I was given the privilege of reading a brand-new book titled Sweet Maple, written by Michelle Visser. Well, that’s not the whole story, really. It was about to be released, self-published I should say, when suddenly Michelle had publishing houses swooning over this book and wanting to publish it themselves. (I can see why. This book is wonderful!) So now the version I got to review has been pulled. And the new (and improved!) book will be on bookshelves fall 2019.
About Sweet Maple:
Prologue (taken from the book): Ever thought about trying to make your own maple syrup? Maybe you’re just curious about the whole process. Maybe you know you’re diving into it next winter, sink or swim, and you’d rather swim? Or maybe you have a curious child asking all kinds of questions about maple syrup. Like every day. Like 22 times a day. (Not that I can relate to this, mind you.) Maybe your kid’s learning about Native Americans in school. (Guess who ﬁrst made maple sugar?) Or maybe you’d like a glimpse into our family’s efforts to live life a little more simply by raising a few farm animals and making our own allnatural sugar. For all the reasons above, and if you like the feel-good idea of supporting a hard-working momma who’s writing to help pay the homestead bills, then you’ll be glad you invested in this book. In your hands you’re holding a book about my family’s failures (lots) and successes (a few) during our ﬁrst two winters’ attempts to turn tree sap into amazing liquid-gold sweetness. And I’m glad you’re along for the ride. You can read even more, watch some videos, peruse my lists of equipment we use and resources I love, and order my eBooks and eCourses all about backyard maple syrup at SoulyRested.com.
Now my curiosity got the better of me when I saw Michelle’s book “Sweet Maple”. I have a bit of a background in the catering industry and had not put much thought into the process of extracting maple syrup. As I read this book I was amazed at how intricate, time-consuming this process is and all the factors that come into play, that can help or hinder the process.
As I started reading this book, I was struck by the humble nature of the author. Here is a lady who quite freely admits to making, and still making mistakes, but how she learns from each one and moves on. Her failures in making maple syrup has given her a basis for this book, or, she refers to it as “being the heart of it”.
With her family in a 14 acres wooded homestead in New England, Michelle tells how as a family they live with and within a beautiful area. She shares the area with her husband and children, as well as a dog, cows, chickens and other animals. Having access to suitable trees for tapping and extracting is only part of the process. When I read this book it became quickly apparent that I know absolutely nothing about the process. But with Michelle’s wit and humour she has explained all the ins and outs, and also included a list of supplies, suppliers. It is quite an intensive book, but does not feel like it. That is only the beginning, she also explains what trees can be tapped, and it’s not just maple trees!
At this point I am loving this book, it is informative, well laid out and has warmth and humour to it. Then comes the yummy section, the recipes. Two words here “MAPLE CREAM”, I think I may need this in my life. It sounds amazing. The are some really good basic recipes, as yet I have not tries them, but I feel they would be a good starting point for using the syrup. I am definitely going to be having a go at maple scones, as well as a “snickerdoodle” (I love this word, never heard of it before), it looks very similar to a light, airy gingerbread biscuit. A nice array of recipes for home baking, nothing flask or fancy, that fits in well with what I have learnt from this book.
This to me was a wonderful, delightful read. There are some beautiful pictures in this book that are interspersed around the writing. It is informative, but light-hearted, a joy to read. I have also been having a good look around Michelle’s website, and found that also a mine of information, links and also extra recipes, and the opportunity to sign up to her newsletter.
I would like to take this time to express my thanks to Michelle, for allowing me a copy of her book. My thoughts are honest and my own. I wish you all the very best Michelle xx
About the Author:
Michelle Visser is a homesteader in rural New England. She’s a fourth-generation gardener, an author and photographer, mom to four daughters, and the sugarmaker’s wife. In their 200-year-old farmhouse and on their 14 rocky tree-filled acres, her family makes an effort to live life a little more simply by growing some of their own food, raising a few farm animals, and making their own all-natural maple sugar.
SoulyRested.com … because simple joys require hard work….
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Check out my maple syrup books and video course here.
Many thanks for reading my post. If you liked it, please give it a share. Better still go and buy this book. Get yourself in the kitchen and try some of these amazing recipes out. I know I am going to be trying some.