know you’re gonna love it.

Did you know… about maple soap? There’s a Sugar Shack near me that sells maple soap. I’m planning to visit this weekend to see their wide variety of soaps with different scents and ingredients, all of which are made using pure maple syrup for the sugar base. 

For a side dish, may I suggest… steam some baby carrots, add a bit of butter to melt over the top, add a few slivered almonds and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. This is my favorite way to prepare carrots…the taste is divine.

And dessert… drizzle a little stream of syrup over vanilla ice cream. Delicious maple candy!

So, what’s the best maple syrup we can buy?

It’s all personal preference, my friend. Maple syrup grades refer to the color, or flavor of the syrup…not quality. With that being said, in my opinion, Grade A Dark (formerly Grade B) is the best. It’s thick in richness and dark amber in color. It has strong maple flavor with caramel undertones which makes it perfect for cooking and baking.

Did you know… maple syrup is rich in antioxidants which are known to reduce skin damage from free radicals and it contains vitamins A and B, which help promote healthy skin regeneration.

In closing…

With every day, enjoy spring and all it has to offer.  But ask any New Englander about spring and all too often the answer will be “What spring…one day it was winter and the next week it was summer.”  This runs very true…I was looking at last year’s calendar and we received over 14″ of heavy wet snow on Easter Sunday, April 1st (April Fools’ Day) and just 13 days later it was 86 degrees. And that, my friends, is why we say…”Don’t like the weather? Wait a minute.”.

What is the season of spring like in your corner of the world?  I welcome your comments and thoughts below and thank you for liking and sharing. 

Skål

 

 

 

 

42 comments to Seasons of New England Part 4

  • Tiffany Domena

    Hello Karen,

    I’ve never been to New England before, but it sounds like the weather is much different there than it is in Texas. The story of the whales was definitely sad, but why does that happen? Is there something that can be done to prevent that?

    Also all 3 recipes sound very appetizing! My family would probably really like all of them especially the apple muffins!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Karen

      Hi, Tiffany…Thanks for visiting and leaving your thoughts and comments. As mentioned in my blog, researchers are baffled and can only speculate why whales beach themselves. It could be due to the coastline which may confuse their sonar or it may be due to astronomical affects. It is very sad and upsetting.

      If there is anyone reading this who can shed some light on this topic, I’d love to hear from you.

  • Wonderful! I also live in New England in New Hampshire and it was a tough strange winter. But we have had some nice gentle ones as well as some real beauties. French toast looks awesome as well as the muffins. Thanks so much keep reading your catalogs and spring will be here before you know it.

    • Hi, Lynn…Thanks for visiting and leaving your thoughts. Daffodils are finally emerging and growing taller every day. It’s a good thing they’re pretty hardy because we received 2″ of snow this morning. But, it quickly melted under the afternoon sun.

  • Chris Meche

    I love maple syrup! I was up in New England when I was in the Navy. I remember it snowing on Easter one year. You had to shovel snow to hide eggs!

    Thanks for the recipes. They’re easy to follow. I appreciate that you give some background on maple syrup before just diving into the recipes. It helps set the stage. Again, thanks.

    • Karen

      Hello, Chris…first and foremost, thank you for your service. My dad was a Naval Seabee during WWII stationed in the Aleutians.

      I love your memory of shoveling snow one Easter so you could hide the eggs…today is April 2nd and as I write this, it’s snowing and the ground is covered in a blanket of white. Thank you for sharing a memory and thanks for visiting and enjoying. I hope you’ll come back often to read other blogs and try something new.

  • Yemi

    I live in far West Texas where we get practically no snow. We can even get up to 70deg weather in winter. I had to put on the air conditioner for about 2hrs just one day last week. It’s also not uncommon to sometimes have the fan on all day. That’s a huge contrast to what you describe about New England lol.
    Your French toast recipe and picture just made me really hungry. Now I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow 🙂
    And your snow picture is absolutely gorgeous!

    • Karen

      Well, Yemi, it may be hot in your corner of the world but look on the bright side…You don’t have to buy heavy winter clothes and boots, snowblowers and snow shovels or salt to melt the ice. You don’t need snow tires for your car and you don’t need to purchase skies, snowboards, ice skates and sleds for your children. You don’t need to chop firewood or purchase cords of wood for your wood stove or worry about slipping and falling on the ice. You don’t have to worry about snow storms and ice storms that cause power outages that last for days or even weeks. And you don’t have to be worried about trees crashing down on your roof due to heavy ice and winds.

      My parents lived in Austin for a few years and I’ve had the pleasure of driving through your state. It’s beautiful and wide open….I loved it.

  • Jennifer Etter

    What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing! I too am from New England and am soooo ready for spring after this winter! We have tapped a few maple trees this year and now how some yummy syrup. I CAN’T wait to try your french toast recipe! It looks super yummy! Thanks for sharing!

    • Karen

      Greetings, fellow New Englander. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have several friends who tap their own maple trees and I was surprised to learn that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. One of my friends adds a teaspoon of sap into bourbon and sips it while boiling sap over a woodstove in the back yard.

  • Justina Wolfe

    New England sounds like a very interesting place to be. I live in Alberta so I know what it’s like to have for seasons and when you think spring is finally here, you get another load of snow. In fact, The snow was starting to melt and we had some very sunny days but then last weekend we got over a foot of snow again, so I guess now is a good time to practice my patience.
    I’m not such a big fan of maple syrup but my brother in law finds very interesting ways to use it or any maple stuff. I would love to see how they get maple syrup and how and what all they make out of it. Maple syrup somehow reminds me of Laura Ingalls.

    • Karen

      Hi, Justina…It’s nice to meet someone who can totally relate to my winter to spring woes.

      Regarding your brother-in-law loving maple syrup…he can probably tell you all about the different grades and flavor intensities. It’s quite fun to visit a sugar shack where you can taste different syrups. My husband will actually drink it haha.  Thanks for visiting

  • andrew

    I especially enjoy the spring as it gets me out in my garden I live in England but i see i am missing something that you have in New England, those delicious looking recipes you have . Maple french toast for breakfast will make a change from cereal and hard boiled eggs.

    • Karen

      Hello, Andrew…Yes, I think Maple French Toast will be a nice break from cereal and a hard boiled egg. My son-in-law is from England and the pictures I’ve seen of your countryside are just beautiful.

      I hope you will try other great recipes on my site and enjoy reading my other “Seasons of New England” blogs.

  • Donna Rowe

    I can sure relate to your weather patterns here in Northern Kentucky. While not as extreme as yours we did get 4 inches of snow last Weds. , it melted within 2 days then 3.7 more came along this past Saturday. Spring cannot get here fast enough!

    New England actually sounds lovely this time of year even with the ups and downs of the weather. Bears, beautiful birds, critters, and even maple syrup is enough to get me packing to come visit.

    I’m sure that the wait will definitely be worth it when things start to blossom there too. What a lovely picture to paint for us. Very enjoyable indeed!

    • Karen

      Hey, Donna…thanks for visiting and leaving your lovely comments. I’ve driven through Kentucky and it’s beautiful country there. I’m surprised you got that much snow…the kids must have loved it and I bet school was closed.

      Please come back soon and read my other “Seasons of New England” blogs.

  • Sanders

    I live in Iowa, also a place where Spring sometimes includes snow in May. And have lost new flowers and plants. Teaches patience and stubbornness.

    Good to hear that you knew your home just by the grounds. You are right that the inside can be changed but the view is the important thing. Sounds like a wonderful place to live. The added bonus of the wild animals and even the bear make for a great childhood, Your daughter is very lucky.

    I remember, as a kid in Alabama, having maple syrup. We also had a type called “black-strap”. It was thick, tangy and a little went a long way. Have you heard of it?

    I have seen whales out at sea (I am a retired Sailor) and they are fantastic and inspiring. I did not know the numbers that die each year. Sad, but part of the cycle of life.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Karen

      Hello, Sanders,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment on this blog and share your thoughts and memories. I have heard of black strap but I thought it was molasses, no? There are a ton of health benefits to blackstrap molasses and holistic health professionals suggest drinking 1-2 tablespoons a day in a glass of warm water.

      My dad was also in the Navy and I thank you for your service.

  • Jimmy

    Your nation England is gifted with blessings we don’t have in the topical areas.

    Even though in some parts of the Philippine particularly Benguet would sometimes experience snow in the month of February it is not always a condition to expect.

    We only have two seasons, the summer and rainy days. I would love to visit other nations having four seasons but it may not come. Thank you for the internet that we can be informed of such a beautiful and lovely world.

    But I remember, I sometimes drink four seasons, LOL. I know it did not come from England.

    • Karen

      Hello, Jimmy…thank you for reading my blog and leaving your comments. You’re mistaken about “New England” which is understandable as you live in the Philippines. I do not live in the country England, I live in New England which is in the United States of America. Early English pilgrims and Puritans fled religious persecution from their homeland of England in the 17th century, arriving in Plymouth,Massachusetts. In 1643, the colonies they formed in Massachusetts joined together making a compact naming themselves The United Colonies of New England, or simply New England.

      That’s enough history for today. Please come back soon and read my other blogs about the other three seasons in our little corner of the world.

  • PatSID

    Hi Karen,

    Lovely article on the seasons of New England. I live in New Jersey, and though we didn’t get as much snow as you did, we are eagerly awaiting the real spring too.

    I had absolutely no idea robins could fly 30 to 36mph! I’ve only seen them walking, on our grass, picking up things! 🙂

    I also love true maple syrup, and try to use it whenever possible. How nice to be so close to the source.

    Keep up the good work,

    Pat

    • Karen

      Thanks for visiting, Jersey girl. Since writing this blog, we’ve received another 12+ inches of snow…doesn’t Mother Nature know it’s April? I’ve seen several bluebirds and robins at our feeders and worry about them because their food of choice is the earthworm. Fortunately they love the high energy suet we have hanging in the crab tree.

      Hope you come back soon!

  • jeffrey16201

    Hello

    Very nice friendly website and article, you do make New England sound so tempting to visit and explore. Nice how you shared the different seasons in your article, this does help people to decide what time of the year to visit New England.

    What is your favorite season in New England, when would you recommend someone to visit and explore the New England area?

    • Karen

      Hello, Jeffrey…thanks for visiting and leaving your comments. You asked a tough question…what season in New England is MY favorite? I think it’s the one that’s just around the corner. Right now, for me, it’s spring. After another 12+ inches of snow a few days ago, I’m more than ready to say “goodbye” to old man winter and tend to my gardens.

      Which season do I recommend someone visit New England? All depends on what you’re looking for. For winter lovers, we have some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country. Spring skiing is still in full force with some ski areas planning to stay open through the end of April. For people who like to hike, backpack, fish and take a drive to the ocean…summer! Those that love to see our colorful fall foliage should visit us in Autumn.

  • Danielle

    Ahh how I miss Spring time in New England! The smell of lilacs is still my favorite, and brings me back to my childhood. I need to figure out where they can grow to see if I can plant them down here in North Carolina. Love this post, and it makes me so excited for my next trip up north!

    P.S. You should add links to the local Sugar Shacks in your Maple Syrup section. I think there is one in Temple, NH.

    • Thanks for visiting, Danielle, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have both purple and white lilacs but I’ve noticed that the white ones don’t have a fragrance…just the purple ones. I love your suggestion of adding links to local sugar shacks and I’m going to look into it. Hope you’ll come back soon.

  • Asen

    Hello there,

    My favorite season is the spring.
    It is like the world is being reborn.
    I have never been in England and I’d love to go there.
    How is the spring there? Is it gloomy and dark as it is most of the time or is it just a myth about the constantly bad weather in UK?

    • Karen

      Hello, Asen… thanks for visiting. I’m in New England…in the US and not England, the UK. New England is comprised of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. It’s the oldest defined region in America since we became the United States back in 1776. Pilgrims and Puritans named it New England because they left their England due to religious persecution.

      That’s your brief history lesson for today haha

  • Anastazja

    What a wonderful article. I spent all of my student years in Mass. Your article brought back so many feelings. The unexpected spring snow. Boiling maple sap. I was just telling my wife about hearing the robin’s song in the spring. We don’t hear that in California. I am in central California. This year spring means sunshine and beautiful wild flowers everywhere. Much of the year we have brown hills. Spring means that everything is green. People are taking walks. Towns are beginning to have street events like craft fairs. Events mark spring here more than weather. I often miss the four seasons of the east. On both sides of the country, spring means longer days and that just makes you feel good. Thanks for this post.

    • Karen

      What lovely remarks…so glad you shared them. Family and friends that have moved away from New England all say they miss the four seasons. Today is April 1st and we are in the midst of yet another Nor’Easter. Over 12″ of heavy wet snow has already fallen and it’s still coming down so I’m a bit jealous of your California spring! I just came across this great site called “Homesickcandle.com that you might be interested in. You can purchase a candle based on your home state. Just plug in Massachusetts and it has the outline of the state on the label and when you light it, you will smell fragrances of Mass. Check it out and thanks for visiting. Please come back soon.

  • Thanks for the descriptive post, and sharing the nuances of the seasons in your home state. I love those maple trees with the buckets- rubber looks the same way when it’s time to harvest the sap!

    I see you recommend Grade A Dark syrup, but I was wondering if you recommended a specific brand or maker, since you probably know more about this stuff than most of us living away from all the beautiful maple trees.

    • Hello, Penny…thanks for visiting and leaving your thoughts. In answer to your question about a particular brand or maker of maple syrup…first, I love the dark amber Grade A syrup because of the rich flavor, but it’s all personal preference. May I suggest purchasing small bottles of different grades of syrup and have yourself a taste testing party (even if it’s only you). For cooking, I’d choose the Grade A dark amber because the flavor will hold up, but maybe you’d enjoy a lighter grade for pancakes or waffles. As far as brand goes, either Vermont or New Hampshire produces, to me, the best quality maple syrup. Just make sure it’s a product of NH or Vt and not just distributed there. I’m planning on writing a blog devoted to just maple syrup and maple products with a few product reviews so please check back often and you might just learn about something tasty and delicious. I will also provide information on specific producers of maple syrup along with links where you can purchase maple products even if you are half way around the world. It’s always fun to experiment and try new things. I’d love to hear about your taste testing and your new favorite maple syrup…and the different ways you like to use it. Have fun and enjoy.

  • Luna

    Hi Karen,
    Awesome Post! I can imagine the type of weather you are having in New England. Spring might only be on the Calendar for you guys.
    I am in Georgia USA and it is 80º outside now. Summer is here for us.
    I love maple syrup but have not had it for a while now. I learned something new about it today, I will stick to Grade A.
    I love the recipes on your site. I have written one down and I will come back to check out your site sometimes.
    Have you ever been to America?
    Good Read.
    Luna

    • Karen

      Hello, Luna…thank you for your kind comments. I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for about a year once and loved the history of it (Gone with the Wind). I’m in New England, not England. New England is comprised of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. I hope one day you can take a trip up north to visit this corner of the world…so much to see and fall in love with.

  • FitFDAFamily

    Ha Ha… I’m from Cleveland so I can relate to the whole one day its winter then the next day its summer (and maybe the next day winter again). My family is planning a trip to Boston next month so we were researching things we could do as a family when I came across your page. Thanks for the tips. I hope to take the kids to the museum and the aquarium. I hear its the best! We’ve heard about a duck tour. Do you recommend it?

    • Karen

      Hello, Cleveland…I DO recommend the Duck Tour through Boston Harbor. It’s an actual authentic WW II amphibious landing vessel converted into a sight seeing boat. Pretty cool. I should have mentioned this in the blog, in fact, I think I’ll add it in…so thank you.

      Make sure you think about walking the Freedom Trail. This will take you right by Union Oyster House, America’s oldest restaurant where you can stop for the BEST lunch/dinner Boston has to offer. Check out the booths where you’ll find little signs stating what famous person sat in that booth enjoying a meal, even hundreds of years ago. The oyster bar and booths are in the same spot as they were in 1826. Have fun…I’d love to hear about your trip!

  • Daniel

    Yeah, the weather in Spring is getting unpredictable because of global warming. I live in Montreal, and March seemed colder than February. Well, finally it is starting to warm up. Anyways, those are great places that you mentioned. I hope I get the chance to travel and visit them soon. We also love Maple Syrup here, haha. Thank you for the post. It was nice to read 🙂

    • Karen

      Thank you for your comments, Daniel. Weather here in New England has always been unpredictable in the Spring. In fact, we’re expected to get snow late March 31st into April 1st. Hopefully that’s just a meteorologist April Fools joke.

  • NikkiJ

    I miss the snow! All that snow reminds me of back home in Colorado. I have never heard of a Sugar Shack. I love maple syrup but haven’t put much thought into how it is processed. Is there a Sugar Shack that you recommend? What about a small family owned maple syrup company. I love supporting small businss!

    • Karen

      Hi, Nikki…thanks for visiting and your comments. There are a few Sugar Shacks and small family owned maple syrup producers I could recommend but they are here in New England. You didn’t mention where you live which could be anywhere in the world. If you’re still interested, I’d be happy to find out shipping costs for you. Just let me know.

  • Aj

    Fantastic sight and great ideas. I have used a lot of your recipes, I love the desserts and pastas. you did awesome and your site is one of my favorites. very helpful bc I have the tendency to eat fast food a lot and the foods you have are pretty easy to make and you really helped me live better and start eating way better than I used too. All in all your sight is mire than helpful. thank you.

    • Karen

      Hello, Aj…thank you for visiting and leaving such lovely comments. Glad I can help out with your decision to eat healthier and try easy recipes at home. When you prepare a recipe of mine, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page to let me know how you like it. You can click the “like” icon and also share it on Facebook, etc. If you have something in mind that you’d love to know how to prepare, let me know and I’ll help figure it out.

      Have you read my other blogs? I think you’ll find them both interesting and informative. Enjoy

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