Friends and family gathered over the weekend at the sugar camp at Glen Villa Art Garden for an old-fashioned sugaring off.
What’s a sugaring off, you ask? In my world, it’s an excuse for a party!
More factually, a sugaring off marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It’s a time for people to gather together — and to indulge in the sugar high that comes when maple sap is boiled beyond the syrup stage to become taffy.
In the days and weeks before a sugaring off, sap is gathered and boiled almost daily. It takes about 40 gallons or litres of sap to make one gallon or litre of syrup. Boiling it down to exactly the right consistency is an art.
We used to have a sugaring off every year but this was our first one post-Covid, and even if the day was overcast, with light snow and freezing rain, we still had lots of fun.
We provided sausages, baked beans and drinks, and everyone brought food to share. It was quite a spread.
And quite a crowd!
Two grandsons carried a wooden tray packed with fresh snow to prepare for the ‘dessert’ course — la tire, or in English, sugar on snow.
People gathered, popsicle sticks in hand, ready to twirl a tasty treat.
Not surprisingly, kids were among the first to get a taste.
And boy, was it delicious!
Meanwhile, inside the camp, sap was becoming syrup.
Outside, people were enjoying themselves. And loving la tire.
NOTE: Keep tuned … by the end of next week or early the following week, tickets for the Open Garden Days go on sale. Numbers are limited so buy your tickets early!