Mud and Syrup

Cold feet, warm sap.
Cold feet, warm sap.

This week the sap is flOWING! At the weekend we fired up the sap evaporator for the first time this year and it was still a bit gloomy with a touch of flurries. The cat loved the new heater.

Cat Purring Loudly.
Cat Purring Loudly.

We added a rack to get heat flowing better to the sap.

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Watch out, Kitty!
Watch out, Kitty!

Smart animals kept their distance.

Studies say 1 in 5 farm kids will enjoy sapping outside on a blustery day.
Studies say 1 in 5 farm kids will enjoy sapping outside on a blustery day.

I break for a Nala photo.

She loves sapping.
She loves sapping.

I then break for coffee and some light reading. Did you know in the US that a jury can disregard a law if they think it unjust?

Power of the People!
Power of the People!

I can’t stand still so I head down to the goats and chickens for some mud.

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http://thewickedchicken.net/2015/03/17/mud-is-healthy/

I attempt a goat and me selfie, but it’s not really successful. The John Deere cap and scrunchy will keep this shot out of the fashion manuals.

Mollie watching her footing. She detests mud.
Mollie watching her footing. She detests mud.
Mollie, stand still.
Mollie, stand still.

Yes, on sapping days there’s no such thing as glamor, but life is definitely sweet.

 

What To Do In January

Ingredients for deliciousness.
Ingredients for deliciousness.

King Arthur Recipe for Blueberry Muffins

  • 2 1/4 cups  whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or plain (not Greek) yogurt; or 1 1/4 cups liquid whey*
  • cinnamon-sugar for topping, optional

Preheat oven 400

Grease muffin pan (12 muffins), whisk the dry ingredients together with berries, stir in wet ingredients, scoop into pan, throw into oven and wait 18 minutes or so.

Make a double batch.
Make a double batch.
Just be sure not to leave your dog alone in the kitchen. Nala, be good.
Just be sure not to leave your dog alone in the kitchen. Nala, be good.

 


Dog Love

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So last year the little red baby fox that we thought was so cute brought his family to eat our chickens. The death and destruction wasn’t cute, but the fox, peeking his head over our compost heap, panting excitedly for bloody chicken still was kind of adorable. What to do? Someone mean in the family suggested a gun but that wouldn’t be a fair fight and I’ve often heard that new foxes take the place of the old. You probably know where this is going, right? I found a dog on craigslist. Not just any dog but a Maremma. What’s a Maremma, you ask? It’s basically a big white dog who loves his own people, but is a bit iffy with others (especially vets who are afraid of them). Nala (Beloved in Swahili) was supposed to be an outside dog . . . but after she chased off the foxes my husband said her job was done and her reward was sleeping in our bed. This is becoming a pattern. My  husband tells the rest of us that every animal must have a purpose and then he brings home a useless retired dairy goat who winked at him or something. Now we have Nala and her fur on the couch, but I will say that I think it’s a great thing to have a softy of a husband.