Monthly Archives: March 2011

Maple syrup

It is spring, and the snow is serious about melting, as can been seen from the pictures.

Before: March 7th After: March 18th Ready for a picnic?

At our home, the advent of spring also means the beginning of maple syrup production!  Thursday morning I gathered the sap from the dozen trees we tapped this year and began boiling.  About 20 litres of sap boiled and boiled and boiled until I was left with about three cups of syrup.  Friday evening we served the syrup on pancakes.  Delicious!

I really enjoy doing this for several reasons.  First, it gives me an excuse to go outside on nice sunny days, as that’s when the sap flows. Smile Also, it is very much encouraging to have a harvest at this time of year, when nothing has been growing (except the snow piles) for close to half a year.  

Collecting the sap Checking for sap I carry it all to the house in large pails.

A random fact: In 2006, Quebec exported over 30 million litres of syrup, worth over 180 million dollars.  We are pretty sweet people, aren’t we?

Maple syrup is one of the healthiest sweeteners available (and in my opinion, the tastiest).


Percentage of Daily Value (DV) per 60 ml serving (copied from Agriculture Canada):

Elements Maple syrup Honey Sugar Brown sugar
Manganese 100% 3% 0% 9%
Riboflavin 37% 2% 1% 0%
Zinc 18% 2% 0% 1%
Magnesium 7% 1% 0% 7%
Calcium 5% 0% 0% 5%
Potassium 5% 1% 0% 6%
Calories 217 261 196 211

Psalm 119 verse 103 says, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”  This is a reminder to me how important the Word of God is in our daily lives.  It must be daily our delight and delectation.  It should be our chief source of joy and pleasure.  But how often do we forget!  May we learn to say with Job, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” – Job 23:12

Snow, snow, and more snow!

   It is my belief that we are currently in the season called “Still Winter.” Snowstorms in March are not uncommon and this year we received a good one – about two feet in less than 24 hours. (And it is only the beginning of March!) As always, this crystaline beauty was received with delight (at least by most). Daddy needed to get to the hospital for 8:00 a.m. to begin his shift, so the four-man snow clearing crew got outdoors bright and early, or perhaps more acurately said, dark and early. Though the car had been parked strategically the night before, it still took 1 1/2 hours to get sufficient snow cleared to drive the vehicle out. (We later learned that the police were actually out on snowmobiles helping in emergencies such as getting ER doctors to the hopital for their shifts.  Daddy missed a ride, though it might have been rather chilly!)

   Having accomplished the first task at hand, the boys left off shovelling until the snow let up a bit, since, at that time, it was still coming down at a rate of an inch and a half an hour.  At 1:30 p.m. the shovelling began in earnest.  The city snowplough had gone by a few times during the morning, leaving a “small” amount of snow at the end of the drive – three feet of heavily packed snow peppered with sand, gravel, and salt.  A big shovel load of that snow could easily weigh a couple hundred pounds.  Needless to say, it was a lot of work to move it all!  The day wore on and progress was made, but even when the crew (with a couple extra members for the last hour or two) came in at 7:00 p.m., there was still a bit of work left.  Nathanael’s car, parked up against the barn was finally free.  The van remains slightly snow covered, but as we need it later today, it will undoubtedly be cleared soon.

   The stark contrast between today’s weather and yesterday’s is almost amazing.  The sun is shining brightly and there is hardly a cloud to be seen.  Except for being just a bit cold (-20 C) this morning it is just the perfect day to be outdoors.  And that is where many of us will be, for Mommy had offically called it a snow day, once French studies and music practice are done!

   And now for the pictures…

What is that object buried in the snow?  Can anyone identify the model and make?

What is that object?

Maybe this picture would help.

another picture of the car

Because it is taller and in a different location, the wind blew most of the snow off the van.

the van

Our shovelling crew…

David Stephen and Jonathan Nathanael

Pictures of today…

today today

   “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Creative culinary arts

   Over the years, a tradition has developed in our bi-weekly family meetings, that of celebrating birthdays with a cake. A lot of fun goes into these, particularly when it is one of the younger members of our group whose birthday is being celebrated. William T’s was no exception.

   The planning actually began a couple days before and David began mapping out his ideas so that he was all set when he came to decorate. William’s family lives on a dairy farm, so a real-to-life reproduction of the farm seemed an excellent idea. It was quite a production as the photos will tell!

the beginnings of the farm an interested onlooker the cows What is that cow doing in the garden? complete with farm vehicles

the apple trees are even bearing apples the silos and hay bales an overview an arial view

   David, your creativity amazes me, and I am thrilled to see you use the gifts the Lord has given you to bless those He brings into your life! We aren’t all given the ability to produce this kind of creation, but we have each been given talents from the Lord.  May we use them to His glory!

   “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.” Colossians 4:17