On a walk by the lake last weekend, I noticed little blooms emerging on the red maple trees. This year, many conversations about signs of spring include ‘be careful what you wish for’ remarks. This is a nerve-wracking stretch for those whose livelihood depends on seasonal rhythms: sunny days followed by cold nights are a must for maple syrup producers, while fruit growers dread getting so much warmth that the trees break dormancy, only to have their blossoms frozen in a late cold snap.
I decided to take a look at official reports of sap season in Ontario, and so far, production is between 40 and 100 percent of the usual volume, depending on the location. If you’re interested in reading more, here’s a link to the ON Maple Syrup Production Report.
Fortunately, Spade & Spoon and Forbes Wild Foods will have plenty of syrup on their tables. When I was growing up, we always had Johnny Cake at this time of year, with a liberal quantity of warm maple syrup poured onto split, buttered pieces. Here’s a recipe for the season:
Preheat the oven to 400 and butter a 9 x 13 inch pan.
2 cups flour
1⁄4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups organic cornmeal
In another bowl, whisk:
2 cups milk
1 cup oil
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just moistened.
Bake for about half an hour, until top is lightly browned and a tester comes out clean.
Dufferin enthusiast Gurjot Narwal continues to expand his delivery service, so if there’s something keeping you away, your favourite market foods can land on your doorstep. You can order combinations (called Basqets) or individual items, via email or an app. Have a look: http://eepurl.com/bUpok5.
With the time change, we’re looking forward to daylight all the way to the end of the market, and whatever the weather, the Equinox is something to celebrate. Lovely long days ahead! Oh, and if you are in any way Irish or pretending to be, top o’ the mornin’ to you!
See you at the market,
Here are the vendors we expect this week and where to find them:
Ali Harris RINKHOUSE
Bees Universe RINKHOUSE
Country Meadows RINKHOUSE
Culture City GARAGE
Dufferin Park Bakers RINKHOUSE
Forbes Wild Foods RINKHOUSE
Kind Organics RINKHOUSE
Marvellous Edibles Farm RINKHOUSE
Spade & Spoon RINKHOUSE
Ying Ying Soy Food RINKHOUSE
and a special visit from Plan B Organic Farms! (in the GARAGE)