The Autumn Tree Smackdown is becoming much more real for many of us. No submissions yet, but that is to be expected. The King, for example, remains green while close neighbours get down to business. I know he'll come through. Or I hope so. Because I want to keep the awesome prize (the one I don't have yet) for myself.
The prize for the winner of the First Annual Rantwick Autumn Tree Smackdown will be a very small bottle of Canadian Maple Syrup!
For those of you who are thinking, "well I guess that's fitting; kind of boring, though", the maple syrup I mean to acquire is something else. Most people have tried real maple syrup before. It is fantastic in almost any grade, from the heavier Ambers all the way up. The vast majority of syrup sold in little gift bottles (like the one pictured above) here in Canada is "Canada #1 Medium" grade. What I'm talking about for the prize is Canada #1 Extra Light maple syrup. For a listing of Canadian maple syrup grades, click here, but don't believe the "Uses" column. More on that in a sec.
I hope I'll be able to find some local stuff. It is quite possibly the most exquisite thing I have ever tasted. We've only ever had a bottle in the Rantwick household once. I consumed most of it while researching the best way to enjoy it, the results of said research I am happy to share with you now.
In my opinion, putting Canada #1 Extra Light on something is an insult to the syrup. Unless that something is some sort of uberpancake that doesn't exist. Or does it? Anybody got an uberpancake recipe?
Anyway, I have come to believe that the best way to enjoy this stuff is cold from the fridge, sipped straight from the bottle or for the more hygienic among you, from a teaspoon. More than one teaspoon per hour is a waste and disrespectful. I know I'm a weirdo, but to me it seems the closest I've ever been to consuming some sort of supernatural "essence of tree"... if you love trees like I do, that is a powerful statement. Wish me luck as I try to find some from around here. I don't even know if anybody will have stock, since Spring is the season for harvesting.
Stay tuned for more fascinating tree news,
R A N T W I C K
PS - From those of you living in Maple country in the USA, I hope the opportunity to compare is appealing, if the prize less than exciting.