Sugaring off, by definition, is the process where sap from a maple tree is boiled down until it turns into thickened syrup or crystallized sugar. However, in some countries it’s more than just that – it’s a fun gathering where people catch up and eat delicious food! If you are headed off to a sugaring off potluck anytime soon, here are some recipes that your family and friends will definitely be talking about until next year!
A sugaring off is the fantastic time between winter and spring where the snow begins to melt and sap starts dripping into the silver pales tapped into the maple trees. In the early days, the Indians boiled the sap in order to appease the Great Spirit. When the colonizers came, the native Indians showed the Europeans how to obtain the syrup from within the trees. From this, the first sugaring off gathering started – usually within sugar houses or shacks. Ever since then, it has evolved into a fun, and delicious, tradition that is still being enjoyed today.
For further information, check out this article from Outaouais Heritage Web Magazine.
Of course, a sugaring off party is not complete without snow candy, which is known to many as maple syrup taffy or sugar on snow. The process is started with hard packed snow, normally put into a trough shaped piece of wood for larger gatherings or placed in pie dishes or on engraved cutting boards for smaller groups. Prepare the syrup by boiling half a cup of syrup, start with a full can for larger groups, until it reaches 235oF. Afterwards, drizzle the syrup on top of the packed snow. Let it cool for few minutes until it turns into a stretchy and thick consistency before munching on it. The best way to eat it is by twirling it around the end of a popsicle stick, so ensure you have enough to go around!
While sugar on snow is the most popular entrée for a sugaring off party, there are many other dishes that you can bring to diversify the potluck menu and keep most sugar levels from blowing through the roof.
Some of the more popular sugaring off recipes include:
Perfect for easy sharing, your guests won’t be able to get enough.
Start by preheating your oven to 400 F. Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese and Italian spice mix. Afterwards, brush the mixture and roll the puff pastry. Cut the pastry into 1 to 2-inch thick rolls and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and puffed up.
Any vegetarian will appreciate this delicious option someone prepares for them.
First soak the rice paper one by one in warm water to soften it up. Place it on a clean surface and layer your slices of cucumber, avocado, carrot, and purple cabbage. Add cilantro, basil, or mint for a unique taste. Roll the rice paper and enjoy your colorful veggie rolls!
Great for every meat lover! For a meatless option, try this vegetarian chili recipe!
Ensure your guests enjoy spicy before serving them this dish, as the chili powder, paprika, cumin and red pepper flakes all turn up the heat. Topped with a blend of the best cheeses, you can let this recipe cook in the crock pot all morning and have it ready to serve by the time you get there!
A classic party favorite, consider bringing two because the first one always goes fast!
The most simple recipe to make yet, simply layer refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, lettuce, cheese and a tomato and olive mixture. This makes the perfect dip that will have everyone standing around the bowl until there is none left. As a twist, simply serve the dip with multigrain chips to give it a better mix in texture.
If everyone is going to be bringing a savory dish, opt for one to please those who don’t find sugar on snow satisfying enough for their sweet tooth!
While premade buns will be easier and faster to make, if you find yourself with enough time to spare, consider opting to make them yourself. Homemade is always better and more fresh and it will guarantee your guests amazement. Simply roll out the dough, sprinkle the surface with the cinnamon mixture and roll it up so the mixture is on the inside. Let it sit to harden and stick together before cutting into slices. Drizzle the cooked buns with a melted sugar icing glaze to really top it off.
To make your sugaring off recipes even more appetizing to the eye, serve them on engraved cutting boards. Not only do they hold food and present them beautifully, you can have the boards designed according to your liking! If you want to stand out from the rest, make sure to serve your potluck food on a beautiful and sturdy hardwood cutting board. View our models and designs now and contact us for any custom designs you have in mind! Having a successful sugaring off this year starts today!
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