With snow in the forecast for this weekend our hopes for an early Spring have been dampened a bit, but for weeks now Northern Michigan has been graced with lengthening light-filled days, days of warmth and sunshine and bright blue skies — the kind of days that wake up dormant trees and send sap coursing through Art Currey’s 70 acres of sugar maples.
Art is a fifth-generation maple syrup maker tending to 7000 taps on the 320 acre Charlevoix farm his parents bought in the 1970s. For two months each Spring, Art sleeps little and does daily battle with a marauding band of squirrels who seem to delight in nibbling through the elaborate system of tubing that carries sap from tree to pump shack to sugar house. If there’s a leak, the only way to find it is to walk the lines of tubing — all 15 miles of it. Art’s wife Jan reports that he lost 15 pounds during the last maple season, one pound for every mile of tubing. Sugaring is hard work.
But it’s work that’s rewarded with every sweet, golden drop of maple. The Currey family, with the help of a handful of devoted friends — some from as far away as Finland, produces some of the finest maple syrup in the state. “What I love the most about making maple syrup,” Jan Currey says, “is that you feel like you’re doing everything right — caring for the land and making an honest, natural product that people just love.”
American Spoon is proud to support Currey Farms, and whenever we drizzle our rich Maple Syrup over pancakes or slather a slab of bacon with our tangy Maple BBQ Grilling Sauce, we’re grateful to Art and his small crew of helpers for the sleepless nights, constant vigilance and intensive work that make it possible for us to provide you with such unique and delicious maple products.
One of our favorite maple recipes is also one of our most simple: brush Maple BBQ Grilling Sauce over a few slices of bacon and pop them in the oven. Twenty minutes later you’ll be rewarded with sweet, tangy, smoky strips of deliciousness — a perfect way, along with a stack of maple-drizzled pancakes, to welcome a bright Springtime morning.
Maple BBQ Bacon
12 thick slices of bacon
1 jar American Spoon® Maple BBQ Grilling Sauce
1) Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2) Place a wire rack on a large baking sheet. Lay the bacon on the rack, being careful not to overlap the edges.
3) With a large spoon, drizzle one to two tablespoons of American Spoon® Maple BBQ Grilling Sauce down the center of each slice of bacon. Then, with the back of the spoon, spread the BBQ sauce across the entire slice of bacon (it’s OK if it drips off the sides).
4) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and the sauce looks thick and dark on the bacon. If it burns on the edges, it’s OK.
5) Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Use as you would normal bacon — for breakfast, on sandwiches or salads, or on its own as a snack.