Our life in the big city of Toronto! So different from the way my Momma grew up in rural upstate New York. When she was a small child her family truly lived off the land. Momma always jokes about being generationally removed from her peers because of the lack of ModCons they had while growing up. Her grandparents taught her how to farm, cook, can and preserve. Dealing with limations made her a pro at extending food beyond what you thought was possible. Give her some canned tomatoes a bit of rice and she will work her magic.
Of all Momma’s stories, the one I loved most was when she waxed lyrical about the sugar shack and maple syrup season – tapping the trees when the temperature at night dipped below freezing and rose above that mark during the day, harvesting the sap, boiling it down and filtering it to remove the bugs, ash and other sediment that they called sugar sand.
This is the tool my great grandfather used. My Momma thinks it was originally meant to be used in butter making but he altered it to filter their maple syrup. Hey, all of this talk of maple syrup made me crave a drink called a Ginger & Clover. This recipe was inspired by an article I read in the Burlington Free Press:
Ginger and Clover
2 ounces Scotch
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 nickel-sized pieces fresh ginger
1 dash Angostura bitters
Muddle the maple syrup, ginger and angostura bitters in a rocks glass. This will release the ginger essence. Add scotch and fill with ice. This drink can be garnished with a lemon twist. A delicious toast to maple syrup and the impending Spring season. Cheers my friends.
Amos Milburn Bad Bad Whiskey