Spring is in the air. I don’t exactly know why I say that, as it is still -1C outside (with windchill feels like -9C) with scattered flurries in the forecast, but I feel it. Perhaps it is the fact that the sun rises earlier in the morning now and sets later in the evening. Maybe it was the slushy puddles I jumped over and through getting the kids to school this morning. Or perhaps it was the sign that said “Maple Syrup” that I passed over the weekend and instantly had my mouth-watering.

I think that was it.

Mmm, golden, delicious maple syrup is a sure sign of Spring in my books. When you hear tell that the local sugar bushes are swinging their doors open for another season, you know that full-on Spring is finally on the horizon. If you haven’t been to a sugar bush, this year looks promising for a great season. And we are lucky to have plenty of Sugar bushes to choose from in the London area.

Sugar Bushes In Your Neighbourhood

Maple syrup taps

Maple syrup taps

The McLachlan family has tapped the trees in their sugar bush for over 150 years. They serve a pretty tasty pancake breakfast and offer horse-drawn wagon rides through the bush to see where their delicious syrup comes from. The Pancake house (10279 Lamont Dr) opens February 23rd this year!

Another family run sugar bush is right around the corner at 27382 Coldstream Rd. The Fort Rose Maple Company has plenty of the liquid gold you are seeking this time of year as well. Starting February 23rd, their Pancake House will be flipping flap jacks and drizzling their very own maple syrup on top of them for you. Plus you can take a wagon ride, explore some of the 6,400 taps and of course, buy some maple syrup to take home with you.

Small maple syrup jug with non-functional loop...

The folks at Crinklaw Maple Products are no strangers to maple trees either. The Crinklaws moved from Scotland in 1832 and have produced maple syrup out at 4570 Westminster Dr since then. They offer wagon rides, pancakes, plus a wide variety of maple products to take home with you, like maple sugar, maple butter, maple mustard, BBQ sauce, and even Maple Syrup!

Interested in more sugar bushes? Why not try the Fanshawe Sugar Bush at 21201 C Lakeside Dr, run by the Kinsmen Club of Greater London? They have guided tours, hay rides, great educational displays, which demonstrate how maple syrup has been produced through the years and of course an opportunity to sample some maple syrup on a pancake breakfast, before buying your own maple syrup and other maple products to take home with you. Don’t forget your cash though, as that is all they accept on the premises.

What better way to enjoy maple syrup, than in your favourite recipe. Here is one that I think will quickly enter rotation around your supper schedule. You have to try this recipe from Yummly.com for Maple Slow Cooker Boneless Ribs. I think your whole family will be saying yumm…

MAPLE SLOW COOKER BONELESS RIBS

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless pork ribs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, about 6 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle ribs with pepper and rub into surface. Place meat in slow cooker.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour sauce over meat.
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  4. Serves 6

Have a sweet week!

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