Hey friends! I just realized it’s not Wednesday. Literally, as I was about to write “It’s Wednesday!” I realized it was Thursday. Excuse me while I place my palm against my face. While this week has clearly been busy for me, this weekend was super laid back and relaxing so let’s discuss what happened. There will be lots of photos coming your way.
My mother-in-law lives in the mountains and we decided it was time to get away from renovations and head on up there to meet up with my sister-in-law, her husband and my mother-in-law. In other words it was time to eat a bunch of food, make fires outside to cook on, and oh, there were four dogs. It was perfect.
One of my favorite parts of this weekend included tapping a few trees even though it’s the end of maple syrup season. We knew we wouldn’t get much and it would be a tiny boil down since we had about 5 hours of flow, when you minus out that sap doesn’t flow when it’s below freezing. We knew we would have just enough for some syrup over snow and pretty much that’s all we cared about.
We went on a hunt for sugar and some red maples on my mother-in-laws land, but stayed close to home so we didn’t have far to transport it. While we don’t have any snow left down here, there are still feet upon feet at her place. Truth be told, I was just excited to go snowshoeing. I’ve been on God’s great earth for almost thirty years, and I have always lived in the Northeast yet somehow I had never strapped on a pair of snowshoes. All it does it keep you from sinking into the snow since it disperses your weight but none-the-less I had a great time searching for trees, walking through the woods, and taking in the views with my husband and brother-in-law.
After we finished tapping trees, it was time for waiting, cutting trees down, hanging out, cooking, baking, beer,, a hilarious homemade kazoo and singing around a kitchen table to hits of the 1990’s, and more relaxation.
Wait, you want to know more about the homemade kazoo? Or my husband rapping Warren G. and Snoop Dogg? I so wish I could show you but I respect the fact that Andy doesn’t share every single thing he does while I’m the over-sharer. So, out of respect for him I will tell you it was hilarious, loud, and we were in tears. Wax paper, a comb, Grooveshark and a responsible amount of adult beverages make for a very funny night. Then again, funny people make for funny nights and this is a group of funny people. So while you try to imagine that scenario, let me back up and delve into some photos of earlier in the afternoon.
What do you do when you’re smoking meat outside and it’s nice out?
Our dogs pretty much love each other but Rosie and Champ have a special affection for each other.
With a fun day of hanging out and hi-jinks the next day we had a nice breakfast, collected the sap and boiled it down. For most of the collections the guys were able to just grab the pails and bags no issue, except for one of the ones up the hill. Clearly this was the best way to bring it down. We were really going for the professional aspect of sapping on this super small, ridiculous, run of boiling.
How professional were we? Look at this boiling rig.
Truthfully Andy did a good job using his Yankee ingenuity to put something together to boil this little bit of sap. It’s not anywhere near the evaporator and system used by my brother-in-law during his big (and much more serious) boiling he does at his house.
To boil down sap isn’t super hard at a very small basic level. Obviously, you can see the photo above. This isn’t rocket science people. Pour in the sap through a mesh strainer, skim it when it gets foamy, wait until it gets low and a nice amber to it and it drips of a spoon while still coating it and then strain again. If there’s fresh snow around, eat it on the snow. You won’t regret it but. If you do regret it then I need to seriously evaluate your judgement skills. Let me show you in photos.
All in all we had an awesome weekend and came home with everything smelling like sweet smoke. Even my camera body still smells like smoke. It was exactly what we needed. Now, back to house renovations.
Which trim….which trim….