Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lessons in Syrup

So the funny thing about maple syrup is that the effort/ return ratio is NOT equal. Not even in the littlest way. In order to get 1 gallon of syrup you have to have 40 gallons (yep, you read that right!) of sap. We knew this going into it but I don't think we really understand what 40 gallons of anything looked like.
After 3 weeks of collecting sap and a freezer FULL of sap we needed to find a solution-and fast. I talked to as many people as I could about how to process the stuff and the more I heard the less I wanted to go through the process. Suffice it to say when people start saying things like: "It's takes days of watching it for hours-sometimes day and night.." and "I ruined my entire kitchen plus every pot I owned boiling it down..", you know you have gotten in over your head.

So being the city slicker that I am, I decided to call the High School who runs a sugar shack (there are so many reasons to have the syrup in a shack of it's own) and asked if I could donate about 30 gallons of maple sap in exchange for whatever amount of syrup they could make from it. They were very kind-took all of my sap-and even gave me a beautiful 1/2 gallon of syrup in exchange. The kids were a little disappointed that our syrup wasn't made from OUR sap but I walked away feeling VERY proud of myself, vowing to savor every last bite of pancakes from now on, and wondering what adventure we'd find ourselves in next.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Haircut time

So that first haircut of all the baby hair is always a little traumatic for me. I guess it's just one more sign that they're growing up too quickly. It seemed particularly hard with Lincoln's hair because I love his white blondness. But it was time-he was always tugging at it, it was constantly full of food, and it hung right in his eyes.

(Check out the pose!)

So off it came! And since I can really only do one haircut-he got the Pykles' boys "DO"!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sugaring (This is for you Donna!)

We are making another attempt at embracing the North Country this spring and have tapped our maple tree. My mother-in-law got us started with the info. when she was out visiting this fall and has kept us fed with wonderful information about how to do this. So today the conditions were perfect-a hard freeze at night but warming above freezing during the day-we put in three taps and our 'fancy' buckets, and presto! Maple sap.
Of course the hard part is yet to come-the filtering, boiling down, and storing-but we'll keep you updated.
For now we're just watching it like a newborn (wondering if maybe we're too easily entertained), feeling pretty proud of our little backyard tree, and considering ourselves just a bit more 'local'.