Monday, February 22, 2010
Maple Sugaring Time
Our son, Albert, has been waiting two years to try his hand at tapping sugar maples and boiling down his own maple syrup. So, this year we invested in some used buckets and lids from a company in Minnesota. On Sunday, for four shoulder-paining hours, we hand drilled (we are being authentic here) holes in seven ancient 100 year old maples and placed 14 spiles, buckets and lids. The sap was flowing as we tapped and placed the buckets. Each of us bent down and let the sap fall on our tongues like candy. I can't tell you how exciting and joyful that was, even with my sore shoulders! Back at the warm farm kitchen, we all thawed out with giant mugs of scalding hot Darjeeling tea.
Last night, the weather blanketed us with 10 inches of heavy wet snow. Amanda and I created the 'Snow Cone Castle'...a fort to beat all forts. It is adorned with icicles, dried flowers and a banner that says 'Welcome'. We molded mugs and plates and bowls out of snow, smoothed a table top and made snow chunk chairs. We made 'knick-knack' shelves and frozen slush refrigerators in the snow. She made a snow bed and, last of all, we found a brown pebble studded 'chunkagle' in the driveway from the mailman and placed it in our 'living room' area as our television. We added a walnut frond for the antennae. Wish it was that simple in real life!
The children and I just went out, at dusk, to check the buckets and pour the sap. Almost 4 gallons of sap from a very early tapping. Beautiful and exciting. I will post pictures as we progress and show you all the stages that I can.