Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sugaring Off

Last Sunday, my family went sugaring off and we had so much fun! I didn't really intend on blogging the whole experience but it was too cute not to blog! Going sugaring off is a typical Quebecois spring time experience. My family has tried a few different sugar shacks over the years but this one was by far the nicest one I've been to! It was called 'Sucrerie de la Montagne,' you can find more information about them HERE.

When you arrive, you park in a lot and get picked up by a horse drawn carriage. The horses bring you up to the main area, where you can find the restaurant, the gift shop, the chalets... 

Before checking in for our reservation, we had some fun with the selfie station!

Then, we headed inside and discovered just how beautiful this place is! There were twinkle lights strung through the reception are and the main dining hall - everything was so quaint!

The table settings were like long picnic tables with benches. Each table seats 12, so my little crew shared a table with another group, but our food was served separately.
Our waitress brought us a basket of bread and I couldn't even take a picture of it all - it got gobbled up so fast! It was so so good!
Split Pea soup was served as our starter course and I was tempted to turn my nose up, because I have not heard good things about split pea soup! But this soup was delicious! It was a chilly day and we had just spent a bit of time walking outside, so this soup was perfect to warm us up! I would have never considered making Split Pea Soup but now I'm intrigued! Do any of you have any good split pea soup recipes to recommend?

Our main course was brought out and I was immediately overwhelmed by just how much food there was! I'm talking ham, bacon, sausages, meat pie (tortière in french!), mashed potatoes that were to die for, an egg soufflé, beans, meatballs. A few things, 1 - I didn't even get to try everything because I was SO full! After the split pea soup and bread starter I was ready to turn in, but it was all so good and by the end I was stuffed! 2 - You may notice by my plate that I like to keep my food separate and the amount of food that was served made keeping everything separate so hard!

Some musicians came out while we were eating and played some fun music. At one point they passed out wooden spoons so everyone could play along - so fun!
Then, they brought us pancakes and sugar pie for dessert and I could not get in on that! I was just so darn full! I had one pancake but the sugar pie was sooo sweet! Even the Bean thought the sugar pie was sweet, which is saying something because that girl is the sugar queen!

A quick note before we continue - the owner of 'Sucrerie de la Montagne' is Pierre Faucher and he is everywhere in this place! There were busts of him, painted portraits, cardboard cut-outs, key chains with his face on them... everywhere you turn, there is Pierre Faucher's face! At first this freaked me out! But by the end I just thought it was funny!

Of course, I had to take a picture with his cardboard cut-out because apparently he's super famous! I think I was especially amused by all of this paraphernalia because Pierre Faucher himself was walking around the place! Oh goodness! My family got a good kick out of this!

After our meal, we headed outside to have sugar on snow or maple taffy. Sugar on snow is made from heated up maple syrup that is poured on snow so it chills. When it cools, we roll it around a Popsicle stick and eat it just like that! I have always called sugar on snow 'la tire' which is short for 'la tire d'érable.'

After having maple taffy we headed inside to where all of their products are made (the bread and the maple syrup)! The bread bakery and maple syrup location both smelled so good!

This was the Kitchen-Aid in the bread bakery - it was huge!!! In the bottom picture, that's my little boot at the bottom of the photo!

Then we headed over the maple syrup section of the bakery to see where all of the magic happens! I am not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to maple syrup production, but that bit silver tub (I think it's called the evaporator or the boiler) is full of sap being converted to maple syrup!
This is not the best picture, but all of the steam is what is evaporating off of the maple syrup and there was a big opening in the roof to let the steam out!
The sap is collected from tress in buckets like these and then they are boiled into maple syrup! At sugar shacks, there are typically little silver buckets on every single tree!

The guy working this place could not have been nicer! He opened up the side of the stove for us to take pictures and instructed us on the best place to stand to get the very best pictures!

He let me take some pictures while he was making little bricks of maple sugar (I don't know what the official name for this is!). He thickened syrup and then poured it into a mold where it would harden and then be sold in the gift shop! He let us all try a little bit of the thickened syrup and it was so good!
He was so excited to share his knowledge and little anecdotes with us! This heart mold on the wall is 140 years old and was gifted to the owner (remember Pierre Faucher!?) when he was younger! Everything in this place was so full of history was so fun to spend a few hours in the bustle of it all!

After sugaring off, we went on quite the adventure! I'll be talking about that tomorrow!


No comments:

Post a Comment