Last weekend, we went to Kensington Park to check out their maple sugar trees and watch how sap is collected and boiled to make maple syrup. Did you know it takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup? That is a lot of sap! Our enthusiastic guide showed us how he taps the trees and collects the syrup in covered, metal tins. Afterwards, he led us the the Sugar Shack where they boil the sap. After the maple tour, we also checked out the farm area that had plenty of newborn piglets and baby goats. They also had a good-size chicken house and chickens that I coveted greatly Local parks in the area are continuing to educate the public on the history and practice of collecting maple syrup this month. See below for a couple of nearby parks and their programs.
Let us not forget the pancakes. Before we went on our tour, we enjoyed a [windy and frigid] outdoor picnic of some rather delicious oatmeal pancakes that I made and some wonderful Orange, Cinnamon and Raisin Sweet Rolls with fragrant orange butter made by the talented Warda of 64sqftkitchen. We topped our pancakes with some fresh fruit (thanks to Christina). And luckily, we were able to keep warm with some Vietnamese coffee, soy milk and Ovaltine (thanks to Bobby and Vilay).
KENSINGTON METRO PARK
2240 W. Buno Road, Milford, MI 48380
Maple’s Sweet Story March weekends, Farm Learning Center. Stop in for a hot breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon, then visit the sugar bush and the sugar shack from noon to 3 p.m. to see how maple trees are tapped and the sap is collected and boiled into syrup. Continuous demonstrations will be given. School groups may make weekday appointments.
8801 N. Territorial Road, Dexter, MI 48130
Maple Sugaring: Journey to the Sugar Bush Saturdays and Sundays, March 1, 2, 8, 9, 22, 29 and 30, at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon, Activity Center. Take a guided tour to the sugar bush. Travel back in time and experience how maple syrup has been made over the years. All-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfasts will be served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fees: $2 per person/guided tour; $5 per adult/$3.50 per child/pancake breakfast. Pre-registration required for the guided tour.
OATMEAL PANCAKES WITH MICHIGAN PURE MAPLE SYRUP
DEE’S OATMEAL PANCAKES
from Simply Recipes
INGREDIENTS: (4-6 servings)
- 2 cups oats (the regular kind – Old Fashioned or Quick, not steel-cut and not instant)
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 3 eggs, well beaten
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Dash salt
- 1 Tbsp peanut oil
- Butter or extra vegetable oil for the griddle
Put oats into a large bowl, add the buttermilk. Let the oats soak in the buttermilk overnight.
Mix in the eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and peanut oil.
Then proceed as with any pancake recipe. Heat a flat iron surface – griddle or large pan – to medium high heat. Oil the pan with either a Tbsp of butter or vegetable oil. Ladle [I used a 1/3 cup-size measuring cup] the pancake batter onto the griddle to the desired size, usually about 5 or 6 inches wide. When air bubbles start to bubble up to the surface at the center of the pancakes (about 2-3 minutes), use a flat spatula to flip them over. After a minute, peak under one for doneness. When golden or darker golden brown, they are done. Note that cooking the second side takes only about half as long as the first side. Also, the second side doesn’t brown as evenly as the first side. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.
Serve with butter and locally-made maple syrup.