I am delighted to share my thoughts on Sweet Maple by Michelle Visser. I had the pleasure of reading this book last year and I can finally say a huge “Congratulations Michelle on the Publication of Sweet Maple” I am so happy you have finally got this fabulous book published. I am resharing my review for this book to coincide with the publication.
Let me show you what Sweet Maple is all about…
Sweet Maple is an instructional book on backyard sugarmaking that’s also the story of one family’s connection to the past on a small New England sugar farm. Throughout its pages, Michelle (the “sugarmaker’s wife”) gives advice on:
the 22 different kinds of trees that can be tapped.
the process of making syrup, to help you decide what level is right for you.
how to make alternative treats, such lilac syrup.
the health benefits of maple products, which contain more than 40 antioxidants.
substituting processed sugar with all-natural maple syrup in any recipe.
- the 3 steps to making maple sugar.
- how to make irresistible maple cream and how to enjoy it.
While learning the art of sugarmaking alongside her husband, Michelle guides readers through every step of all-natural syrup production, with directions for tapping one tree or dozens, while detailing the life-changing benefits of using maple syrup in the kitchen. Interspersed with sugaring techniques, tips, sidebars, and storytelling, Michelle shares more than 30 of her family’s tried-and-true maple recipes—from scones to salads.
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 flash 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
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.
**All photo’s in this post are from Michelle’s own website.**
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated 🙂 xx