Monday, January 31, 2011

Maple Taffy on Snow

Peanut with maple taffy
If you ask my kids what is the best thing about the snow, they would resoundingly say maple taffy! It rates way higher than sledding or building snowmen. We discovered this wonderful sugary treat on a trip to Mont Tremblant in Quebec.

It's super easy to make, natural, and yummy, and causes lots of anticipation dancing (like the way Snoopy dances). The only negative is that as soon as the first snowflakes start falling, the requests for maple taffy begin, and they continue to build and get more demanding until I threaten to not make the taffy.  ;-)

My kids pack a baking dish with clean snow while I cook the maple syrup. Use pure maple syrup for this, not pancake syrup (which is mostly sugar water with artificial flavoring added).

Heat the syrup until it reaches 235 - 240 degrees (the soft ball stage).  You will need a candy thermometer for this one, so if you don't have one, go buy one.  (The maple taffy alone makes it worthwhile.)  Once it reaches 235-ish, I usually take it off the stove and swirl it around a little to cool it off slightly. Then pour the syrup onto the packed snow in a strip and place a popsicle stick on the end.

Let cool for a few minutes and roll it up.  If it's still runny, let it cool a little more.  Eat, enjoy and repeat. Nom, nom, nom.

The Journey Toward Natural

I firmy believe that the closer to nature we eat and live, the healthier we will be and the healthier the Earth will be. I try to buy organic* foods when we can, use natural cleaners, and try to limit our exposure to toxins and plastics.

I started eating largely organically and shopping at a co-op when I was pregnant with my first child, my son, but probably the biggest steps I've taken toward living naturally came after my son was about 4 years old. We discovered that he is sensitive to artificial colors and preservatives (a long story for another post), so we avoid them as much as possible. This has lead me even further down a path toward healthfulness, for which I will always be grateful to him.

* My opinion on organic foods has become a lot more complex recently.  I've moved more towards sustainable foods--grass fed beef and dairy, local agriculture, etc.  More on that later.