Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tulip / Maple / Aunt Tara's


Saturday this week was packed full of fun. We started the morning with breakfast at a local diner: The Tulip. When we were getting ready in the morning I asked C Monster what he wanted to eat. I went through a list and he said no to everything; so I asked him "do you want to eat at a restaurant," and he said a very enthusiastic "yeah" - off we went.

Tulip is your typical diner, good food, good prices. The service has always felt a bit rushed to me but I don't blame them as they are crazy busy all the time. They do not have a kids menu, we just share our meal with the C Monster.

After a great brunch C Monster and papa were off to the gym while I got some time to work on my LLL application.


The hunt for an organic Maple Syrup Farm open to the public in Ontario started almost 3 weeks ago. I only found a few farms:

McCutcheon's Maple Syrup

Robinson Maple Products
Hoover's Maple Syrup

We ended up going to McCutcheon's mostly because they were the closest to our home - a very close 1 hour and 45 minutes drive. I think the drive was worth it.

First of all, if you are looking for a tourist attraction with rides, a pancake house and all that you are in the wrong place - this is a true working farm run by a great family.

When we got there we were greeted by Mr. McCutcheon; he started the farm in the 70's and from my understand it is still to this day family run and operated. His daughter was also in the store - she helped me with my purchase. The store is a loose term as it is a section of the processing building for the syrup that they have a cash and products set up for display. They are open during the season everyday from 1 to 5pm. - I would call ahead just in case especially if you are traveling a few hours like we did.

We ended up purchasing 5 bottles of syrup a total of 8.6 litters (yes we use a lot of syrup in a year); I also picked up a jar of maple butter and a few maple leaf candies.

After our shopping was done we took a look at the processing equipment that were all dormant that day - we chose the first day in weeks were the sap was not running. However while we were there the pump did kick in once and C Monster got to see the sap rushing in. - the little sap there was. Mr. McCutcheon offered us a sample of the sap to taste. It's taste just like water with a little sugar added - it's amazing that someone figured out that you could make such a fantastic syrup from that.

Then off for a walk in the woods - oh no a stop at the heavy machinery. C Monster loves all types of trucks - when Mr. McCutcheon offered to let him climb in, I think it made his day. After 10-15 minutes of ridding the big rigs; we kinda convinced C Monster to go for a walk in the woods.

We only walked for 30 minutes of so; next year I would like to come earlier so we can stay longer and enjoy the outdoors a little more with C Monster. We looked at the sap running in the pips and tried to follow it to determined witch tree it was coming from - I gave up as there were way too many trees. C Monster played with some sticks, looked at moss growing on trees and even tried to eat a piece of a tree.

This is definitely the Farm we will come back to year after year - a great big thank you to the McCutcheon for sharing their great Sugar Maple Farm with us.

Aunt Tara's

On the way home C Monster was begging to get out of the car so we called Aunt Tara and guess what: she was home. It's neat to watch C Monster play with her kids now as they interact with him and vice versa - instead of the ever so popular reaction kids have to babies: he is cute but what do I do with him? C Monster had a double bonus as Grandpapa Roy was also there.

The kids played; I sorted hand-me-downs.

When were ready to leave the kids followed C Monster outside and they had some races from a good 15 minutes or so. Of course C Monster came in last he was against a 5 and 6 1/2 year old (Sorry Tara if I got the ages wrong). However he had a blast and it was so much fun watching them.

Looking Forward To

Seeing Tara and the Kids again in a few weeks.

1 comment:

Micheline said...

As I was reading your blog, a piece came on the news saying how healthy real maple syrup is for you (i.e. getting it from farms and not the store brand variety).
Makes me look forward that much more to the sugaring off festival in my dad's town, I just hope the baby waits to come until after :)
Enjoy your maple syrup!