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maple syrup

16 Things to Do for March Break 2016

A WEEK OFF FROM SCHOOL IS EVERY CHILD’S DREAM, BUT PERHAPS LESS THRILLING FOR PARENTS WHO NEED TO KEEP LITTLE ONES ENTERTAINED AND FROM CRYING OUT “THERE’S NOTHING TO DO” FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME. HERE ARE 16 KID-APPROVED IDEAS FOR HAVING FUN THIS MARCH BREAK IN TORONTO.

The TIFF Bell Lightbox hosts digiPlaySpace for the fifth year, which engages children through interactive play involving animation, robotics and more. (photo: courtesy of TIFF)

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Cottage Country Cooking: Chef Rory Golden’s Muskoka Maple Barbecue Sauce

All summer long, Where Muskoka brings you fresh and tasty recipes courtesy of some of the region’s top chefs. Check back every other Wednesday for some great meal ideas!

Chef Rory Golden

This week, chef Rory Golden of Deerhurst Resort offers a maple syrup–flavoured barbecue sauce that’s especially good on grilled chicken, pork chops, ribs, and even as a burger topping.

Ingredients
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely diced white or yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup cider or white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest from ½ of same lemon
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 tsp. Tabasco or other Louisiana-style hot sauce

Method
Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened (but not browned).

Add the vinegar and lemon juice. Simmer for three to four minutes until reduced.

Add lemon zest, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and maple syrup, and return to simmer for another three to four minutes.

Stir in ketchup and simmer the mixture, stirring often, for another five to seven minutes.

Remove from heat and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week. (more…)

“Sugar Off” at Quebec’s Sucrerie de la Montagne Sugar Shack

By LAURA PELLERINE

Photo: Ryan Krochko

Maple syrup is more than a breakfast condiment to Quebecers—it’s a multimillion-dollar industry: 77 per cent of the world’s maple syrup is produced here, and when the sap starts flowing it means one thing: “sugaring off” season has begun. (more…)

Hot Attractions: Sugar Bushes In Town and Out

There's plenty to see and do at the Vanier Sugar Shack.

No need to trek out of town for an authentic Canadian experience. The Vanier Sugar Shackthe only urban sugar bush in North America — is located right in the city. Explore the grounds and see how they produce syrup from more than 1,000 tapped maple trees in the surrounding forest, then chow down on delicious pancakes and other seasonal offerings. If you’re in town March 25 to April 1, check out Maple Sugar Fest. Richelieu Park, 300 des Pères Blancs Ave., 613-580-2424 ext. 32001.

Heading out of the city? Check out three other nearby sugar shacks.

1. Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane farm
This beautiful estate is just 30 minutes south of Ottawa and provides sleigh rides through the forest where the maple trees are tapped, as well as an annual Easter egg hunt. Runs until April 8. 2452 Yorks Corners Rd., Edwards, 613-821-2751. www.stanleysfarm.com

2. Proulx Farm
Thirty minutes east of Ottawa, this sugar shack is the perfect place for the kids to run off some energy. Featuring a petting zoo, a giant slide, play structures, and the traditional pancake meal. Maple syrup season runs until April 16. 1865 O’Toole Rd., Cumberland, 613-833-2417. www.proulxberryfarm.com

3. Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush
Just over an hour west of the city, this farm offers all the traditional aspects of a sugar bush retreat, plus a boutique with maple products and a maple bakery. Spring season runs until April 22. #291, 6th Concession Rd., Pakenham, 613-256-3867. www.fultons.ca

Mad About Maple: Ontario’s Sugar Shacks

By WAHEEDA HARRIS

Photo: Hamilton Conservation Authority

The sap is running early this year, thanks to Old Man Winter’s scarce appearance in Ontario and many sweet maple-syrup-themed celebrations are planned this season. (more…)

Érablière Escuminac Birch Syrup, Quebec

By Kat Tancock

Maple syrup is a potent symbol of Canadiana and a key staple in many of our nation’s pantries. But what you may not know is that the sugar maple doesn’t have a monopoly on the business of sweet sap. A growing industry is making use of birch trees to produce a similar sugary nectar.

Like maple syrup, birch syrup is produced by tapping mature trees—usually 30 to 70 years old, and at least 10 inches in diameter—in early spring, then evaporating and filtering the sap before bottling. Érablière Escuminac, in the Gaspésie region of Quebec, currently taps 6,000 trees annually, though the property has the capacity to harvest from up to 25,000 as demand increases. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for Feb. 18 to 20

Friday, February 18

The Cecilia String Quartet performs "The Snow Queen." Photo credit: Melissa Sung.

As part of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society’s winter series, take your little ones to a performance of the Hans Christian Anderson classic The Snow Queen. This fairytale sees a young girl rescue her best friend from the icy monarch, and is set to an original score by Canadian composer Patrick Cardy (performed by the award-winning Cecilia String Quartet). Praised for its thoughtful story and captivating choreography, it’s touted as suitable for ages five to 95. Enjoy either a Friday evening performance or one of three afternoon sets on Saturday.

Today is the start of Kindness Week (Feb. 18 to 25). Now in its fourth year, this city-wide initiative encourages community members to make a conscious effort to show some love to to their fellow people and recognizes those who engage in everyday acts of kindness. There are activities and events taking place throughout the week, which include “Kindness Cupcakes” in the ByWard Market, a blood drive, musical performances, “Grandparents’ Night” at the movies, and plenty of other feel-good fun. (more…)