Once again this year I’m participating in the Autism Awareness Blog Hop organized by the wonderful RJ Scott. One post by a different author every day at their blog with the aim of raising awareness about the challenges autistic people and their families face, and to encourage charitable donations. And there will be a few giveaways and prizes along the way! You can find the master post at RJ’s blog here.
An autism fact: Dogs have been shown to improve autistic children’s quality of life, independence, and safety. The presence of a trained dog can reduce aggressive behavior, calm the child, and serve as a link to the child’s community.
This year’s theme is one near and dear to my heart: food glorious food. I think we’re all very food-obsessed these days, from snacking to baking to supporting the restaurant workers on the front lines. One thing that’s got me a little wistful this year is not being able to indulge in one of my favorite Quebec spring traditions, going to the cabane à sucre (or, as you might know it, the sugar shack).
Every year once the snow starts melting, maple syrup farmers welcome guests to large log cabins in the woods for a homey feast of fat, sugar, salt, and brine. Picture long communal tables by roaring fires in a rustic setting. Homemade bread and condiments, such as ketchup, pickles, and beets, are there to greet you. The first course is a piping bowl of pea soup. Then the family-style plates come pouring out of the kitchen: baked beans, bacon and sausages, skillet eggs, cretons, tourtière, boiled potatoes, and braised ham. Maple syrup is the drizzle of choice. Then, for dessert, favorites like pancakes, sugar pie, pouding chômeur, and grand-pères.
But the pièce de résistance, if you can haul your stomach up from the table after all that food, is outside at the syrup processing plant for tire. They pour heated, thickened syrup out over troughs of snow and, once it solidifies, you roll up strips into little maple taffy popsicles. Sweet, but with that little maple tingle, it’s springtime perfection.
What are some of your local/cultural traditions involving food? Comment here or on my Facebook post about the blog hop to win an ebook copy of my Italy-set contemporary M/M romance (which has lots of mouth-watering food descriptions) In Wild Lemon Groves.
I hope you’ll consider a small donation, either to Autism Canada or RJ’s preferred charity, Lindengate.
Stay safe, wash your hands, and stay home,