Tale of Two Seasons – Marked by the Maple in All Its Glory & Sweetness

October 2019

Many mark a season by the temperature of the environment, the length of sunlight or extent of night, by noting migrations, growth or hibernations. One of the sweetest markers you will ever come across begins with a scent in the crisp February air of Northern New England.  The first real thaw of spring signals maples to run sap and the sugarer to light the fires. In the midst of the winter thaw, sugaring pans are readied for the run.  In New Hampshire (and most of northern New England) spring is marked by the sugarer tempting travelers to stop in and get a sweet treat.

Find a way to capture that warm, sweet aroma produced by these traditional sugar shacks and one may be able to capture a true sense of New England spring joy in a jar. Visit a local sugar shack and experience what traditions have taught many. Buy yourself a bottle of the sweet gift produced by the maple and win over the hearts of your family and friends any time. Stop in at Harding Hill Farm in Sunapee, NH and become entranced by their artisanal products and generational New England traditions.

Many think that the New England maple is great for color, pleasing to the eye – perfect for the fall palette.  Henry David Thoreau once wrote,

I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees…

Later adding

Man’s progress through nature should have an accompaniment of music. It relieves the scenery, which is seen through it as a subtler element, like a very clear morning air in autumn…

But he would note,

The seasons and all their changes are in me.

An arborist, a generational New England sugarer, and gentry farmer can harkin to these thoughts of Thoreau, relate, and understand beyond the color the true gifts maples provide.  The Webb Family and Harding Hill Farm team embodies these remarks from Thoreau.

The true joy of the maple comes out of the tree by thoughtful practices and a true love for the sugaring process observed by the Webb Family, owner/operators of Harding Hill Farm. The Webb Family has developed their labor of love into true artisanal products.  By combing their love of arboriculture, farm to table concepts, and small batch production, Harding Hill Farm provides a 3rd generation continuation of New England traditions, no less so represented in their maple syrup and associated product lines.  Whether a golden delicate taste or a dark-robust cut, whether combined with sweet bourbon tears ringed from oak casks, or paired with the fruitful hints of hillside berries, Harding Hill Farm’s maple syrup and sugar products should be your go to product at home and your New England destination in the Sunapee, NH area.

IMG_20190406_131757499_HDRDid you know the seasonal weather can affect the taste of your maple syrup, as does time.  As the sap flows and the sugaring season lengthens, the sugaring evaporation process begins to produce darker more robust colors and flavors in the syrup.  Acquire a bottle of each grade from Harding Hill Farm and you have the beginnings of a repertoire of dishes you can create with a different accent flavor of New England.

We can go into many of the many merits of why you should visit Harding Hill Farm, sweet aromas, maintained trails and pure New England woods, sustainable farming practices and happy cows, but they do so well themselves at http://www.hardinghillfarmnh.com/.  The Webb Family continues a New England farming tradition that provides many a contributor to a fantastic meal.  Chicken Thief Kitchens (CTK) developed a few recipes with their maple syrup in mind that are truly tantalizing recipes for the farm to table meat products offered at Harding Hill Farm.

CTK kicked off the 2019 spring/summah seasons with a few dishes inspired by the robust dark maple syrup produced at Harding Hill Farm.  When we visited the Farm in April, we saw the promise offered by the maples on site that would lead to mouthwatering twisted treats that includes a launching of a whole new BBQ sauce in our line of Que essentials.  At the CTK we too keep our focus on small batches to ensure our craft BBQ sauce products showcase the finest flavors from various regions of the US. With a signature item such as Harding Hill Farm’s dark robust maple syrup, two of our sauces in our craft lineup benefit from the sweet treat provided by the maples expertly crafted by the Webbs.

In addition to our new Kentucky Blu BBQ sauce, we developed a few recipes that showcase the use of the Harding Hill Farm’s maple syrup, in part continuing our contribution to the Three T’s of Que – “Twisted Tantalizing Thoughts”.  On our recipe tab check out,

Our Banana Bread French Toast with Blackberry-Blueberry Maple Compote is a delectable start to anyone’s day.

Our crafted Maple-Bourbon-Bacon glaze led to the creation of our Glazed Pork Loin and Pan-seared Bone-in Ribeye. Stop in to Harding Hill Farms and grab some Belted Galloway grass fed beef cuts to try in these recipes. HHF is not selling pasture raised pork products in 2019 but give them a call they know some local sources which can help you out.

Our Kentucky Blu BBQ Sauce found success in its use on our slow cooked Kentucky Blu St. Louis Ribs, Grass-fed Slow Roasted Tri-tip, the Godfather Burger, Tomahawk Centered Cut Pork Chops, and a first of its kind our Maple-Bourbon Hickory Smoked Meatloaf Burrito.

Let it not go without saying the Harding Hill Farm maple syrup products can enhance any side dish in delectable fashion, check out our Maple-Bourbon Boston Baked Beans.

Rounding out 2019’s introduction to the Three T’s we developed a maple infused bourbon-sweet tea cocktail, Twisted Citrus Tea, that will be the hit of any Summah or Fall time party!

Read about these recipes and more ways to incorporate Harding Hill Farm’s artisanal grades of sweet maple flavor in what we hope will fast become family traditions in your house.  Incorporate a farm to table pairing in your kitchen and see where spending a little time with the trees can benefit all.

Find yourself in Sunapee, NH near around late February-mid March; cast your nose in the air. If you can detect the sweet smell of maple we encourage you to stop in and stock-up at Harding Hill Farm (603-863-6493) located at 524 Stagecoach Road off of Rt 103 in Sunapee, NH.  Their new sugar shack is under construction on their land at the corner of Stagecoach Road and Route 103.  Let the Webb Family know the Chicken Thief sent ya!