March 5, 2007

"And The Buckets Were Hung on the Trees With Great Care..."

'Tis the season... no, not for hanging stockings by the fireplace but for hanging buckets on Sugar Maple trees!! Pete and the boys hung 37 buckets and I'm not sure how many spiles (probably around 75) over the past two weekends! We have looked into running sap lines but personally, I like the look of buckets better!! Yes, it is more labor intensive as we have to go collecting and emptying all of the buckets.... but that is part of the fun! The sap has started to run and most likely we'll start the boiling process by next weekend...... all depending on the weather of course! I'll do my best at keeping you all updated as the process continues!

Do you know your maple sugar facts......
1) How many gallons of sap does it take to make 1 gallon of maple syrup?
2) How hot does the sap need to get in order to become syrup?
3) Why is it so weather dependent?


mad4books said...

Homesick! Homesick alert! I remember those buckets with great fondness! (I remember stone walls and dirty roadside snow with great fondness, too.)

Good luck with the sugaring (is that what they used to call it?). There was a report in the paper the other day about Vermont syrup experts who say that this year's weird weather could really hurt the syrup production.

Real maple syrup could be as expensive as yummy liquid gold at this time next year!

mad4books said...

HA! Just read your comment on my Wordless Wed. blog.

*Of course* I remember our Oreo necklaces (I brought you that from Texas, right?), and your Barbie camper was the reason why every girl in a ten-mile radius wanted to play at the Cray house. (Well, that and your mom sometimes gave out snacks...)

And yes, I remember visiting an elderly gentleman above Anderson's Bakery. (We used to buy him lemon cupcakes, I think...) And although a violin isn't ringing a bell, I remember he let us play with his wheelchair, rolling that baby up and down his apartment hallway.

Yeah. Good times, good, I am BEGGING YOU to raid your mom's old photo albums and scan a childhood pic.

Let's see if you can top me next Wordless Wednesday!

bo_berrin said...

Ditto on the homesick alert. Thank you so much for posting the photos! You can't imagine what it does to our hearts to see a simple bucket hanging from a tree. (sigh)

HOW do you do it all, Melanie??? Quilting, baking, making syrup, goat-herding, duck-tending, etc., etc., etc... You amaze me! You truly sound like a "P-31 woman"! I'm inspired to do better because of you. You seem to be living my ideal life! :)

My completely uneducated guesses on the syrup trivia:

1) 5 gallons of sap for 1 gallon of syrup?

2) 212 degrees? Maintained for a lonnnnngggg time?

3) Uh, because the trees thawed out and the roots send up moisture to the branches to promote leaf production?

In other words, I'm completely stumped. (Pardon the pun!)

Happy Birthday to the twins! You must be so proud of them, and they're so blessed to have you for a mom. Two cakes? Wow! It must be a challenge to celebrate two *different* birthdays on the same day! Houston turned 16 Wednesday, and I haven't even had a chance to post a blog announcing it yet. I'll say it again--HOW do you do it all??? We're celebrating it this weekend, anyway, so maybe there's still time. And here's a coincidence--I'm making the Jell-O cake, too! Strawberry, with whipped cream and strawberries sliced on top. YUM.

Hey, post that recipe for Pesto Chicken! That sounds wonderful. We just had pesto pasta with Italian sausage last week--I didn't know if the family would go for it, but they all RAVED over it, so I know they'd love the chicken, too.

mad4books said...

Ditto! Post the pesto.


bo_berrin said...

Oh, and my pesto came out of a jar. (I cheat sometimes.) :)

A. Sanborn said...

Awesome photos my friend... love the ol'time feel of seeing buckets instead of the blue lines running into one huge tank! ((( HUGS ))) I need to hunt down my sugar shack to make a card in honor of maple sugaring season! Can't wait 'til Christmas! *wink*