Friday, February 18, 2011

Maple Sugaring Fever!

Maple on the brain! Some items of my current obsession!
Thanks to the warm weather and a workshop for Four Winds Nature Institute volunteers, I have maple sugaring fever! Last year my husband tapped our trees and some of our gracious neighbors' so that we could make our own maple syrup. With help from the kids and my husband's folks, we made enough maple syrup to give away and still have enough for our family of 5 to last for a year. We still have one quart unopened and in the picture above, you can see the one we're currently working on! And I haven't been skimpy with it over the past year. We've had it on pancakes (of course!) , ice cream, I've used it in homemade muffins and applesauce. If you're a gardener, you can understand the pride of eating the fruits of your labor. This is true of the rush (and it's not just the sugar) that you get when you see all the gleaming jars of golden amber liquid on your pantry shelf.!

Our current quart of syrup in the late day sun.

Now let me explain the top picture. Of course, everything in the photo has to do with maple syrup, right down to my choice of place mat! Speaking of which, it is a pale golden yellow (think of the color of extra fancy grade!) and cream colored gingham. Then there's the quart of syrup. Next is the package of Maple Cookies, which are reserved for each child's class when they have their Four Winds workshop. (My family is not happy that they can't have any yet!) The book in front in from the library. I was hoping to find a new maple recipe. The taller book was a purchased on our Tuesday outing to the book store. It's called The Sugaring-Off Party and is filled with beautiful artwork. I haven't read it to the kids yet, but i think it will be a new favorite. Lastly is the ball of yarn. What does yarn have to do with maple syrup? It caught my eye at the local Big-Lots because the colors are reminiscent of the different grades of syrup. It even has a slight sparkle to it! I'm not a knitter of crocheter, but I know I'll be able to do something with it!
Well, it's the end of February vaca, and this mama is tired! But if you live in or near Vermont, you'll want to remember that on  March 19-20 is the Vermont Maple Open House weekend.
In the meantime, I'll keep you posted on our sugaring activities up here on our hill.
Blessings, Kelly

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