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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

[Sugar Shack] Time of the Year for Sugar Bush Brunch @ Domaine de l'Ange Gardien

Every year in March, we go to a sugar shack at Quebec side, to enjoy a maple syrup brunch. You can pour maple syrup as much as you want. Sausages are cooked with maple syrup, and so is ham. 

As my kids don't like pancake syrup, we use maple syrup for pancakes and waffles at home, too. People think maple syrup would be cheap in Canada, but not so much. I think the only place you can buy maple syrup cheap is Costco  and that is where we usually get our supply for maple syrup. 

We always have a pitcher of maple syrup at home, for peace of mind. Nonetheless, we still yearn for some fresh maple syrup  at a sugar shack. 

That fresh maple syrup cajoles us into eating so much at 'all you can eat' brunch at a sugar bush.

(Photo taken in March 2011)

We had been regulars to la Domaine de l'Ange Gardien for a few years, until last year when we tried another    sugar bush in Quebec, Chez Ti-mousse. If you want to see last year's sugar shack brunch, click here: 
[Sugar Bush] Real Canadian sweet treats just before the end of the cold winter: Chez Ti-mousse

This was a photo from 2011. As we were quite early in the season, the dining hall was not this packed.
As I already wrote about Canada's maple syrup last year, I'll not recite the same information. See the above link to see more information about maple syrup.
I found some fun facts about maple syrup:
1. A maple tree lasts at least 30 years and is 12 inches in diameter before it is tapped.

2. Tapping does no permanent damage to the tree.  (Thank goodness!) Only 10% of the sap is collected each year.

3. Each tap yields an average of 10 gallons of sap per season,
yielding about one quart of syrup.
4. Warm sunny days (above 40º F) and frosty nights are ideal for sap flow. The harvest season ends with the arrival of warm spring nights and early bud development in the trees.
5. The maple season may last 4 to 6 weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for 10 to 20 days.
6. 30-50 gallons of sap are evaporated to make one gallon of syrup.
7. The sugar content of sap averages 2.5%
8. The sugar content of syrup averages 66.5%
It's true that a meal at any sugar bush, (or  une cabane à sucre in French), is undeniably rich. But, as we all know, it's an yearly treat. 

You don't eat such a meal every weekend, do you? I decided not to feel guilty of treating myself, not too often though :), with a scrumptious meal full of protein, fat and carbohydrates.

This is menu at Domaine de l'Ange Gardien. Not as luxrurious as those of sugar shacks near Montreal or Quebec city, it's still satisfying. I believe I wrote it last year too, but I can't disguise my fondness for oreille de crisse, or grilled thick bacon.

Confession: I emptied a bowl of oreille de crisse by myself. Then, I had to control my urge to ask for another bowl.
Each of the menu is delicious. I've never met a person who doesn't like the Sugar shack menu.

Menu at Domaine de l'Ange Gardien is as below:

Homemade french-canadian pea soup
Baked beans
Porc sausages
Maple Ham
Oreilles de crisse
Roasted potatoes
Maple syrup
Bread and butter
Sugar Pie
One maple taffy on snow
Tea, coffee and juice
(Source: Domaine Ange-Gardien)

Homemade pickles

(Brunch over)
Kids love having a brunch at a sugar shack, but maple taffy is what they love most. 

Oh, there also is a piece of sugar pie before sugar pie, before visiting the sugar shack for a taffy. 

(Pablo is done with his sugar pie and ready for a taffy on the snow)

(Remi and Mr. D entering Sugar Shack)

(Tickets for Taffy (included in the meal))

Cabane à sucre (Sugar Shack)

Maple taffy is a confection made with maple sap boiled past the point where it would form maple syrup. 

Then, the thick liquid is poured upon clean snow which thickens the liquid rapidly into confectionery. 

Hardened taffy will be immediately rolled by taffy experts!

I know I know~ But, it's only once, or maximum twice a year thing.

(Remi and Pablo having the first taffy on the snow of the year)

I uploaded a video of maple taffy in 2011 to YouTube. See here:

Remi and Pablo look like babies! (for me, at least :))

As usual, kids asked their dad to pick some icicles.

Pablo with icicles

After a big meal, my guys had a snowball fight. 

In this photo, all three of them are in action.

Little guys climbed up the snow mountain, too. I was totally nervous while watching kids playing on the snow pile. I should have brought their snow pants from the trunk and had them wear their snow pants, but it was too late. 

Boys conquered the top in a flash.

It was a nice drive and a fantastic brunch.

Sugar Bush - Domaine de l'Ange-Gardien


  1. Oh my.....I lived in Quebec city for about five years and now I'm in Vancouver... I almost forgot about 'cabane à sucre'!! I miss so much 'la soupe aux pois'and 'ketchup aux fruits' ( Is it called chutney in English?) Thanks alot for letting me bring back memories.

    1. Hi kwrhie,
      sorry for my late reply.
      Soupe aux pois is very easy to make. I should post the recipe.
      We all love Cabane à sucre, don't we? :) As maple syrup is produced in the east side of the continent, I don't think there is a sugar shack in Vancouver... But, you have fond memories of it. Hope you will have a chance to visit one some time.
      Have a nice day!