The trees got tapped on the 24th. I hung 6 buckets, snapped one drill bit off in a tree. It's been very slow going with the weather, the bright side of that being I've been able to keep up with the sap collected.
With this classy professional setup:
A water canner on a propane base for a turkey fryer. It's ugly as sin but has been absolutely perfect. I set up where I can see it from the kitchen window. In this way it's been like a crockpot, turn it and check on it but basically forget about it. It takes me only seconds to step out the door and top it off. I have no idea how many gallons have been boiled down but the liquid is light brown now and wow, does it taste like sugar. Tomorrow going to be beautiful so I may move the pot over a woodfire for the day to get that smoky flavor we really liked.
There's not much else going on outside. One of the geese has started laying a beautiful large egg every other day. According to my dad, Kwazii has settled in well and "wasted no time introducing himself to the ladies". My dad has Olive Eggers, Buff Orpingtons, Dominiques and Speckled Sussex hens. It might be really fun to incubate a handful of eggs and see what hatches.
There's really been no crafting aside from a few Postcrossing cards. This one was made for a woman in Germany who loves tattoos and is collecting handmade cards. I actually have one of these old style bluebirds between my shoulders, it's funny, I hadn't thought about it a really long time. This might be my favorite handmade card. Mr. H saw me drop it in the mail and wailed "NOOOOOO.... now I'll never learn to draw a bird! Why did you do that!"
The Hound of the Baskervilles is getting started tonight.
I made the goal to read a book a month this year so instead of sewing have been reading Poachers, just finishing it a few days ago. It's another southern gothic type read full of beer drinking, cat shooting and unhappy relationships. Here's my Goodreads review:
Yep. The last story was a doozy. I had both cried and was thoroughly creeped out by the end of it. My wild imagination + the story of the mythical game warden Frank David has all but guaranteed I won't be fishing by myself for a long, long time. Stephen King wrote a short story whose title I can't remember about a young boy who meets Satan while fishing a trout stream. If you mixed that Satan with Mark Trail back in his badass days you would get Frank David.
Well. Moving on, involving fish ironically. Store bought fish.
Lent has been a lesson. I did great with the no meat/fish/seafood for about a week and a half until it occurred to me that I had been dizzy all damn day for days on end. Fish and seafood got added back to the mix and I've been experimenting with tofu.
This is just a crispy tofu stir-fry with a bottled sesame sauce we like.
Green beans, mashed redskins and salmon with ginger/soy glaze:
More fried tofu with a jarred Indian butter chicken sauce from Aldi. Chick peas, green beans. Homemade naan.
A double batch of these delightful things last week:
From Martha Stewart magazine. Oh, are these good.
So basically you mix the first 6 things into a dough and chill it. Roll balls of dough in the coconut (we don't have finely shredded coconut here, I pulsed some in the Nutribullet) put on parchment paper cookie sheet and press your thumb in middle. I don't remember the baking time or temp. You let them cool, dip the bottom in chocolate, let that harden and add the jam (strawberry for us). Really good with coffee or tea. After the cookie sheet fiasco, I baked these on perforated pizza pans lined with foil. My friend L has graciously donated an actual cookie sheet to this pathetic cause. I truly hate shopping. This week I also broke my final remaining liquid measuring cup. It had belonged to my mom. It was a beautiful clear, ornate, depression era thing and I refuse to buy an ugly Pyrex one so have been measuring out liquids using, wait for it, one of Baby P's baby bottles.
Which brings us to the obligatory kiddo update.
These were an impulse buy at Dollar Tree. Good Lord, best $2 ever spent. Mr. H and Mr. A had entire evenings with shark parades, shark fights, shark races. The day they got them Mr. A. fell asleep clutching the balloon's string.
Baby P has mastered the art of rolling. He is adorable with his talking and his big toothlesssmile. And so happy all the time. Easiest baby ever.
Mr. A. has mastered the art of being "2". Here he is today, sulking in the base of the lilac tree. Because I refused to let him climb it while he was holding a hand saw. He's mostly really funny. Last week he grabbed my butter knife at dinner and said "I stab you!" in his little person voice. I mean, of course I took the knife off of him but then I did excuse myself so I didn't start laughing in front of him.
Mr. H is really coming into his own and loves being a big brother to Baby P. He and Mr. A do fight constantly but, really, the younger one starts most of it and Mr. H has the patience of a saint with him.
And that's all I know.
Actually, one more thing. Yesterday marks "12 weeks before our final frost day" here so we will be starting strawberries under lights. I think someone also gave me a free package of cabbage seeds and the geese like cabbage so we will probably start those too.