Maple Syrup

...now browsing by category

Posts related to Maple Syrup and our sugaring operation

 

Maple Sugar Project

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

My husband has a great new project involving production of maple sugar.  We’re seeking backers for our project and would love any extra exposure we could obtain. Dave did a really great job producing the video for the project.  Please check it out at:  www.realmaplesyrup.com/project.

Thank you to everyone that takes a look at our project!

 

This Weekend

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

This weekend we are heading to my in-laws woods to finish cleaning up the roads from the huge October storm that took out all our tubing for maple tapping.  The storm took down an enormous number of tree tops which has taken us lots of Saturdays to clean up.  This Saturday might be our last to work on this project though!!  Thankfully this winter never has really materialized giving us lots of nice weekends.

Maple Sugaring Season is in Full Swing, Finally

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

We’ve been greatly delayed by the enormous snowfall we’ve had this winter, but the maple sugaring season is finally underway!  For the longest time Dave couldn’t even get into the woods due to the depth of snow to tap trees.  The past few weeks has resulted in a whole lot of snow melt so slowly he’s been able to get into our different tapping locations and tap trees.  Today we collected a whole lotta sap!!  Tomorrow we’ll have a roaring fire in the evaporator and finally get to making the commodity of our family business.

While Dave was out collecting sap all over the countryside, John and I worked in the sugarhouse finishing some much needed organizing and cleaning.  Critters always manage to get into the sugarhouse during the winter and make nest of every scrap imaginable.  So now it is totally cleaned and reorganizing.  Of course, I did the organizing so poor Dave is going to be forever finding things in there.  John was great while I was busy.  He wondered around just outside the sugarhouse and played at poking leftover snowbanks with various tools he’d raid from inside.

Homemade Baby Food: The Project Begins

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Dave and I decided to make as much of John’s food here at home as we can.  So I started with bananas.  I waited until they were well ripened with more than just a couple of black specks.  I kind of just broke them in pieces before putting them in the food processor, added a bit of formula to make processor easier and just zapped them until they were totally liquefied.  As John becomes better with texture in his mouth I’ll decrease the amount I process foods.  I transferred the bananas to ice cube trays, froze them and then placed them in dated freezer bags,

I’ll post additional “recipes” for things as I make them ( and as I can).

Update on My Monday

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

I posted this below about what I would be doing today.  Monday:  grocery shopping & CVS (there are special sales I’m hitting at both places today in order to stock-up on things), spring clean kitchen & pantry (and possibly finish spring clean in living room), 2 loads of laundry (start to finish), pack 7 gallons of syrup into pint containers for sale at the church on 29th.  Evening:  attend third lecture in series on life & times of St. Paul and help Dave collect sap from at least one location.

It is 12:30 now and I’ve accomplished the grocery shopping & CVS shopping.  At CVS I was able to get 3 bottles of Listerine, my face wash, lotion, & 8 Bounty brand paper towels for $19!  Considering that before my little coupons and such the bottles of Listerine were $5.49 each and the Bounty was $6.99…I think I did pretty good (saving over $15 total).  And at my grocery store I got $96 worth of stuff for $50.83.  I totally stocked up on all this random stuff that I’ve need in order to restock my pantry.   I love watching that register total get pretty high and then watch it slam to the ground after coupons and sales are tallied!

I also spoke with my mom and it looks like she’s going to deal with getting her plane ticket tomorrow!  It really is looking like she’s headed our way soon!!

And since it is getting late in the day, I need to get myself busy doing laundry, cleaning and packing syrup.

A Maybe Visitor!!

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Well, my mom MIGHT be visiting us here March 30th!!!  Yeah!  She’s not been here yet and it will be wonderful to finally show her where I live now.  There are a couple things happening back in IL that might still make it so she can’t come, but we’ll see.  Dad sounded hopeful when I spoke to him Sunday afternoon.

So this week I’m going to proceed like she’s coming for sure.  Her visit should offer me some really good incentive to finish spring cleaning too!  This is kind of a busy week for me, so I’m going to have to eek out time wherever I can to accomplish my cleaning chores.

This is how this week is shaping up:

Monday:  grocery shopping & CVS (there are special sales I’m hitting at both places today in order to stock-up on things), spring clean kitchen & pantry (and possibly finish spring clean in living room), 2 loads of laundry (start to finish), pack 7 gallons of syrup into pint containers for sale at the church on 29th.  Evening:  attend third lecture in series on life & times of St. Paul and help Dave collect sap from at least one location.

Tuesday:  Deliver 10-15 gallons of syrup to a restaurant in MASS (1.5 hours drive time each way), regular cleaning in bathroom and spring clean our bedroom.

Wednesday:  Home Only Day!!  Spring clean upstairs & downstairs hallways, stairwell and organize some stuff in attic,  if time permits clean office/guest room.  And get laundry completely caught up.  (Our hallways & stairwell have killer amounts of woodwork so those projects could take me several hours…)

Thursday:  Finish any leftover cleaning projects, Bible Study at 1PM.

Friday:  Spend morning with Dave helping with maple syrup production (this could be our last weekend because some trees are starting to bud.)  Spend afternoon with sister-in-law between picking up niece & nephew from school then taking nephew to choir.  Home by 5PM.

Saturday:  Maple syrup production.

Sunday: Mass, sell maple syrup for church fundraiser at pancake breakfast between masses.  (Dave tapped all the giant maples on the church property making 7 gallons of syrup to use as a fundraiser for a missions trip some folks at church at taking to Jamaica.  We’ll be selling “church syrup” in pint containers so hopefully lots of parishioners will take advantage of buying syrup. )  And then finish maple syrup production potentially for the season.

Kind of roughly, that is the plan for the week.  I’ll have finished spring cleaning the house on top of having the house “mom ready” if she’s able to come out.

Over the weekend, I made four dinner’s worth of meatballs and froze them in individual dinner packets.  I need to update my 21 Freezer Meals post because I’m further along with that project than I previously thought.

Good Ideas from My Auntie & My Sister-in-Law

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

One of my aunts posted a comment with good ideas for a couple more excellent freezer meal ideas, but now I must ask for the recipe.  Especially, the beef tips recipe.  I’ve had them in restaurants before, but never made them.  Stuffed green peppers are one of Dave’s favorites, but I have to admit that I only like the stuffing part.  Large pieces of cooked green peppers is one of those textural things I can’t make myself eat.  I LOVE uncooked green peppers though…yes, weird, I know.  And the beef stew idea is excellent and one I’ll be making tomorrow.

As for my sister-in-law’s idea to bring preemie outfits as well as the newborn outfits to the hospital, that’s a good one.  I’ve been looking at these two newborn outfits I’ve purchased and they just look big.  The tag says they are for babies 8-12 pounds.  Dave and I were both 8+ pounders at birth so I’m expecting a baby in the 7-8 pound range (hopefully 7 and not 9!!!).

So I’ve not been blogging much because there really hasn’t been any happenings around here lately.  Dave’s been working like a crazy person on maple syrup making (I’ve mostly watched from a lawn chair).  So our weekends have been entirely taken up with syrup.  And my couple days at home, I’ve been slowly working on spring cleaning.  My dining room will be finished today, except for the floor.  And if I get myself busy here pretty soon, I’ll also be able to say the living room is done.  You never really intellectualize the quantity of woodwork in a 100 year old house until you decide to wash it all.  DEAR HOLY HEAVENS does this house have some woodwork.  Every doorway has a door with trim (seriously…there are 2 doors in the dining room, 4 doors in the kitchen etc).  Every window is wooden with trim.  Every floor is bordered with trim.  And the window casings were at one time painted white, but are now peeling.  And I can’t even imagine the last time all that woodwork was washed.  The doors all have decorative panels, which were housing more dust and old nastiness in the cervices than is imaginable.  So it was a long slow process to wash everything down thoroughly in just that one room.  Oh, did I mention all the floors except the living room & kitchen are wooden as well.

The temperature is about 53 today so I’m opening windows and going to get busy.
PS:  Ya know, when you are a homemaker, it is interesting to see the stuff the goes on during the day in your neighborhood. While sitting here composing this post, I’ve just watched 3 grown men rifling through a dumpster that belongs to the apartment house next door.  None of the men even live there.  It is funny to see how much stuff people do when they think a neighborhood is deserted because everyone is out working.  (Obviously, if they do something illegal I’ll do something, but for now they seem to be mostly interested in being trash crawlers.)

First Weekend Boiling Sap

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Last weekend Dave finally got to use his brand new evaporator.  He boiled some 100 gallons of sap from the first week’s run.  This week really didn’t look like the sap was going to run at all, which would have meant another weekend of boiling lost, but the temperatures are warming up so we might have some sap by Saturday or Sunday.

Dave’s used an amazing 3/4 of a mile of tubing for sap between his parent’s woods and three friend’s woods.  That’s not a very impressive number for the big producers, but it is a HUGE number for us and it meant a whole LOT of work over the winter for Dave and his Dad.

Dave’ Dad took some nice photos last weekend and I’ll ask Dave to put them on here for everyone to see later maybe this evening.

Busy Errand Day

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Today I have tons of running around to do.  Dave & I have our “level 2” ultrasound today at 10:45.  “Level 2” ultrasound is just a fancy term for a more detailed ultrasound they like to do on pregnant gals over 35..  We’ll get to see just how this little babe of ours is doing today, which will be just cool beans.  We aren’t going to find out if we’re having a boy or a girl though.  Hopefully, we’ll have a better picture than we did from the 8 week ultrasound where babe just looked like a little gummie bear.

After the ultrasound, I’m going to lunch with Dave.  Then I have to go to Tractor Supply for all these giant containers we’ve ordered to hold maple sap at different locations until it can be collected and boiled.  And of course, since it’s Thursday I’ve got my usual grocery store and butcher shop runs to do.

This week when I came up with the menu I have two meals, meatloaf & chili, which I’m doubling so the extra can go in the freezer for future use.  I want to have maybe 3 weeks of dinners packed away in the freezer before the baby is born.  That’s only 21 meals so that is very do-able.

Nothing Much Going On

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I haven’t written for a while, but there is nothing going on.  Our weekends are filled with all things maple syrup and my weekdays have been pretty slow.  This weekend Dave tapped all the maples at his parent’s house and one other location we’re using.  The sap won’t begin to flow though until Thursday when it warms up.  We won’t be boiling sap this weekend yet, but the next we certainly will.  This coming weekend we’ll probably tap the trees at the other 2 locations we are using.

Today I’m hanging out here at the house doing some cleaning and laundry.

So like I said, nothing much going on.  Which is actually pretty okay with me!