Northern winter comfort in the Sawtooth Mountains

Violent November winds produced a disturbance in the force.  Many branches and trees down on the lines … Wouldn’t it be nice to wield a light-saber-chainsaw?

On this November day, a very different landscape has materialized and we now find ourselves working our sugarbush within the fringe of much cooler weather. Perhaps the “lunatic fringe”? But we welcome this pre-season to our approaching 2018 harvest with open arms.

Much of our region has little or no snow, and very little has been collected along the Hwy 61 corridor to date – But here in the elevations of the Sawtooth Mountain range, we’re flush! However, we are not just yet needing the snowshoes to navigate our lines as we continue to repair and prep and talk to the maple trees. Yes, we speak comfort and good blessings to our trees. It’s included in our production!

With the descending winter, holidays etc, some of us turn our thoughts and hearts to the comforts of food and beverage – with a little REAL maple syrup of course to make things right. And here are a few of my favorite things:

Waffles! What a great afternoon snack, and if you have a toaster here’s what I like to do:

Mmmm … comfort food!

Make and freeze your waffles ahead of time. That way you can answer your craving immediately! I prefer a homemade buttermilk recipe, but you could just as easily hit up the frozen section for a box at your grocery store if you don’t own a waffle maker:

Buttermilk Waffles (from Better Homes)
1-3/4 cup All-Purpose flour
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
2 Eggs
2 Cups Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Cooking Oil or Butter – melted
1 Tsp Vanilla

Mix your dry and wet ingredients separately then combine, mix together and cook. Let the waffles thoroughly cool, then pop ’em in the freezer for your future comfort cravings.

Personally, I like to dip the corners of the waffle in the maple syrup much like you would dip fresh baked bread in a little olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette with fresh cracked pepper … ooo,  now there’s another comfort food idea to enjoy with your favorite beverage.

Maple Marzen – by Castle Danger Brewery

A BOLD fall/winter beverage If I may suggest! Our good friends at Castle Danger Brewery released a very special seasonal beer this past fall: “Maple Marzen” It was lagered over the summer with traditional German malts and hops and blended with local maple syrup.

Here are a couple highlights you may not be aware of:

  • This lovely Maple Marzen beverage’s ingredients use 100% Organic REAL Maple Syrup from the Sawtooth Mountain Maple Syrup Company, and
  •  5% of the proceeds are donated to the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). Now that’s cool!

Find Maple Marzen along the North Shore by clicking the map or on the Castle Danger Brewery website.

It’s only available on-tap in taverns and at the Castle Danger Brewery, where you may purchase a to-go growler as well.  Where to find this Maple Marzen along the North Shore drive? Click the map image or visit their website for more information.

Oh, and that’s not all! Coming soon, Castle Danger Brewery will be re-introducing their signature “Big Dumb Stout” featuring, you guessed it, our 100% REAL Maple Syrup and to be found only in their tap room … if you are a craft beer lover, I highly recommend stopping at their Two Harbors tap room for a snit on your way up the north shore.