Sweet Sweet Mississippi

by Laura Cook

Sweet Sweet Mississippi

(to the tune of Sweet Home Alabama chorus)

Sweet sweet Mississippi

Where the sap runs so clear

Sweet sweet Mississippi

Lord, that maple taste is here

Sweet sweet Mississippi

We drink sap instead of beer

Sweet sweet Mississippi

Maple syrup season’s here

As a Prairie girl I had a maple deprived childhood. Pure maple syrup was too hard to find and too expensive; we had artificially maple flavored Aunt Jemima syrup. Then 25 years ago, my husband and I moved to Clayton and we found true maple love! We quickly became addicted, even tapping the trees in our front yard and boiling it down in the kitchen. It took me a week to clean the kitchen walls and ceiling but it was worth it. We felt like gold rush miners – thrilled to discover the liquid gold on our property.

Perhaps it is because of my many years living in a non-maple culture that it never ceases to amaze me how much happier everyone seems when the sap starts running. Maybe it is because maple syrup season is the harbinger of spring, the first sign that Old Man Winter has finally lost his grip. We rejoice with the smell of the smoke belching out of the sugar shack and the heady vapors of the sap boiling down in the evaporator ! But it is not just the syrup or the delicious food made with maple syrup, it is everything and everywhere. It permeates every aspect of our lives here; it is maple fever/maple mania. This past week, I really took note of all things “maple” in Mississippi Mill that I would never have seen as a child and that fascinate visitors to our town.

Here is my tally:

– We now have a “Maple Weekend” – the first weekend in April where Lanark maple syrup producers open their doors to visitors – www.mapleweekend.ca

– For a list of Mississippi Mills maple syrup producers, go to www.localmississippimills.com

– We have an artists studio tour – Maple Run Studio Tour

  • Clayton General Store – maple syrup, maple candy , maple fudge
  • 5 Span Feed and Seed – maple syrup and syrup making supplies
  • Nicholson’s – maple syrup
  • Centennial Restaurant – pancakes with local maple syrup
  • Pakenham General Store – maple candy, maple fudge, maple caramel bars, maple cinnamon muffins, maple butter tarts, maple glazed cookies, maple baked beans, maple
  • glaze donuts, spice cupcakes with maple cream, prints and calendars by Kevin Dodds with maple syrup scens
  • Hummingbird Chocolate – decadent Maple Crunch chocolate
  • Equator – Fulton maple latte, maple syrup, Maple Crunch chocolate
  • Dandelion Foods – maple bacon potato chips, maple mustard, maple raspberry jam, maple syrup, maple sugar, Maple Crunch chocolate
  • HFT – maple glaze donuts
  • Home Hardware – maple syrup, syrup making supplies
  • Patrice’s – local maple syrup
  • Almonte Natural Foods – maple syrup
  • Tony Mihok – beautiful photographic prints of maple leaves and sap buckets
  • Mill Street Crepe – Maple Crepes
  • Quilters Quarters – a maple leaf quilt
  • 9 Lives Antiques – antique taps and spigots
  • Mill Street Books – books on making maple syrup, Curious George Goes To A Sugar Bush and more
  • Baker Bob’s – maple syrup, granola sweetened with maple syrup
  • Peche and Poivre – maple sugar, maple syrup, maple nougat, maple shortbread cookies, Maple Crunch chocolate
  • Hello Yellow – Barrel aged maple syrup
  • Lachappelle Antiques – old maple sugar mold
  • Robin’s Nest Tea Room – maple cheescake, maple creme brule, maple cookies, maple butter tarts
  • Textile Traditions – maple motif fabric, quilt patterns with maple leaves such as “Maple Leaf Reel”
  • Keepsakes – maple leaf puzzle
  • Don’s Meat Market – local maple syrup
  • True County Depot – local maple syrup, maple syrup making supplies

So revel in our maple heritage !!!