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A Maple Morning

A Maple Morning Audubon Vermont’s Conservation Biologist Steve Hagenbuch discusses the Bird-Friendly Maple Project with Couching Lion Maple Sugar Farm’s Chaska Richardson and Matt Menard. Photo: Audubon Vermont

A few weeks ago the stars finally aligned for me to tag along with Audubon Vermont’s Conservation Biologist Steve Hagenbuch for a Bird-Friendly Maple sugarbush assessment. Chaska Richardson and Matt Menard of Couching Lion Maple Sugar Farm run a sweet sugaring operation high in the hills of Huntington.

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Baked Salmon With Maple Ginger Marinade

Baked Salmon With Maple Ginger Marinade

In Vermont, it can be hard to find good fish. I love salmon but I try to steer away from huge cuts of farm raised fish which are often fed dye to create the bright pink flesh. However, when I do come across something wild caught or farm raised without coloring, I pounce! Salmon and maple are a natural combination and I have yet to serve this simple dish without pleasing everyone at the table.

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Maple Pulled Pork

Maple Pulled Pork

Winters are long and cold in Vermont, so we look for lots of comfort foods to help us through. This slow cooker recipe is perfect for a cozy Sunday. We often spend the day skiing and then load up on pulled pork in the evening. We are then well prepared for the week ahead!

Use 2 pounds of pork shoulder. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon each:salt,

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Maple Ice Cream

Maple Ice Cream

This ice cream has been a huge crowd pleaser! When I was a kid, we always used a
hand crank ice cream maker. We poured layers of ice and salt around a metal
container and as the cranking got harder, one of us kids would stand on top as my dad
turned the arm around and around. Recently I ordered an electric ice cream maker and
while we miss out on the summer ritual of the drippy,

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Maple Sugar Waffle Bowls

Maple Sugar Waffle Bowls

When the 5th graders at the Sustainability Academy needed a vessel for their
maple ice cream, we thought about buying cones. This idea was quickly struck
down as traditional ice cream cones are made with white sugar. After weeks of researching the added health, environmental and local benefits of using maple
sugar, we knew we needed to get creative and make our own. My mother’s pizzelle iron made adorable little waffles which we shaped into bowls using a muffin tin.

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Milk Chocolate Chip Maple Sugar Cookies

Milk Chocolate Chip Maple Sugar Cookies

These cookies are a perfect balance of gooey chocolate, with a hint of maple. Adding walnuts creates an other worldly flavor! Using maple sugar instead of white sugar adds a myriad of health benefits including minerals and vitamins. Perhaps maple sugar’s most impressive quality is its lower glycemic index. This means that blood sugar will rise more slowly when consuming maple sugar versus white sugar.

Most cookie recipes encourage a 2 bowl operation where the liquids and solids are combined separately and then folded together.

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Sugar on Snow

Sugar on Snow

Winter is long and cold in Vermont and the advent of sugaring season is worthy of celebration! As soon as the first batch of syrup is complete, Vermont kids are asking that it be cooked just a little longer to create a thick, sticky stream. The candy firms into fabulous threads as soon as it hits the snow. The truly hardy kids will eat it outdoors by a fire!

To make for your own kids or friends with a serious sweet tooth:

  1. Have a pan of hard packed snow ready.
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