Necessity is the mother of all invention.
That was the case for us a few weeks ago when we hosted our first maple syrup tasting at a local grocery specialty store. We had planned to serve our maple syrup in sweet little cups with small pieces of waffles. The first rule of hosting a tasting, as we now know, is that you should always taste what you are serving, BEFORE you serve it to anyone else. We did not do this. When we did try the waffles a short while later we found they were still frozen. Oops. So we cooked them a little bit further and tried them again. Turns out they tasted like dirt.
So then we moved on to just serving warmed pure maple syrup in a cup. We had brought along a nice little hot plate and were so excited with our pretty display. We should have know better. Things were slow as it seems most of the shoppers on that Saturday morning were diabetics and disappointed when they couldn't try our syrup. We were chatting away when all of a sudden the syrup overflowed in the pot and spilled all over the table. That was bad enough, but the worse part was that the syrup hit the hot burner and started smoking. Luckily, Dana realized quickly that we were at risk of setting of the alarms and sprinklers. So, he literally ran through the store with a smoking burner, trying not to be noticed. He told me later that he was chanting through the parking lot "please don't set off the fire alarm, please don't set off the fire alarm." Keep in mind, I was still inside trying to keep my cool and get cleaned up as if nothing had happened. We are quite the team.
When he came back inside, we regrouped and I headed to the dairy section and picked out a nice soft mild cheddar cheese. We cut into small cubes and put it in the cups, on a toothpick, with the organic maple syrup. Necessity lead to this idea. Most people are not comfortable with just drinking maple syrup. However, it looks so pretty together so people stopped by, asked what it was. Each time we explained that although it was unusual pairing, it was surprisingly good. You first taste the cheese, but you get just enough syrup to want to drink the rest in the cup. It. Is. Really. Good. Within a few hours, we had cleared the shelves and had to restock their inventory. And, we sold a whole bunch of cheese. I even spoke for a bit with a delightful couple who were having a dinner party that night and they were planning on serving the cheese in shot glasses, with the syrup, on a board just as we did. Mission accomplished. And so now I share this idea with you. A simple and quick way to serve an appetizer or even a dessert. Your kids are hungry but dinner is not ready yet, this is a perfect way to hold them over. They get the sweet and yummy of the maple syrup and they get some protein with the cheese. We chose a simple mild soft cheddar cheese. And yes, it is a strange pairing, but really, once you try it I think you will like it. And I happen to know a perfect place to get maple syrup (wink, wink).
The good news is that I have teamed up with my friends this month to share other quick and easy 10 minute ideas. This month we are focusing on quick ways to get ready for dinner.
Please stop by...
You can find all of my 10 Minute Ideas Here. Thanks so much for reading.