Maple syrup time is winding down.
It’s fun to see buckets on our trees and the constant drip drip drip on the sunny days. We must have nights below freezing and days above freezing for the sap to flow. This was a strange year. The trees were tapped in late January and the sap started to flow. Then it warmed up — the sap totally stopped — and now it’s running again.
Our son John makes maple syrup and we all love to watch. It’s so much fun to walk into the sugar shack and see billowing steam. Forty gallons of sap boils down to one gallon of syrup.
John saves the last syrup — the really dark syrup — for me for my baking. I like to use the syrup in my baked beans and in my barbecue sauce. I even made some beans this week that I cooked in the sap.
But Mike’s very favorite thing is to stop by Young’s Jersey Dairy and get a gallon of vanilla ice cream, take it to the sugar shack and spoon hot syrup right over a bowl of ice cream. There’s nothing more delicious!
Here are two of my favorite recipes for maple syrup season. My sister Cindy’s oatmeal pancakes are so good with real maple syrup.
Cindy’s Oatmeal Pancakes
Mix together and let stand two minutes:
2 cups milk
2 cups oatmeal
3 tablespoons oil
1 cup flour (can be part whole wheat)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Mix until blended. Cook on hot greased griddle. Serve with maple syrup.
My next recipe makes thin and crispy maple-oatmeal cookies. There is no sugar in them, only maple syrup. I think they are delicious with or without pecans or walnuts. They’re also good with chocolate chips. And they’re simple enough for granddaughters Josie and Rebecca to make because you just stir them together with a spoon. My favorite gift to give is a bottle of Flying Mouse Farms’ maple syrup and a little bag of these gourmet cookies!
Josie & Rebecca’s Maple-Oatmeal Cookies
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Drop by rounded teaspoons on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. Recipe makes 30 cookies.
Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, wife of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and guest columnist. Her next cookbook, Fran DeWine and Tina Husted’s Family Favorites will come out this summer.