Maple Syrup Cookbook, by Ken Haedrich (2015)

Maple Syrup CookbookNot just for Canadians! In fact, author Haedrich hails from New Hampshire, where he wrote the first edition of this book some 30 years ago, celebrating the sweet amber-hued syrup we love on our waffles and pancakes, on our carrots and yams, in our desserts and even our wine. Maple syrup is good stuff, and worth our worship. “It takes four maple trees, at least 40 years old,” Haedrich writes, “to yield enough sap in 6 weeks to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup.” (p. 59). This third edition includes colour photos and a dozen new recipes from Haedrich’s kitchen. He opens with a short history of maple syrup, from its mysterious origins among indigenous North Americans to modern production methods. This guy pays attention to the details. Along with explaining the latest news in grading and standards, he offers helpful tips on how to store maple syrup (in glass jars, and freeze the surplus until you need it), what to do if it grows mould (strain it and boil it), and even how to prevent those yummy crystals from forming around the lid. The recipes are organized into three sections: Maple Mornings, Beyond Breakfast, and Maple Sweets. The first and last section are the largest, naturally. Along with tasty recipes that in most cases require just a few common ingredients. Along with clear instructions, lush photos are provided for every third recipe. The book would benefit from more photos, one for each dish, I say. Each recipe includes a “cooktalk” to tempt you into trying it out or suggesting how to serve it, as well as number of servings. And tempting they are – how does Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts sound? Pear, Apple, and Fig Crisp? There is a good mix of meat and vegetarian options. I’m definitely trying the Coffee Chip Cookies, Tawny Maple Cheesecake, and the Thai-Inspired Salad. I do have some suggestions for the next edition: include prep time and cooking time, and think about how to better organize the recipes. I don’t understand logic that puts Maple Baked Beans, Maple Bread-and-Butter Pickles, and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes in sequence. All three are Vegetables & Sides, within the middle Beyond Breakfast section. I don’t get it. Pickles are neither vegetable nor side; they’re a condiment! For appendices, Haedrich provides instructions on how to convert his recipes to metric, and contact information for maple producers, organizations, and suppliers of maple products. There is a section for the index, though it had not been included in the advance e-copy I read. My thanks to Storey Publishing for the advance e-copy made available through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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