Monday, January 30, 2012

Maple Syrup!!!!

We did it!!! We actually made maple syrup from our big leaf maples in out back yard. Our 4 gallons of maple water boiled down to about 10 ounces of maple syrup. Our maple syrup has some sugar crystals that settled on the bottom of the jars. I'm not exactly sure how to filter them out, but a friend told me not to get rid of them. So for now I think we will just pour the syrup off the top trying not to disturb those crystals too much. Oh - and it taste so good!
Boiling down.
The end result.
See how the sugar crystals settled?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Maple Syrup in the Making...

A few recent events brought us to this point. It may have all started when I decided to do a 30-day no sugar challenge, dropping all processed sugar and using instead only honey and maple syrup. And for those of you who know me, you know I have a huge sweet tooth, so this is a big deal! A friend who came back from her family farm bearing a jar of homemade maple syrup could have given me a big push. And my husband showing up with 10 taps on loan from a co-worker through me right over the edge. We ARE making our own maple syrup!! Our first attempt at tapping the tree didn't go so well. We put two taps in and nothing. Waited another day, then two and still nothing. It was time to move on down the hill. For those of you in the know, we have 2 acres of land. Nearly 1 1/2 acres of it lay in what we like to call "the canyon." It's steep, and wet, oh and did I mention - steep? Yea. So down we hiked. We put all 10 taps in 3 trees and the maple water just started flowing. It was like magic! We left them alone for a few hours and came back later to find most of the buckets full!! I'm guessing we collected nearly 3 gallons of maple water in only 4 hours. All I know is that my gallon jug couldn't hold it all in one trip down so we had to take 3. Did I mention how steep the canyon is? We are going to see what turns up in the buckets tomorrow and then attempt to boil it all down and make us some syrup. So come back and check on our progress!
My big helper carrying the empty jug down the canyon.
The taps!
My first full jug of maple water!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Snow Stuff...

Not only have I been working away on some of the projects on my list, but I also found a few minutes to clean out my fabric stash today. It was getting pretty messy in there and full of small scraps that should be in the scrap box. So I pulled everything out, re-folded and organized by color. Ahhhh....much better!

Snow Day Peasant Dress

I was expecting to be snowed in for a few days and so I lined up a few projects to work on. I saw this long-sleeve peasant dress from the Prudent Baby and had to make one for Sage. Seriously - it was so easy! And it turned out really cute. The fabric is some really lightweight corduroy from JoAnns. I think I'm going to make a few more of these - maybe with 3/4 sleeves for spring.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mini-mochi Scarf

This little scarf just came off my needles last night. I love that it's not too long and I love, love the bright yellow color! Perfect to brighten up a winter day and light enough to wear in the spring. Oh - and - how do you like my new glasses? I am loving them! We are getting ready for a big snow storm here so I'm all stocked up on sewing and knitting projects. I'm hoping to hunker down and get lots done including a birthday present for a special little girl, a new dress for Sage, a knitting bag for me and some prairie boots on the needles! Come on SNOW!!!