maple1

Sticky Situations

Max, showing how lovely the dykes seemed to be, how wonderful the bike ride would be…

(Originally written and published in The Grapevine in the Oct 30 – Nov. 13, 2014 Editions)

Sometimes situations are hilarious in retrospect and although at the moment they are happening you may be aware they will be hilarious in retrospect it really does not help you to respond with hilarity as said events unfold.

Last weekend, it occurred to me that in my haste to procure some Pure Infused maple syrup from Hutchinson Acres Farms at the Wolfville Farmers Market, I had neglected to capture the moment on film, er, SD card. Lest I leave you, dear reader, with the inability to imagine what this glorious product might look like, I felt a return visit was warranted. As last weekend was spring-like, young Max and I decided to bike the 12 kilometres to market.

Inspired, perhaps, by a patriotic fervour that comes of dining on fine maple products, I decided we should complete part of our journey via the historic and picturesque dyke system from Port Williams to Wolfville. At first, our trip was lovely, if bumpy.

Max, showing how lovely the dykes seemed to be, how wonderful the bike ride would be...
Max, showing how lovely the dykes seemed to be, how wonderful the bike ride would be…

However, it seems to be the case that the dykes are repaired from time to time (who knew) requiring heavy layers of, well, mud. Mud and straw.

Dyke Mud + Straw: Exhibit A
Dyke Mud + Straw: Exhibit A
Dyke Mud + Straw: Exhibit B
Dyke Mud + Straw: Exhibit B

This Nova Scotian mud is particularly good for dyke-making, seeing as how it is actually more clay than anything. It makes excellent building materials when combined with straw. Alas, when it is fresh it also builds marvellously on bike tires and inside moving bike parts…which soon are no longer moving.

You cannot stop us, you sucking mud vision of loveliness!!!
You cannot stop us, you sucking mud vision of loveliness!!!

Eventually, mud-spattered and aching of muscle, Max and I arrived, and I snapped some pictures. Take a good long look: we suffered for this photographic art.

I am glad to tell you that in spite of this messy adventure, if it had to be part of the Pure Infused maple journey, I would gladly do it again.

I honestly had thought, until a couple of weeks ago, that nothing could possibly improve upon the perfection that is maple syrup. Particularly the way we Nova Scotians like it: thick and dark. None of that thin, watery mild-flavoured sap sold in other parts of the world, no sir. How could anything be better?

As it happens – infusing maple syrup with amazing combinations like lavender and chai (my personal favourite…and now the entire family’s favourite) is a marriage so fine it makes me want to weep for the joy of it all.

If you are scared to commit to a full bottle of any one of the 5 varieties on offer, you may purchase a sample pack containing all 5, which is what we did. We spent a maple soaked week enjoying desserty types like the aforementioned lavender + chai, the vanilla + cinnamon + star anise (excellent with pumpkin pie, FYI), and the cinnamon + nutmeg + cloves, and also the two savoury-style syrups namely, chipotle + lemongrass (so succulent on chicken) and Gastrique -Ginger & Apple Cider Vinegar. It was a week of bliss.

Bottles of this most delightful of delights would make an excellent gift and I would like to remind everyone that Christmas is coming. As my husband is Jewish, I feel I may also accept Channukah gifts. Please talk amongst yourselves to divvy up the varieties, thank you.You may find Pure Infused maple syrup at the Wolfville Farmers market from time to time, and other locations. Check out their amazing website at www.pureinfusedmaple.ca/ Enjoy!

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