fresh from the garden

fresh from the garden


Welcome to the ramblings of a fifty-something suburban "farmer"

Hoping that if you should stumble upon this blog my daily musings might bring a little smile to your day.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Enter the twilight zone

Since things were slow down on the farm yesterday we all decided (actually I decided and everyone else just came along)to go to the CT cake competition in Hartford.Cake art is another of my interests so I thought it would be fun. Wanting to broaden my abilities I signed up for a cake sculpting class .Since this is a rather new area of exploration I had no idea what to expect.
Wow!! This was not a very large show (less than 60 cakes ) but nonetheless some of this stuff was amazing.Every piece of every cake had to be edible. Every flower,leaf ,bug,tree,waterfall,shoe,toy ,face,picture,everything. I really should have taken pictures (next time, I promise). It was like an art gallery with direct interpretation , minimalist, abstract ,classic, modern, etc. The attention to detail was meticulous from the veining on the oak leaves to the life like texture of the scarlet roses.
We ran into one of my decorating teachers who was there with her niece,they both had entries that were very impressive.
Now the real fun begins. About half an hour before my class with Carol Murdock (food network competitor oooh!!) I decide it's time to round up my box o goodies for this class.No problem it's a five minute walk to the garage ,the car is parked in 3E , five minutes back no prob.Yeah right....
Getting to the garage I immediately start through the labyrinth for 3E which has got me thinking "where's the cheese?"I find 3E after 15 turns ,6 levels and about 10 minutes.NO CAR!!! It's got to be here somewhere ,continuing to look I go down to 2E ,up to 4E, NO CAR!!!!Now I start getting a bit nervous so I call my wife "3E right?" She assures me that's it. Time is quickly getting away and I'm starting to panic a little .All of my decorating stuff is in the trunk(we were thinking about a new car anyways).It's funny how my mind works sometimes. By this time I am now late for my class ,out of breath from going up and down and around and I still haven't found the car or the cheese*.Suddenly from between the pillars I see our car jeering at me "haha I 'm here and you can't get me!"Logic momentarily left as I thought about jumping over the fence and through the pillars (watching too many 24 episodes and I'm not Jack).Looking down rapidly brought me to my senses as it was about 40 feet down if I miscalculated.Viewing my options it didn't seem that I "coold get theya from heah".calculating that i had to go down 2 floors then come up I was finally reunited with my required material for my class and only 45 minutes later.
All hot and sweaty with my blood pressure through the roof I finally get to my class 20 minutes late . We made a cake sculpted smart car. pretty cool I must say .
*cheese reference "mouse in maze".

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Many Blessings

While some of the rewards of making maple syrup are quite obvious (mmm... yummy pancakes)others are more subtle but just as important to me. While collecting the little amount of sap available this morning I was able to marvel at God's creation . The woods were beautifully frosted with a blanket of fresh snow. It appeared that each branch tip and pine needle had beeen individually painted by His hand and topped with a sparkling dust. Greeting me also was one of the neighborhood bunnies (this time of year there is a truce but when my garden comes in watch out).Crispness in the air seems to make the early bird calls more crystal clear and alert.So even if it wasn't a great haul for sap this morning it's still worth the trek(exept for the glom of snow down the back of my hoodie).

Friday, February 26, 2010

the jinx is on

Well ,I'm not a superstitious person but it seems that as soon as I started writing this blog about my adventure in maple syrup everything stops.Hmmm??? I wonder if I started blogging about government spending or reality TV shows it would do the same thing? Well at least it's stopped raining (now it's snow).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

rain rain go away

Remembering when ..... the sun was shining, the sap was flowing, life was good ,such a long time ago. Alright maybe it was only Monday.It seems like a long time ago. Feeling like maybe instead of a sugar shack I might have built an Arc instead.
I was cruising along full steam ahead, The evaporator was boiling sap and the amounts collected were growing exponentially .Expectations were on the rise ,then boom ,nothing but rain. Can I boil that?Hmmmm.
It's funny how in such a short time I can go from not even thinking about maple syrup except will I have it on french toast or waffles to Jonesing for the smell of wood smoke and maple steam. Must remember this is only a's only a hobby ,it's only a hobby, it's onl................

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

here goes nothing

I've never written a blog before but this seems like a good way to chronolog my adventure in maple sugarin.It's funny because 6 weeks ago I knew I liked maple syrup and had been to a sugar house in my youth (thought it was pretty cool) and that was about it. How things change. I now know how it's made and have actually succeeded in producing almost half a gallon of this golden brown nectar to the astonishment of my wife and daughter .my neighbors have allowed me to "Cullen" their maples and I have quite a few on my own property. We even have a sugar shelter in the backyard (not quite a sugar shack ,no roof yet). I've been able to Macgiver all this together for around $100 and put to use many of the items that I always said I would use "someday".I'll be adding some photos in the near future.