A SUGAR-ON-SNOW PARTY (An Old New Hampshire Recipe)
A ‘maple-sugar-on-snow’ party is a unique way of serving refreshments to a group. Such a party is most satisfactorily managed when fresh, clean snow is available.
Preparing the Snow:
Gather a quantity of snow, providing a panful for each couple. Pans ten to twelve inches in diameter are best. Pack the snow solidly in the pans. In cold weather, these pans may be prepared with the snow beforehand and left out of doors. Soup plates packed full of snow may be used in place of pans, if preferred. In this case, prepare one dish of snow for each person.
Preparing the Syrup:
Allow one quart of syrup for six people. Pour the syrup into a large kettle; when it begins to boil, it will bubble up and boil over rapidly. Boil the syrup until, when dropped on the snow, it remains on the surface and becomes waxy. Until it is of the right consistency, it will dissolve into the snow. If a thermometer is used, boil until 236 F. It is well to boil down the syrup partially before the party as it takes quite a time before it reaches the proper consistency.
Provide each person or couple with a pan of snow, a small pitcher of hot syrup and a fork. Pour the syrup on the snow, a little at a time. Some will prefer to make hollows in the snow and fill them; others will string the syrup out in fine lines. Some people call the syrup ‘sheepskins’; others refer to it as ‘leather aprons’ or ‘maple wax’. As soon as the snow cools the syrup, each person takes his fork and gathers up the syrup to be eaten and then the process is repeated.
MENU FOR SUGAR-ON-SNOW PARTY
Sugar-on-Snow ~ Plain Doughnuts ~ Sour Pickles ~ Coffee
For a real New Hampshire maple sugar party, doughnuts and pickles are necessary to complete the menu. The tartness of the pickles makes it possible to enjoy and consume more ‘leather aprons’. Coffee clears the taste and doughnuts naturally follow along with coffee. Some old-timers insist on cheese and, at ‘elegant’ parties, butternuts are rolled with the sugar on the fork.
When the enthusiasm for the waxed sugar begins to wane, someone usually begins creaming what he has left in his dish. If this syrup is still warm, it may be stirred until a nice creamy consistency and then picked up in the fingers and eaten as candy.
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