Sunday, March 24, 2013

Maine Maple Sunday 2013

The sap started flowing late this year, and we had good weather on Maine Maple Sunday. That means there wasn't a whole lot of maple syrup to go around, and places with big crowds ran out of syrup! Luckily, we got up early and went out of the way to those less-traveled sugar shacks, and followed them up with some tried and true favorites. Here's the run-down.

  1. We started at Norlands, a living museum in Livermore, where volunteers dress up in period clothing and teach you how hard it was to live in Maine in the 19th century. Today we skipped the lesson and opted for a pancake breakfast (delicious!) and a walk down the hill to their sugar shack. They don't sell their own syrup, however, so we just had a little chat and then moved on.
  2. Just down the street in Livermore is Boothby's, which is primarily an apple farm, but they have a small boiler in a trailer. They also make pottery from local clay. They grow honeycrisp apples, and are going on the list of apple farms for the fall.
  3. A little farther south in Hebron is the Cabane a Sucre Bergeron, a Franco-American family-run operation. They have a beautiful sugar house and a separate barn where they served us crepes and sausage. I bought a quart of syrup here. Outside someone taught us to make maple taffy: boil the syrup to 250 °F, then pour onto packed snow circles about the size of a half dollar coin. Let cool, then pick up using a tongue depressor. Eat. Repeat. Amazing.
  4. Next in Poland was the Russell farm, which we had visited for the first time last year, and remembered their maple french toast. We returned to find their sugar house almost complete, with the boiler inside and another generous spread of maple products for sale. We had our long-awaited french toast and bought some other goodies (another quart, some maple-covered peanuts, and maple bread), then headed out. Their parking was limited, not enough to accomodate the visitors.
  5. Then in Casco we visited Sweet William's, because I remembered they had excellent maple fudge. Apparently other people remembered that because I got the last two pieces. They also had the best price on syrup by the gallon, and they were giving away syrup on ice cream.
  6. Our last stop was good old Grampa Joe's in North Baldwin. By the time we got there (just before 3pm), they had stopped cooking, but still had a few sausages warm, and they told us to just take what we wanted. And we wanted those sausages. My mouth is watering just thinking about it now. I also picked up some more maple-covered nuts and maple jelly beans there.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

My hurricane/halloween story

Saturday: We rake the leaves, start putting things away, tying things down. B is in and out of the basement, stowing stuff, idk. He's making a bigger deal of this than I think is warranted. We watch a lot of the weather channel.

Sunday: No cat this morning. I say, "She knows when a storm is coming. She goes somewhere." B says, "If it were really stormy out there, we could keep her inside." "How would you do that?" "When I feed her on the back porch, I have it so she'll come in with the door open just a little bit, even if I'm sitting right there. I'd get her to come in and eat, and while she's not looking, use a broom handle to shut the door." "She'd flip out." "Yeah, but she'd be safe from the storm."
Do all the laundry, bungee cord the 1000-lb cat house down, bring all the tools into the house, etc. idk.

Monday: It's kind of windy. A little rain. I work, B watches the news, which is all weather, all the time. He fills the bathtub with water (for drinking). Gym closes at 1pm. Emergency announcement calls from the mayor say schools are closed. No ballet.

Tuesday: That's about it. No sign of the cat. I slept through yoga, which didn't happen anyway, but the gym was open. A little rain still, and lots of media coverage. Reading in bed that night, I hear noises, like someone's in the house, but of course nobody is. We even do a cursory tour of the basement. B says, "Turn on the TV." No more noises.

Wednesday: Back to normal, but still no sign of the cat. Starting to get worried. Gym, work, etc. Halloween! We turn out the lights to avoid children, and I'm working with music on. Between songs, I hear what sounds like a meow in the hallway. But it could have been a squeaky door. More noises. The lights are out, it's Halloween, and there are strange noises coming from inside the house. B makes fun of me, but he hears them too.

Thursday: Working again, that's definitely a meow I hear. I inspect the basement, sniffing, and notice a faint eau of cat poop. Looking down, directly under my nose and on my turtle rug, a pile of cat poop. Cat must be hiding. And hungry. I put out a bowl of food at the bottom of the basement stairs and a few minutes later hear eating noises. It's HuntsBad! And she's hungry. When she had finished, I opened the hatchway and let her out, then cleaned off the rug. She's now frolicking in the backyard.