One of my favorite holidays isn’t really a holiday at all.
It’s Maple Month.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Maple Month happens every March here in New England, and it is a Very Big Deal indeed. I’m sure it’s celebrated in other places as well, wherever maple producers do their thing. Here where I live, as soon as the conditions are right (cold nights, warmer days), which usually happens come March, maple producers take to the woods to tap their trees, open their sugarhouses, fire up their evaporators – and let the magic happen. Sap flows, sap is collected and boiled down, and voila! Maple magic. Maple syrup, maple sugar, maple cream, maple – well, you get the picture. In a word, maple everything! Yum!
Maybe it’s my Canadian roots (is the Canadian maple leaf flag not a thing of beauty?), but I’m pretty sure that maple syrup runs through my veins.
Give me a choice of anything in the world to put on pancakes or waffles, and it’s always going to be maple syrup. REAL maple syrup, that is – none of that fake stuff. Give me a choice between fudge and maple sugar candy and it’s going to be maple sugar candy any day of the week. Ice cream? Maple walnut, of course.
Readers often ask me where I get my story ideas. When it comes to my Pumpkin Falls mysteries, you don’t have to look any farther than my own lifelong love of maple for the maple-inspired theme at the heart of Yours Truly.
And when I say “lifelong” I’m not exaggerating. Take a look at this picture:
That’s my mom and me, a long time ago, on a wintry day in New Hampshire. Isn’t she glamorous, with her sunglasses and scarf? (She’s the Canadian one, by the way.) I’m a little over a year old in this picture, and I swear I can remember the sweet smell of steam wafting from that sugarhouse behind us. Mmmm mmmm.
Last weekend, my husband and I had hoped to drive up to visit Parker’s Maple Barn, our favorite sugarhouse in southern New Hampshire, but the cross-border pandemic travel restrictions kept us closer to home. So instead of pancakes and waffles drenched in made-on-the-spot maple syrup, we went off to find the next best thing: maple walnut ice cream.
It’s never too cold for ice cream here in New England!
18 thoughts on “Maple Month”
So graet! My friend’s family owns a maple farm somewhere near Mount Sunapee. The best I’ve had so far!
How fun! You have a personal connection – that’s wonderful!
Love this! The Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary has a sugarhouse. I have great memories of that one!
Just found out about that one! We’re hoping to check it out this weekend, if the sap is still running…
I love the Canadian maple leaf, a rather unique national symbol. I have NEVER had maple walnut ice cream! I reckon I should try to remedy that.
Hi Heather- our neighbors here in Rumney took us to a small family run sugaring house this past weekend in Warren! What an amazing process!
What fun! You are having ALL the New England experiences, Sally!
I can taste pure maple syrup and maple candy as I was reading your post! It is a favorite sweetner of mine. Let us know about your trip to the Ipswich sugar house!
Will do, Debbie!
That sounds so fun! (Not to mention DELICIOUS!) I prefer pure maple syrup over the fake stuff any day! And yes, I have had maple walnut ice cream once, it was AMAZING!
I’m so glad you liked maple walnut ice cream! Yay!
I was very intrested to discover when your insporantion for Yours Tuly came from as I just finished it last night and have pre-ordered the paperback of Really Truly
Yours Truly came about because a) I love maple syrup and b) I love old houses, and old diaries (I have one belonging to my great-grandmother when she was a teenager!), and family history. I’m so happy that you enjoyed it! 🙂
We are Really Truly looking forward to the fourth installment in the Truly Lovejoy series. I am still re reading or audiobook listening to the MDBC annually. Your story telling is a lovely gift. Thank you for creating these stories that keep us going.
You know how in the difficult times during and after the first and second world wars they recommended reading Jane Austen to keep people going. I fill five different Elementary and Junior High school Little Free Libraries regularly. Through Covid-19 I thought I might need to closed them till the pandemic was over? Not so, they were used more then ever. I have been filling them with more of your books and Enid Blyton’s series along with popular new releases then ever just to get through the on line school year in my town. I can’t thank you enough for your books! Some books leave the LFL’s never to return. I can only surmise that they become cherished favorites.
Take good care of yourselves!
Thank that wonderful husband of yours for all the stops. The post’s are great reading while we await your next book.
Dear Bensons — SO sorry for the delay in responding to your lovely comment! We were out of town for a bit and away from computers. I’m so happy that you’re enjoying the series. I actually didn’t know that tidbit about WWI and II and Jane Austen. Perfect! She was my pandemic lockdown go to, so I must have picked up on that vibe. And you are a dear to put my books in the Little Free Libraries. Don’t you love those? I add to them (and pilfer from them) regularly around here. Happy summer! XO
Hi! I just wanted to say that I love this series, especially the first book) seeing how you came up with inspiration for things really provides a behind-the-scenes feel. Thanks!
You’re welcome! XO
Thank you! 🙂