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Wednesday, April 1, 2009


No this is not a still and they are not making moonshine. This is a maple syrup operation in the bush just off the highway. I had seen the pails on the trees and occasionally a van parked by the side of the road - the other day I saw the smoke and knew that he was beginning to boil the sap down. I learned today that it is Jack - Vickie's husband and a friend (I didn't get his name) After my long hard day at the Wharncliffe Hall I decided to stop for a visit and a picture. It was a long climb up the hill and I didn't have my best hiking boots on. Those barrels on the left hand side are filled with sap. The fire pit in the middle is all hand made from an old culvert. And finally the actual boiling pot is also handmade. He has plenty of wood for the fire. Jack said that it is a great year for the sap around here. He has to boil the sap down within four days or he has to get rid of it as it spoils. So he spends his days up on the hill boiling the sap. He showed me the sap in one of those barrels and I tasted it. It was a bit sweet and crystal clear. I can't wait to taste the finished product. Home grown maple syrup.
It was hard work at the hall today. My job was to remove the tiles in the front room. The only tools we had were a plain old knife. There was no way. Cheryle had to go home to get something and I asked her to bring me back a round shovel. Boy did that make the work easy. It came up like butter. After that I cleaned the windows and the doors. Then on to the kitchen. Everything in that kitchen has to be cleaned. We threw out all the food stuff ie spices, sugar, flour etc. We had not been in that kitchen in over a year and a half so everything was pretty well past it's prime. We finally stopped at about 2pm because we ran out of hot water. We'll go back on Monday to continue. BUT rumor has it there will be a dinner each month, plus the pig roast - a major social event up here plus bake sales and garage sales. Phyllis figures that the donations will not be as high this year with the economy being as bad as it is so we will bake our way thru the hard times.
I got home and Rejean had put the hardware on the doors and attached them to the cabinets. I still had one final coat on the tops to do. Do they every look good. I'll post a picture tomorrow of the finished product. I'll even put the granite counter top with the sink on the centre cabinet to get the full effect. The chrome knobs just puts the finishing touch on it. He also got the waterproof membrane in the shower so tomorrow we finish the cement board and lay out the floor before we put the thin set down. And so it begins.....
See ya By


Anonymous said...

Did you know that the best type of bottles to use for the home made maple syrup in unwashed Rum Bottles. For best results leave about 1/4 teaspoon of Rum in the bottom of each bottle. This will prevent mold from forming in the bottles. Fred Gurnsey and his brother have been making home made maple syrup for over 55years and they have never had a bottle go bad. Share this info with your new friends or maybe they already know this secret.

Anonymous said...

too bad my boys are done with their maple syrup-it was a good year-they started the 1st week of march and it is all done now. i will add some rum toevery bottle-just in case-but we freeze all the syrup-sistersue