The Sweet End of Winter

The end of winter is a wet, sticky mess and I’m not talking about melting snow. It’s maple syrup season which means a visit to a Cabane à sucre for a feast. This past weekend, my nephew made reservations for family and friends at Érablière Raymond Meunier et Fils which is located in Richelieu, Quebec. Forget about counting calories and fat content because the numbers will be so high you’ll lose track. This is a meal where you add food to maple syrup.

Free Donuts!

Free Donuts!

The first thing we did when we got there was to make a beeline to the souvenir shack where they were handing out free donuts fresh out of the deep fryer. Delicious!

The dining hall is in a barn like building. Rows of tables covered with red checkered tablecloths were set with bowls of pea soup, cole slaw, beets, rolls, creton, veggies, pitchers of juice and, of course, a jug of maple syrup. The servers brought out platters of sliced ham, fries, omelets, baked beans, weiners and the Ears of Christ (which is actually deep-fried pork rinds that curl up when cooked, and supposedly resemble ears). And yes, I poured maple syrup over it all. It seemed wrong not to. Oh, and then there was dessert. 🙂 Bottomless cups of coffee washed it all down.

After we waddled out of the dining area, we checked out the family activities. The kids had their faces painted and a clown made balloon characters. Anyone who wanted to burn off the extra calories could dance under a disco ball to music from the 70s and 80s. We took a stroll out to the petting zoo and the playground, but it didn’t take long for us to pass by the souvenir shack again, this time for “tire d’érable” (the French word “tire” is pronounced like “tear” as in “a tear in your eye”). I guess it could be translated as “maple taffy.” If anyone knows the correct English term, please let me know.

It was a really sweet way to end winter and to welcome spring.

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