Growing up in northeast Ohio, I had the opportunity to experience the tapping of maple trees - first hand. I can remember walking through the park and seeing the metal buckets hanging on the large maple trees to collect the sweet sap. My brother and I used to put our fingers under the spout and steal a drop of the sweet syrupy sap while we walked past.
Every April, the town next to my hometown of Kirtland would host a maple festival. We would walk through the sugarhouse where I we could see great big pots of sap slowly simmering over open flames. The smell of the sugarhouse was intoxicating - thick and sweet and warm.
I don't think we ever left the festival without sampling the fresh maple candy. It was super sweet and kind of grainy but after a day of being surrounded by the smell of warm maple syrup - it was perfect.
So why all of a sudden am I reminiscing about my childhood maple syrup memories? I recently made a batch of maple oatmeal muffins and every time I open a jar of REAL maple syrup I can't help but be reminded of those metal buckets hanging on the huge trees in Ohio every February.
I didn't make these muffins with fresh OHIO maple syrup but they're still really yummy. They're simple enough to make for weekday breakfasts and they freeze really well too. (That's my subtle way of saying - make a double batch and freeze some for later. You'll thank me later.)
Maple Oatmeal Muffins
1 cup oats
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup butter, melted
Pour mixture into the center of dry ingredients and fold together.
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