By Lucy McCullough
If you didn’t have an opportunity to visit the sugarhouses during their open house tours last weekend and enjoy the sugar on snow parties, try it at home. It is not difficult and you only need maple syrup and snow (or ice shavings if you can’t find fresh snow). Don’t forget the pickles and doughnuts. The pickles help cut the sweetness, and no need to justify the doughnuts.
Pack snow into shallow pans or individual bowls and keep frozen until the syrup is nearly ready.
Plan on about 1 quart of syrup for five to six servings. Bring syrup to about 235 degrees on a candy thermometer or until the syrup starts to sheet off the spoon. This takes a while so be patient and find something to keeps the kids occupied. To test readiness, drizzle by the spoonful over the packed snow. It should be chewy and cling to a fork.
When ready, drizzle the syrup over the snow in ribbons and enjoy with pickles and doughnuts. Purchased doughnuts are okay, but if you have time, make some of grandma’s sweet milk doughnuts below.
Sweet Milk Doughnuts
(makes 2 dozen)
Sift together: 3 ½ cups flour, 4 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon mace and 1 teaspoon salt.
In a large bowl, work 3 tablespoons shortening with a spoon until fluffy. Add 1 cup granulated sugar while beating with a spoon until light. Add 2 eggs (well beaten) and beat mixture with a spoon. Add the dry mixture a little at a time alternately with a total of 1 cup milk, blending well after each addition. Add enough of ½ cup of flour to make the soft dough easy to handle.
Chill 1 hour or more.
Heat fat for frying in a pot to 370º. Roll dough ½ inch thick then cut out with floured doughnut cutter. Fry, turning once. Drain on paper bags. The doughnut holes are a fun treat for the kids.
Lucy McCullough and her husband, Jim, started Catamount Outdoor Family Center on the family farm in 1978 and have been operating Catamount’s B&B since 1996. A former cook at Catamount’s Tavern, she helps manage the farm and works part-time as Catamount’s CFO and office manager.