The sap is flowing…bring on the pancakes!

4 Mar

I’m a New Englander so I’m accustomed to having real, local maple syrup and I’ve been to a sugar shack and watched them boil down the sap more than once. I know that when the temperatures start to fluctuate this time of year you can expect to see the taps on the maple trees. The syrup is delicious and it alone is something to look forward to, but even more exciting and delightful is the custom of local sugar shacks hosting pancake breakfasts on weekends during the short sugaring season. I had never heard of this until we moved to this area and even then it took us a few years to catch on and actually go.

Last year after two failed attempts to go to the North Hadley Sugar Shack (waiting more than an hour with an antsy toddler? not happening!), we discovered Steve’s Sugar Shack in Westhampton. The crusty snow was melting into slick mud, there was so much steam from the boiling sap it looked like the place was on fire, and the smell of pancakes and maple syrup was in the air. We sat at  one of the many big long tables, wedged shoulder to shoulder with other pancake lovers. It was pretty bare bones. Nothing but pancakes served on a paper plate but it was one of those fun experiences that made me feel connected to my local community.

This year I’ve caught wind about a place that is serving carrot cake pancakes. Two of my favorite things combined into one amazing sounding breakfast food? Yes, please! It’s at one of the sugar shacks farthest away from where we live, but I think it might be worth the trek one of these Saturday mornings.

If you’re interested, here’s a guide to some of the local sugar shacks. Pancakes for everyone!

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One Response to “The sap is flowing…bring on the pancakes!”

  1. Liz March 4, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Carrot cake pancakes? Once again, makes me wish we still lived in western MA!

    At least we have Maine Maple Sunday up here, though…. looks like most of the ones near us aren’t doing breakfast, but they still do tours and tastings, and I’m pretty sure they do sugar on snow. Still pretty fun.

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