In my continuing celebration of spring and all things maple, we spent yesterday morning at a very special place—a pancake breakfast!
My cousins own and operate a sugarhouse that has been going strong for three generations. For 44 (!) springs, they have worked with the local square dance club to host an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast that is a tradition for people all over the North Country.
When we arrive, the rural road is lined with cars and trucks, and folks of all ages are streaming toward the sugarhouse and the smell of pancakes.
We pass by an avenue of ancient maples wearing their battered sap buckets; I like the contrast of this symbol of spring and rebirth and newness contrasted with the cemetery beyond.
It’s cold and rainy outside but the inside of the sugarhouse is warm and steamy and noisy. We greet family members and neighbors get caught up with neighbors.
The evaporator dominates the scene inside—this is where the syrup is made. The process needs attending to, hence the rockers, to provide the tenders with comfort and companionship.
A huge mural by the family artist honors the way the sap was traditionally collected.
Today, though, it’s all about the food.
A great mixer!
Many pancakes . . .
They monogrammed one for me!
Pancakes and sausages are really only a vehicle for maple syrup.
Young runners keep the pancakes coming.
Almost no one leaves without getting some syrup or maple sugar or maple butter to take home.
The sugarhouse also serves as a museum of sorts, with lovely old artifacts of the history of sugaring down.
This fragment of an old maple shows signs of having been tapped many times over many, many years.
We eat our pancakes, we visit with relatives, we commiserate about the winter, we welcome spring.
The pancake breakfast is over and we immediately begin to look forward to next year!