March 18, 2013

sweet and cold and bright

The temperatures have dropped again, way way down to below zero once more. I keep telling myself that it will warm up. After all, we visited here in April last year and it was warm and lovely and sunny, without a trace of snow. So I know it will warm up. And with the warm will come more sap, and planting the garden and more boiling and chickens and bees and all we have planned.

This weekend we finally got down to the business of boiling our first run of sap. Not, as we had hoped, a homemade evaporator. But the small amount we had was easily done on the side burner of our barbeque. The next go round we hope to have something a little bigger up and running. While I boiled away in the cold (and knit with mittens on and drank lots and lots of hot tea), and the animals stuck close to the fire, and Will, with a little help from the kids, worked on the chicken coop, cutting and fitting pieces together. It's not quite done, but well on it's way. We ended up with one pint of syrup plus a pancake dinner's worth and a few spoonfuls to drizzle over fresh snow. It's delicious, light and mapley and wonderful. I'm paranoid about it spilling and have it hidden up on the highest shelf in the pantry. Maybe I should transfer it to small bottles so that if (when) we have a spill or an over zealous pancake dousing, we don't loose all that precious, lovely syrup.

The seeds are starting to sprout in the sunniest window and something very exciting should be arriving in the mail later this week. Spring, spring. Come on....We're (almost) ready for you!