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Gettin' All-Primal in the Applachians

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  • Originally posted by Mud Flinger View Post
    Tapping maple trees is lots of work! Do you have collection hoses running to a big barrel or are you going to collect by hand? Lots of work either way hauling. It takes like 60 gallons of sap to cook down to a gallon of syrup if I remember right. We used to go to the maple festival each spring and get maple stirs. I just liked to watch the sugar crystalize from the warm syrup, but the maple flavor was always too intense for me. Glad to hear the family is doing so well and congrats to hubby!
    Hey Mud Flinger! Answer: by hand. I mean, in the with-the-help-of-our-Amish-friend's-draft-horses way. This is our first year. As we have no real sugar maples, just seemingly every other kind, Amish friend says that it will take 80 gallons of sap for 1 gal of syrup. I have a ball jar full of syrup from his run of last year - the color is dark but no burned flavors, taste intensity is mild, and viscosity is pleasant. I have never seen maple syrup being boiled - just sorghum syrup. A few folks around here have the hoses running from/through the trees and into big galvanized tubs. Hubby, First, and Fourth went out into the woods to set the taps - I stayed home with Third because she is going through one wicked teenage rebellion right now, and I can't let up for a second - and on tapping day, she and I were in the thick of me making a huge point about obedience, behavior, and consequences. Anyway, we have plastic bags and spouts.

    It just can't get too maple-y for me, just like there is no such thing in my universe as too rich (food). Mmmmmmm
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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    • Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
      Crabby, I don't what to say I am so happy you're back!!!!!!!!!!!
      Great to hear about hubby and the crablets!
      Originally posted by honeybuns View Post
      Yay! You are alive!
      Hey Ladies!! Yup, I live. It will take me a few to make my way through previous posts, but I am already digging. Glad you both are still here!!!
      I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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      • I love the way you write! I'll be lurking as I think you've got lots of interesting things to say.

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        • Originally posted by Crabbcakes View Post
          Schubert Impromptu, Opus 90, No. 2

          Youtube has it under this title. This was First's last piano competition (I agreed that she could stop after she completed the competition for her senior year in high school) and I think she went out with a bang!

          She will continue with piano because she loves it, just not the competition stuff. I made her do that because I thought it a highly beneficial experience for a shy-ish, always-homeschooled kid to experience time crunches, performance anxiety, hard practices, and all the rest that comes with a sink-or-swim thing like this, as we are really relaxed here at home and she otherwise wouldn't have known how she reacts (emotionally) to such pressures. Same with Second.
          What a gorgeous piece. You must be so proud of your daughter. I hope she has many many future opportunities to enjoy playing.
          Annie Ups the Ante
          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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          • Very good to see you!
            "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

            B*tch-lite

            Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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            • Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
              Very good to see you!
              You always have the very best animated-smiley-face-huggy-thingies!
              I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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              • So. Yesterday afternoon the Amish neighbor shows up, as scheduled, with a team of two black draft horses hitched to a wooden cart, loaded with an empty tank and a pile of strong handled buckets. And his two of his (very young still) sons. All six members of the Family Crabbcakes get their mucky boots and work jackets on and head into the woods. There was a steady drizzle, but not enough to soak you. Third is vocally complaining about having to wear a fluorescent yellow reflector vest atop her jacket (I learned long ago to put her in gear that just screams I AM HERE!! ). Everybody is clambering over fallen trees, collecting sap in buckets, and pouring it through the screen covering the port on the collection tank. The earliest green is poking its way through the snow, and deer poop is everywhere. Every while, Amish neighbor moves his team to another spot in the woods as we all empty the sap bags in the vicinity, pouring the sap from the bags (attached to the trees in such a way that you just tip them to empty, but are not detachable unless you want to yank out the spout from the tree) into the buckets and from there into the tank. The kids are smiling like idiots. No sounds of civilization to be heard at all. As the work continues, kids peel layers off and toss jackets onto the cart. It took less than an hour to check all the bags, mostly because the sap has just begun to run and the bags were not full, mostly 1/3 to sometimes 1/2. When we are done, everybody except the Parents Crabbcakes climb atop the cart and let the horses to the heavy pulling out of the woods and up the hill (using our dirt roadway). Hubby and I walk. After everybody making a quick-change of clothing (everybody was wet, due to either accidentally pouring sap on themselves, the drizzle, or falling in the snow) it was off to Amish-neighbor's barn for some syrup cooking.

                The syrup cooker is wood-fired so we all had to help: carrying wood from the dry pile in the back of the barn to the mouth of the cooker to keep it stoked (at full-tilt the wood burner requires a filling every five minutes by the clock); watching the youngest son of the Amish neighbor (he is a toddler and as such loves to try to kill himself either by steaming and/or burning); watching float valves (sap incoming), temperature guages, etc.; and making sure Third didn't try to crawl into the horse stalls in the horse barn (Amish neighbor has four horses total - two draft, one retired buggy horse, and one young but still unpredictable buggy horse). Pretty soon we had a routine - all the kids except the toddler formed a play group and the grown-ups coddled the toddler as we talked about syrup and disabled kids. You see, Amish neighbor is the brother of one of Third's (severely disabled, much more so than Third) classmates, whom she has been in class with since Kindergarten, and we both pulled our kids from the school, so we were catching up on news. Amish wife brought out several dozen eggs to cook in the steam of the cooker and after the requisite minutes we all had a snack.

                There is no syrup yet, as the cooker kinda requires two fillings/tanks of sap before you can pull syrup off, and last night was the first time the cooker was fired up this year/season as well as the first tank of sap.

                Anyway, what a great afternoon and evening!
                Last edited by Crabbcakes; 03-14-2015, 09:45 AM.
                I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                • What a wonderful experience!
                  Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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                  • I want to vacation here...

                    Google "Upcott roundhouse tiny house swoon", the first hit should be at the website tinyhouseswoon.com, that is where you want to go.
                    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Crabbcakes View Post
                      I want to vacation here...

                      Google "Upcott roundhouse tiny house swoon", the first hit should be at the website tinyhouseswoon.com, that is where you want to go.
                      Very pretty! A good place to get a calm head.

                      Check this out: Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, Arizona I've been to the one in AZ, but I guess there's one in San Bernardino. Heck, I just looked at Wiki's info and there are/were a bunch of them: Wigwam Motel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                      B*tch-lite

                      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Crabbcakes View Post
                        the first time the cooker was fired up this year/season as well as the first tank of sap.

                        Anyway, what a great afternoon and evening!
                        Thankyou for this great report, what a fun and educational experience. May there be an abundance of syrup for you all.
                        Annie Ups the Ante
                        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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                        • Have been following up with my neighbor's who started that process about 7-8 years back. Their sap is not running yet and that seems to be odd as our weather has warmed up and the nights are below freezing. Just spoke with them yesterday and they were hoping things would change ASAP. Lots of work. Good family interaction as a unit is always wonderful to experience.
                          Female back to the basics: 11-12-16
                          CW: 10-11-16: 144
                          GW: 130 a dream, I know
                          Muscle soreness surrounding Neck, Thyroid and Rosacea issues.

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                          • Merry Christmas and Happy Yule to all of you here at the MDA!

                            I got a wonderful PM just this evening, which reminded me (with a huge thump) of how woefully I have been neglecting my journal space... And if I am not forgotten by you after such a long absence, then I ought to get my hillbilly heiny in gear and say hello!

                            So... HELLO !!

                            Life at Crabbcakes manor is the usual, for the most part: kids are growing up (Fourth is now 5-foot tall!), I still live in the sticks, Third got herself stuck in the hospital at Thanksgiving. I went to Vegas for 48 hours just after Labor Day (first time in Nevada!) and actually gambled a tiny bit, my German Oma died this fall, my best friend's dad died just a couple of weeks ago. We got two new kittens again just after I wrote last (which brings us up to 10 felines), and the Crabbcakes crew went camping in our crazy good canvas tent in Michigan during cherry season (we brought home 41, yes, forty-one, pounds of hand-picked-by-us cherries to freeze ). My oldest niece is engaged to be married at a nice Navy fella, my two nephews (brothers) moved out of my SIL's house (another SIL) to begin their independent lives. I am gimping around on left foot plantar fasciitis, but otherwise am healthy and scrip/med free. The kids have been on a concert binge in 2015 with hubby - One Direction, the Piano Guys, Owl City, and 2Cellos is upcoming. My herb garden was a sad, sad thing this year, but Fourth got a wonderful corridor of mammoth sunflowers. And I find myself in a much different global frame of mind - not bad, just different; like my old operating system has just been replaced/updated. I think it is the young'uns growing up + old generation dying + zooming in on the Big Five-O.

                            All in all, we are still blessed and still decently boring. Ho ho ho!
                            I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                            • Mrs C, I have just been reminiscing about our delightful catch up, a year or two ago. A lifetime has passed since then !!!!!! Am thrilled that things are thriving at the Crabbcakes manor, and 50 !!!!!!! Welcome to the club my dear girl!
                              Please send love and hugs to all the beautiful crabbies. Very VERY fond memories of you all
                              G x
                              "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

                              ...small steps....

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                              • We all thought of you and hubby and DD, specifically, just this week. Have you seen the vids on YouTube about "angry ram"?? Angry ram and his owner live together on a woodland farm in NZ, and they both have a wicked sense of humor as well as mad camera skills, all the better for us to see them with.

                                HUGS!
                                Last edited by Crabbcakes; 12-22-2015, 11:13 PM.
                                I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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