Monday, March 09, 2009

maple syrup, sewing, and spring cleaning

Well, we made maple syrup again this weekend as we had collected about 10 gallons of sap during the week. Mike modified his barrel stove/evaporator set-up by cutting an opening in the top of the barrel...

...this allowed much more heat to the bottom of the evaporating pan, and as you can see below, the sap boiled nicely...

Last weekend it took us 12 hours to boil about 6 gallons, making just over a pint of syrup. This weekend, with the modification of the stove, it took only 6 hours to boil down 10 gallons of sap, and we ended up with 2 pints of maple syrup...

It makes me so happy to look at these jars and so thankful for all the work Mike did to make it happen. We probably won't be making any more syrup this season, but hopefully next year we will do it again.
The weekend was dreary and rainy so I also did a little sewing ~ Simplicity 4589. Spring always inspires me to get sewing some summer tops and skirts...the fabric was found at Walmart, and though I don't ever seem to wear yellow, the yellow and gray 'cherry blossom' print just appealed to me...

Today, though spring hasn't officially sprung, and there is no doubt we will see more snow, I have been busily spring cleaning::
~ washing walls and surfaces with hot water and some of Mrs Meyers lavender soap
~polishing the wood furniture with homemade lemon oil
~cleaning windows with white vinegar
~and opening the windows and doors, if only for a few minutes when the sun peeks out. Hope your weekend was a good one!


  1. Lovely! My kids and I have been enjoying your posts about the syrup making. We were supposed to go to a mapling day at a local historic house but all got sick with the flu- so they've found these posts pretty interesting. Thanks for sharing!

    And, I share your love for Mrs. Meyers...

  2. Fascinating stuff, all this maple syrup! My folks were in Maine last year and brought back to the UK some of the real stuff for us (ours is a bit pretend!). One daughter will now kill for the stuff on what we call 'drop scones', or pancakes to you!
    Your home looks gorgeous. Lovely blog.
    Catherine x

  3. Well, I'm glad Mikes modifications at the sugar shack paid off. The syrup looks delicious! I envy you being able to make your own!!
    Where did you find your cleaning products?

  4. We went to expereince the process at our county park last week. Truly a labor of love.
    Great fabric!

  5. Anonymous3:16 PM

    We went to expereince the process at our county park last week. Truly a labor of love.
    Great fabric!

  6. You've peaked my interest with the home made lemon oil for polishing the furniture. Would you be willing to share your recipe?


  7. Oh my, I had no idea the labor involved in making maple syrup. I know for a fact that my family will enjoy real maple syrup with new appreciation. :o)


  8. That's wonderful! I can imagine it would be satisfying! And you got quite a lot from it.

  9. The Maple syrup looks yummy. I want to thank you for the pattern for the dish cloths. I have made about ten so far. I posed a picture of two of them back in Feb.

  10. I really enjoyed reading your posts about making Maple Syrup. It's all so interesting to me.

  11. Oh that maple syrup looks wonderful! That is a lot of work though but I bet it created some great memories. Thanks for sharing.


  12. I will appreciate my maple syrup much more now when family sends it to me for a gift! How 10 gallons for 2 pints!
    Can't wait to see the finished product on your sewing. Your blouse you did last spring I think #3835 I have been sewing some of those for me and love them.


  13. The maple syrup making sounds like such fun. Love the material! Beautiful blog.
    Thanks for sharing.

  14. The syrup is just beautiful. I bet it makes you look at it different doing all that work yourself. I can't wait to see your skirt.

  15. What a wonderful Blog post. Lots of beavering away and wholesomeness!

  16. Bet it smells lovely at your house...especially because of the lavender, the lemon and the maple syrup!!

  17. What a great husband! You are so lucky to be able to make your own maple syrup!

  18. Oh yum. I'm supposed to go to a maple syruping boil this weekend but it's doubtful since I'm getting over pneumonia. Watching yours is very good for me. You've got me in the mood for sewing again. Hooray.

    - Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

  19. I Love Maple Syrup and you make your own.... What fun..
    and hey.... all that spring cleaning..... Makes me feel guilty!!!

  20. Just think how you will never take maple syrup for granted every again (that is what I tell the girls about the 6 years of not have a dishwasher ;-) xoxoxo Clarice

  21. Everything probably smells wonderful.

  22. The blouse looks very feminine. I'll have to see if it is available here in Australia. I also would love your recipe for the lemon furniture oil if its one you can share.You bags are just so cute. You are so creative.

    Blessings Gail

  23. Sharon D.10:44 PM

    How fun! Your syrup looks lovely. Nothing compares to REAL Maple Syrup and I bet the satisfaction of producing it yourself is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your adventure :)

  24. Love your sign framed on the wall. Obviously British - "Be Calm and Carry On". Must have been from the WW II era. Something I need to see first thing every morning.


  25. Patty8:11 PM

    Thanks for posting pics of Mike's new evaporator stove modifications. My hubby and I are making maple syrup for the first time this year, and our first attempt wasn't too good (because my husband doesn't want to cut a hole in the top of his old rusty barrel stove). This info will really help us out!

    I like your blouse project, too. You picked really pretty fabric.

  26. Hello!
    I surfed in and saw that your maple sap stove is similar to mine. Would you or your Husband mind talking about stoves?


    Dick Waskey


Thank you for taking time to leave a comment--I love reading each and every one! I will try to answer any questions you have in the comment section. Due to the amount of spam, I am sadly no longer able to accept Anonymous comments....Kindly, Deb


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