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Monday, April 12, 2010

Pancake Weekend

This past weekend I went upstate to visit my family for the 40th annual Pancake Weekend. It was great to be surrounded by family, friends and food (as you will see below).  Sanger's Sugar House has been in my family for years. I am pretty spoiled when it comes to maple syrup. Actually, I am extremely spoiled. I won't eat anything except my family's maple syrup. 

Pancake Weekend was a great excuse for me to visit the family. I love the City but getting away is always a treat. Especially for Oliver who loves running in the fields with my Aunt's German Shepherd's Jack and Roxy. 

Aunt Kim and Cousin Natalie managing the syrup counter. 

Aunt Nancy and Uncle Dan.

Maple Sugar Candies.

Shelves and shelves of dark, medium and light syrup. 

Decorative glass maple leaf syrup jars.

Inside the sugar house. Aunt Kim has done a fabulous job. 

40 gallons of Sap = 1 gallon of Maple Syrup
Making maple syrup is very time consuming and extremely physically labor intensive. Luckily the family gets together to help Lee and Kim during sugaring season. 

The line outside of the Sugar House on Sunday morning. 

The North Country Squares 40th-annual pancake breakfast will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

It is held at Sanger's Sugar House, 137 Stratton Hill Road in the hamlet of Ingraham. It costs $6.50 for adults, $3 for children under 12 and is free for children under 5.

The North Country Squares 40th-annual pancake breakfast will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

It is held at Sanger's Sugar House, 137 Stratton Hill Road in the hamlet of Ingraham. It costs $6.50 for adults, $3 for children under 12 and is free for children under 5.

Club member Bob West said he proposed a pancake breakfast as an alternative to club plans to hold a strawberry festival.

"I mentioned this (decades ago), and they thought it was a good idea," he said.

When West approached Ben Sanger, then owner of Sanger's Sugar House, he also thought it was a good idea, and a tradition was born.

It is the North Country Squares' major fundraiser each year. West said the club expects between 1,800 and 2,000 customers at the annual event.

"One year, we had 2,400. That was an exceptional year. There's usually a line. Sometimes it's right out to the road."

The event is frequently a chance to get together with acquaintances, as hungry diners travel from throughout the North Country.

The club goes through about 500 pounds of pancake mix, 500 pounds of sausage and 40 to 50 gallons of maple syrup. West said the club is grateful to Sanger's Sugar House owners Lee and Kim Sanger, who provide the syrup at wholesale cost.

Applesauce, white and chocolate milk, coffee and tea are also available.

It takes about 80 volunteers to put on the event, West said. That includes club members, their children and some students from Beekmantown Central School and Chazy Central Rural School.

West said the event goes on rain or shine.

"One year, we even had a lot of snow."

Heaters are used if temperatures dip too low.

The club rents the large, white tent that protects people from the elements. It owns the tables and chairs that are set up days preceding the event.

The event is also an opportunity to buy Sanger's Sugar House products, including maple syrup, maple cream, maple butter and maple candy.

North Country Squares Co-President Dick Crawford said the club has about 115 members and will celebrate its 50th anniversary next season. The event provides a great opportunity to socialize and exercise in an alcohol-free and smoke-free environment, he said.

For a schedule of events or contact information, visit

Saturday night after everyone is gone, it is a ritual for Aunt Carol to cook an amazing dinner for the family.  For the past few years she has baked lasagna. But, this year it was baked ziti! After a day of pancakes, Italian food was exactly what I needed. It was delicious! Luckily I didn't stuff myself to the max. I am still trying to keep the figure. 

Aunt Carol's famous antipasto plate. 

Baked Ziti for 50. 

Sausages and Meatballs. 


Sunday morning I woke up bright and early (actually it wasn't bright out yet, that's how early it was) and went for a 7.5 mile run with my Aunt Nancy's best friend Ronda.  I jumped in on the middle of her 11 mile run. Rhonda is training for a half marathon and since Aunt Nancy is injured at the moment, she thought I would be perfect company for Ronda. 

So, I ran and I conquered and it felt great. I probably could have gone all 11 miles. I can't believe how in shape I am in from spinning. I do have one battle wound, a blister the size of a quarter on the inside arch or my right foot. It was definitely worth it. 

After running and showering Rhonda invited me to see her new foal. She is one of the sweetest babies I have ever seen.  I told my parents I wanted one. My Dad replied, you've already got one in Houston. It is true. I miss my horse very much. 

Of course I had to add in a shot of Oliver goofing off in the fields. He loved running around in the sugar bush with Jack and Roxy. 

Of course this weekend wasn't all fun and games. Whenever I go upstate, there is always a real reason for my visits. This time it was to help Uncle Dan finish his bar for the Vineyard tasting room, design a poster showing the different steps in making wine and of course my forte, finish decorating their Master Bedroom. 

Earlier in the month I told Aunt Nancy about West Elm's bedding sale. She purchased the bedding I have been dying to have for my own apartment. We installed the new bedding and also purchased and hung the new curtains. The bedroom looks so much better. She does have one homework assignment, new natural parchment lamp shades for the existing bedside table lamps. And believe me, I will be following up on this assignment. 

Here is the Vesco Ridge Vineyards steps to making wine poster I made on Photoshop and had printed at Staples. It turned out great! I'm working on them getting a new fancy frame to match the new fancy poster!

1 comment:

  1. I would be in HEAVEN with pancakes! I LOVE them! How fun!