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There are times that I really do feel like The Little Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe. I even call our little house "The Shoe". I am a stay at home mom. I do really think that was my calling. My kids are 13, 10, 10, (yes they are twins) and 5. Our life is an adventure, most times it really is a beautiful adventure.

Monday, 11 March 2013

March Break Trip #1 O'Hara Sugar Maples

    March Break is here!  That means hearing "MOM...I'M BORED!"  I try to fill their March Break without filling it so full that it is no longer enjoyable.  I so look forward to having a break from the school routine, and generally it's over before it feels like it has begun.  This year our funds are at a minimum (all the extra pennies are going to our wedding renewal), so I need to get creative.  

    We visit a Maple Sugar bush every year.  It's fun to see how things are made.  It gets us all outside, and we are learning.. it's a win win.  Last year we visited our friend's sugar bush.  Heather and Steve Needham own O'Hara Sugar Maples in Madoc, Ontario.  https://www.facebook.com/OSMaples
We had a great time.  Heather showed us how everything worked, but best of all she gave us a maple syrup sample... it was a highlight. http://themiddleagedwomanwholivedinashoe.blogspot.ca/2012/03/maple-sugar-bush.html

    We decided to begin our March Break with a trip to O'Hara Sugar Maples.  We drove up the long driveway, the bright red roof showing in the distance.  When we got into the building, Heather told us that the sap wasn't running today.  It had been running the day before, but not today.  Oh it's all about Mother Nature, what can you do.  We still had a great time because out came the maple syrup samples, and because Heather felt badly that we had come all that way only to have the operations, not operating, I noticed that our samples seemed a little bigger... SCORE!  We had a nice little visit, and purchased a jug of delicious maple syrup and of coarse we bought maple candy.

This picture looks better when you tilt your head
    My plan for dinner was to make pancakes, always a big hit.  We would top our pancakes with real maple syrup.  This dinner suggestion was met with a huge applause.  The maple syrup soaks right into the pancakes making a sweet and sticky sponge.
     Lately I have been reading a lot about the great nutritional properties of this Canadian classic.  As we try to make better "whole food" choices, maple syrup is an excellent choice.  It is rich in many essential nutrients.  Many health conscious people are opting to use maple syrup as a sweetening agent in their coffee and baking.  You might be tempted to also when you read the information that I've given to you below.

Nutrition Facts Label for Aunt Jemima Old Fashioned Grits

  • Maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important role in energy production and antioxidant defenses, and is necessary for normal brain and nerve function. A portion of ¼ cup of maple syrup contains 100% of the Daily Value of manganese.
  • The sweetener provides 37% of the Daily Value of riboflavin, which aids in the metabolic process.
  • Pure maple syrup also contains 18% of the recommended Daily Value of zinc, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
  • Other minerals found in maple syrup are magnesium, calcium and potassium, decreasing the risk of hypertension or stroke.
Maple Nutrition Chart

    If you are looking for something to do with your family this March Break, and are fortunate enough to live within driving distance of a Sugar Shack, I recommend that you go.  For me it's nice to know where my food comes from, and it's nice for the kids to also feel that connection to their food.  

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