We were able to collect 2 5 gallon buckets filled with Maples Sap from 2 of our trees yesterday. The weather hasn't really been very cooperative and really wet so it had been a few days since the buckets were last checked. They were filled as full as could be! So they now have 2 fresh buckets there and friends of 18 more trees with buckets as well. All the kids went up help and had a great time! Now we wait.......
Well we got 2 trees tapped yesterday with 2 taps each. I went up this morning and one bucket was 1/2 full and the second is 1/3 full. I will probably head up tonight and check again and change out the buckets (hopefully). This is our first syruping experience and I am so excited!
While we were up there, we noticed a little visitor on our bucket. A honey bee. He desperatly wanted to get in there with all that sap. Must be he could smell it but could not figure out how to get in. I'm hoping that they stay out. I would hate to open it and find dead honey bees, that would be a double disappointment!
I'll post more as our journey continues. I'm thinking we will boil it down the weekend of the 13 and 14. I know it has to keep cool so hopefully the weather will be kind to us and provide a long syrup season.
Baking is so much more fun when you can share it with someone special! Emi absolutely loves to help out in the kitchen especailly when it comes to getting dirty. Here we are making bread for Daddy's sandwiches. I am so happy to see her take an interest and want to be involved. I cherish the time that she spends with me doing things like this especially at 2. I hope she continues and we are able to extend that out to many more classics.
Every January 1st the mind become a clutter of "How can I change and What can I change for the New Year?" We all dream of a thinner Self, a healther Self, a weathlier Self, a organized Self. We set forth our resolutions and committ to ourselves that this year will be THE year. Our dreams are written down on slips of paper and placed inside the resolution jar. Those resolutions sit there all year, waiting for their owner to claim them and put them to good use. 365 days of wishfull thinking to start the New Year off right again.
It is now 2009. Where did the time go? Where did the years go?
Things are changing, whether we like it or not, whether we are prepared or not. We are all getting older, our children are growing up and our world around us has not stood still waiting for us understand it, it is passing us by and hoping we catch a clue.
This year we are making many changes in our home. I am not comfortable allowing the influence of society command the future of myself, my family and my home. We are taking steps backward and retaking control of OUR lives.
My first goal is to regain at least some energy though fitness. Walking 30 minutes each day.
Goal number 2- Raise our own Chickens for meat and eggs. With all the scarey stories about tainted food and animal treatment I would rather know that our food is healthy.
Goal number 3 - convert our yard into gardens for food production. We will be planting food this year that we usually purchase... green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, onions, garlic, apple trees, blueberry bushes, cranberry bushes. We will also be putting up a cold frame to start an early growing season and a greenhouse to continue salad lettuce all year.
Goal number 4 - Finance - who does not have this as a goal right? Well, I will be putting into place the Suze Orman program for women this year and looking into the Dave Ramsey plan as well. We are current with all our financies but with the economy and other questionable outlooks I want to make sure we are able to stay ahead of the game and reduce our debt.
Goal number 5 - Organization. Such a tricky thing. I've tried Flyladys program a few times and really love the concept. I love the control journal and will be revamping again. I have come to terms that although I may not look like one... I am a perfetionist. My dilema is that if I don't have the material to create the perfect setting for something, it gets brushed under the rug until I do. I am working on getting away from that mindset and getting things in place and stationed with what I have until I can make it "perfect".
That is the platform for my year. Once those items are underway they will provide the base for the other goals that will be building on top of those to create the life that I WANT to live.
Hope to see you on my path to the Life I Want to Live!
A few weeks ago, we went apple picking with my mother. This was the first time any of us had ever been apple picking. It's one thing when you go to the store and pick up a bag of apples, but quite another when you go to the orchard to pick up a bag of apples. At first we thought we would just pick some and put them into bags. I co-mingled a few of mine so that I could remember what I bought (or so I thought). I picked two shopping bags full of apples and thought that would be good for those types and and I'd pay for them and then go down and pick some Jonamacs for the kids lunches. When we paid it was by weight. $16 for the two bags. I was good with that but then inquired about the bushel price. For $20 we could get a bushel... well that was just a few dollars more I thought.. how do my bags compare against the bushel? We pulled down the bushel box and loaded my apples into it.... it was only 1/2 full. So for a few more dollars I could get twice as many apples! I happily paid my additional $4 and went down to fill my box. I felt like such a good shopper and without any coupons! What to do with so many apples? Well... besides the apple crisp, apple pies and the lunch box apples I found a great apple bread recipe. It is absolutely wonderful!
1/2 cup oil 1/2 cup applesauce 3 eggs 1 cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar 2 tsp vanilla 4 cups apples, diced 3 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Combine and set aside the oil, applesauce, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Sift flour, cinnamon, soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to oil mixture gradually. Add apples and nuts. Bake in 2 regular loaf pans for 1 1/2 hours at 300 degrees. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, sprinkle with sugar, if desired.