I am so excited to share with you our adventures from the weekend. It was one of my favorite winter weekends to date, and it may be the most stereotypical Canadian weekend ever to be written about.
We awoke on Saturday morning to a crisp morning with beautiful sunshine forecast for the entire day. After the storm at the end of the week there was enough snow to cover the trees and ground and make for a stunning winter drive. We jumped in the car with our sights set on discovering the Northumberland Shore.
Our first order of business, as always, was food. I have wanted to visit Sugar Moon Farm in Earltown for years after stumbling upon their Facebook page with delectable looking pancakes. We decided it was the perfect winter day for a visit to the Maple Syrup Farm and to sample their specialty brunch.
We arrived after an hour and twenty minute scenic drive along the backroads. We were greeted to an adorable log house with a wood stove pumping heat to a full restaurant of patrons. We were quickly seated at one end of the family style tables and given menus with mouthwatering selections. Chris opted for the “Sugar Moon Classic,”a 3-stack of buttermilk pancakes, maple baked beans, and a knackwurst sausage. I went with “Wild about blueberries,” a 2-stack of buttermilk pancakes topped with wild blueberry compote, maple whipped cream, and breakfast sausages. Of course, all of this was drenched in their house made maple syrup.
Seriously, could this be any more perfect of a meal? (I wasn’t able to snap a picture of Chris’s before he dug in).
We finished our brunch and purchased a bottle of mid-season harvested maple syrup and a bottle of maple mustard that we sampled with our sausages and couldn’t get enough of.
We then hustled outside for a Canadian classic, sugar on snow. This is a winter treated created by combining maple syrup and water, boiling for a few minutes, and then drizzling the resulting sugary liquid over snow to be promptly eaten. It took me back to my childhood when mom used to do this for us as kids. I don’t recall it being quite as chewy, but it was delicious nonetheless.
We wandered the grounds of the farm for 20 minutes while waiting for a syrup tour to start. You are able to rent snowshoes from the farm and there is a 6.5 km trail system accessed from the parking lot. Chris and I were both so incredibly full from our brunch that it was out of the question. Pro tip: Snowshoe first, brunch second.
The syrup tour was 30 minutes long and very informative. Canada produces over 80% of the worlds maple syrup, the greatest producer being the province of Quebec. We learned it takes a TON of sap to produce a single bottle of syrup. It deepened our appreciation for this delicious national treasure.
We bid farewell to Sugar Moon Farm and headed towards Lyons Brook with our eyes set on our next local delicacy: beer. Uncle Leo’s is one of our absolute favorite brewers and we couldn’t resist stopping by on our way through. We picked up an altbier, red ale, cream stout, and a smoked porter before continuing on to grab something to pair with the beer.
What could go better with beer and the maple mustard we picked up at Sugar Moon? Sausages of course! We swung in to The Pork Shop in New Glasgow to grab several varieties of sausages for an easy supper after a long day of venturing.
On Sunday we were graced with another stunning winter day and decided to try our hand at cross-country skiing. Chris’s coworker was kind enough to lend her gear for us to give it a go. The local golf course allows for skiing during the winter months and is just around the corner from our house.
It was an entertaining couple of hours to say the least. I thought my downhill skiing experience would be of some help; I was wrong. It was so much fun despite the numerous wipeouts on my behalf, and there is no better way to enjoy a beautiful winter day. Chris and I are interested in investing in skis for next season.
After skiing we headed to the rink for a public skate. It has been over 2 years since either of us have been on a pair of skates, luckily we faired better than on the skis. I failed to snap a picture of us skating, but if you google pro skating pictures you will get the idea (haha).
We warmed up with a couple of hot chocolates and considered what would have made the weekend any more Canadian. The only thing we could come up with was to cap it off with a poutine, but we were exhausted from our days activities and craving something a bit healthier. We went for butternut squash soup and ham sandwiches. Next time eh?