How sweet it is

Living in Vermont has many perks. Some of my favorites are:

  • Lush, hot summers swimming in cold, fast rivers
  • Buying Ben and Jerry’s seconds at reduced prices because they’re the end of the batch and therefore contain “too many” heath bar crumbles
  • Farmer’s markets with an amazing array of fresh and prepared foods, live music and happy people

But when it comes to this time of year, as the earth starts to remember spring and the midday sun begins to melt the frozen layer of dirt, creating the love-hate relationship with what we know as mud season, the best thing about Vermont is undeniably the maple syrup.

I never liked the syrup we ate at home as a child. Then I discovered that the voluptuous glass lady with the kerchief on her head was merely a fraudulent broad trying to pass herself off as the real golden diva. Once I’d tried the real thing, I never looked back.

It wasn’t until my 20′s when I was a professional chef at a country boarding high school that I got a chance to stand in the snow, strain the bugs from maple sap in an aluminum bucket and then drink it. I felt like a native American. After helping to haul gallons of it to the invitingly warm and steamy sugar shack and watch it bubble into maple syrup, that first fingerful of amber liquid as it filtered through a piece of flannel became my archetype for the hope of spring’s return, mother nature and all culinary miracles.

Over the years, I’ve learned to cook and bake the things that maple syrup so well adorns, like pancakes and french toast, but also to create recipes that delight and surprise my palate, my family and my personal chef clients. Some of my favorite ways to use it are:

  • To sweeten salad dressings, especially balsamic vinaigrette
  • As a glaze for salmon or chicken with mustard and apple cider
  • In barbecue sauce instead of brown sugar
  • With vinegar and chili flakes as a sweet and sour sauce for tofu
  • To sweet drinks like herbal tea, coffee and soda water
  • With walnuts over Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream

This will be our third year tapping our two sugar maple trees which have given us a gallon of syrup each of the last two years. Like many aspects of life here on earth with its real and metaphorical hills and valleys, the pain and muddled mess of mud season is balanced out somehow by the joy, simple deliciousness of maple syrup.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
            • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
            • Curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a chef, with course topics that include Culinary Techniques, Management by Menu, and Nutrition
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
            • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
            • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
            • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
            • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses