If you’re anything like us, you’re probably fed-the-heck-up with this winter. Scraping your car windows, plowing the driveway, wiping out on icy walkways, spine-tingling cold, traffic jams . . . ugh, it all just sucks. Okay, well, not all of it. See, while we’ve been freezing our butts off, the beautiful maple trees at Stamford Museum and Nature Center were hard at work producing the sweet, sweet goodness we all love to pour on our pancakes on snowy Sunday mornings. Yep, we’re talking about the nectar of the gods better known as maple syrup, and you can celebrate it in all it’s glory at their Maple Sugar Festival Weekend on March 7 and March 8 at Stamford Museum & Nature Center. The activities go on from 11AM – 3PM both days, and with tickets costing just $5 for members or $10 for non-members, there’s plenty to get your money’s worth:
👍 Live music from Jay & Ray
👍 Loads of maple syrup and maple-infused goodies like snow cones (noms) to buy
👍 Maple syrup tasting, tapping, and sugaring demonstration (so cool to watch)
👍 Check out the newest exhibit: Heckscher WILD!, a live interactive exotic animal exhibit
👍 Craft making and face painting
👍 Pancake Brunch on Sunday from 11-2 (just $5 extra)
And last, but most definitely not least, First County Bank Teen Chefs Challenge on Saturday from 11:30-1:30. Four young cooks will be competing against each other to see who makes use of maple syrup the best. And, how will the best dish be picked you ask? YOU! You get to vote on your favorite and the person who gets the most votes from the night gets all the glory with the winner being announced at 2. We got the down and dirty scoop about one of the possible dishes, too: butternut squash and maple filled ravioli in brown butter sauce with maple BBQ brisket.
This year there is quite the crew of competitors, including Adaiah Stevens who was a semi-finalist on Master Chef Junior. Here are the bios from the SM&NC Site:
Aaron Gruen, Weston, 12
Aaron is a 6th grader at Unquowa School in Fairfield. He has been cooking and baking with his family from the time he could stand at the kitchen counter, and now often makes dinner on his own. Aaron bakes with his mom and older sisters, grills with his dad, and loves to experiment with all sorts of flavor combinations and techniques. His specialties are homemade pasta and challah. When he isn¹t cooking, Aaron loves to ski, play tennis, and read about the science of cooking. He hopes to someday be a doctor, but a chef on the side!
Talia Raich, Stamford, 10
Talia is a fifth grade student at Bi-Cultural Day School. She has been cooking with her parents from a young age. Talia enjoys making desserts and cooking other tasty treats. She also likes working on the creative presentation of the food. Talia’s family has fun in the kitchen together and has made various cooking challenges at home from soup-offs to versions of Chopped. Talia also enjoys reading, playing sports, acting, skiing, and writing.
Adaiah Stevens, Danbury, 13
Adaiah is a 13 year old with creative skills beyond her years. She started cooking and baking at the age of 4, shadowing her mother and grandmother in the kitchen. By the age of 7, she was developing her own recipes. Her creativity in the kitchen is coupled with her gift of music. Adaiah has been writing, arranging and performing music since she was 5 years old. Adaiah recently appeared on the popular reality competition show, MasterChef Jr. on FOX with Chef Gordon Ramsey. Her confidence with flavors and the ability to quickly learn a technique led her all the way to the Semi-Finals.
Sheariah Stevens, Danbury, 15
Sheariah is an all-around artist. At 15 years old, she has demonstrated her artistic gifts on large stage such as the Legendary Apollo Theater, where she was featured as a “Star of Tomorrow.” Whether she is playing her guitar and singing or cooking, her artistic flair is reflected in all she does. She is also a culinary artist. Sheariah enjoys taking elements of international cuisine to bring unique qualities to her dishes. She frequently prepares multi-course meals for family and friends