Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sugar Shack Times!

This winter is never ending. It started in November and I'm not sure when it's going to stop. It's nearly April. Spring? Yeah right! This is the season we call "still winter." I'm so ready for the summer sun but, for now, I must find ways to entertain myself to get through these Baltic days.

Our friends Jess and Daniel have a car and give us a shout whenever they head outside the city. Last weekend, we went to a Cabane à Sucre at Auberge le Baluchon, or Sugar Shack, the annual Quebeçois pilgrimage to the woods where you can top up your layer of winter fat with a feast drenched in maple syrup.

At the Auberge, we boarded a sleigh which took us to our cabin. There, a massive, coma-inducing brunch ensued. Ham, beans, scrambled eggs, tourtière, potatoes and the most delicious oreilles de crisse. The table was loaded with homemade condiments like ketchup, pickles, breads and maple syrup. As soon as you've adjusted your belt, out comes maple sugar pie, fried dough, and quite possibly the best dessert ever invented: pudding chomeur.

Stuffed like piggies waiting for slaughter, we hobbled out into the frigid air to find, fittingly, a trough of snow with tire sur la neige (maple taffy). Stuffed much?

Off we went to try and burn some calories, but first, a little sloth-like sit-down in front of a fire? No. Jess would not be tempted, so we headed back out to find the tobogganing hill. (On the way, we found the barn, where I fell in love with a newborn goat.) After sliding down the (magnificent) hill several times, we returned to the cabin and Farah and I cozied up by the fire while Jess and Daniel experimented with cross-country skiing. An adventure they will likely not repeat!

Thank you J & D! These trips help revitalise our souls and remind us how beautiful winter can be outside the city walls. Might even help us keep sane while we wait for the daffodils to emerge...

Photos of me were taken by Jessica Mcgovern, a good friend of mine who bakes the best treats here in Montreal. She's from Galway but shur we all have sins to bear. Check her out here. Thanks Jess :)