Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 31, 2011

Tonight it is snowing outside!

And despite what you may be thinking, "Snow after spring has already begun to sprung?"  I am actually thrilled that it is snowing.  New England is BEAUTIFUL with new snow!  Really, anytime it snows here, whether it is in December or April, I will forever be fathomed by the beauty.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since there's no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Avy wears her tutu all the time - even to bed.
She wanted to wear my shoes but couldn't figure out how to walk in them.  Ha!

Maple Sugaring

Adrienne and I needed to get away from Boston for a weekend so we headed up North to Winnipesaukee to visit Bob, op, I mean John our landlord.  We told him we wanted to visit the Maple Sugaring farms.  He was so kind and took us all around the area, took us to breakfast where we had pancakes with home-harvested maple syrup.  Unfortunately we arrived a week to early to see any sugar actually boiling, but we learned all about the process from the restaurant owner.  Two weeks later, down here in Somerville, the community was having a Sugaring Education program where they would harvest and boil the sugar to create syrup.  So between the two events, I got to see it all.  Next year, however, I want to be the one to harvest it, boil it, and eat it on my own pancakes.  I wonder if there are any maple trees in my yard?

Step One:  First find the right Maple tree and drill in a hole about the length of the tip of your finger to your second knuckle (exact words from the restaurant owner).  You can use one of these hand held drills, like I am demonstrating on a log, or you can use a regular drill.
Step Two: Once the hole is drilled, push in a 'spile' and hang the bucket.  Depending on the diameter of the tree will depend on how many 'taps' you can insert.
Step Three:  Gather the sap everyday (maybe twice a day depending on how warm it gets).  Here you see this man pouring fresh sap into the boiler.  And notice that it isn't brown like syrup; the color comes later.
Step Four:  Boil the sap down to make syrup.  By boiling down the sap, it gets rid of all the extra water in the sap and leaves the syrup behind.  You know it is finished with it gets the right consistency or when it begins to stick to a spoon like syrup does.  Here John is standing in front of a commercial-sized boiler.  In a commercial setting all the sap is collected using tubes instead of buckets, the tubes run the sap into a large holding tank, and then boiled down in this large boiler in a 'surgar shack'.  It takes 40 gallons of sap to create 1 gallon of syrup!!
Step Five:  Once the syrup is created people like Ada and I come to pancake houses and smother our chocolate chip pancakes in delicious syrup.  Yum!


Oops, I apologize for my lack of updates.  I'm sure my family doesn't appreciate that at all.  Sorry.

Updates... first of all - all the snow (or most of it) has melted!  We have been experiencing lovely weather here in Boston for the past week which has melted all the snow.  Now our roads are about 8 feet wider than they previously were, we can see around the corner when pulling up to an intersection, the sidewalks are clear for running, and you can finally see my grass!  Yippee!!  Spring has begun to sprung!

Look what else came in the mail this week....
Notice who the Red Sox are playing at Fenway??