The first sign of spring in these parts is when there is available sustenance again, in the form of maple syrup. This was our third year visiting Cooks’ Woods for their sugaring and open house. Sugaring in the states can be traced back as far as the 1500’s. The whole process always feels like visiting an old friend. As we turned down into their driveway from Ebenezer Rd. there were the familiar rows and rows of Christmas trees (which are sold in season). When the road went up again, there was the humble sugar shack. The steam billowed out of the chimney and carried the scent of maple syrup. A little flag with maple leaves on it swayed by the door. Right when we walked in, we were greeted by an even more intoxicating scent of syrup. The massive evaporator was to the right. It can boil off 35 gallons of water per hour. Ten gallons of sap will make about one quart of syrup (or 2 pints). We spotted Dave Cook, who wore a bright orange cap, chatting with visitors.
On the other side of the sugar shack were some tables with maple treats made by Dave’s wife, Barb. There were chocolate covered maple creams, pralines, candied popcorn, maple coconut cookies, maple-coffee trifle, maple cream cheese with crackers, and even some maple meatballs. I watched a little girl sneak a few more maple creams into her mouth right after asking her father if she could just have one. She looked pretty happy. Along the wall were a couple of dispensers filled with maple coffee and maple grogg.
Keith and I always enjoy our visit. The best part was talking home some syrup. It was so fresh, the bottles were still warm. You just can’t beat that! There is still some syrup available, just give Dave a call.
2176 Ebenezer Road
Fennimore WI 53809
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