Tis' the season for the Vermont farmers to be tapping their maples for that awesome goodness: pure Vermont Maple Syrup! I truly cannot understand how anyone would prefer a store bought syrup to this pure sweet concoction. As a child, I remember my grampie, Floyd Fuller, used to sell it from the 'new' house in Randolph Center. He used to tap his own sugar maples on his dairy farm for decades; but when I came along, they were retired from farming, had sold the farm and lived on a couple of acres with a couple of horses. Grampie always had to have his beloved horses.
Grampie is a legend of sorts up there. He describes his youth in a series of interviews that can be digitally accessed on the Vermont Folklore Cultural website. You can hear how as a 12-year old, he had to spend an entire day in the sugar house boiling the sap - by himself! That is a lot of work for such a young kid! I miss both Grammie and Grampie tremendously but these old photos of their life on the beautiful farm seem to help in a small way. I have dedicated a web page to Gramp and can be accessed by clicking on this link... Floyd Fuller, Vermont's Legendary Horseman.
My favorite memories of Vermont maple syrup is 'sugar in the snow'. As kids we would all gather around the dining room table. In the middle of the table was a huge mound of frozen snow with lots of little grooves. I don't remember now, but the syrup was boiled to a certain point and then drizzled in the holes. We would then spoon it out and it was like candy. I am also in love with Grammie's baked beans which to me are far superior to any baked bean in the world! The 'soldier' beans are slow cooked with pure Vermont maple syrup and of course other ingredients. I should make some soon. Hmm, Vermont maple syrup, maybe I will make some barnyard waffles and gobble some of that goodness this morning!