Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Another Sugar Shack

 For someone like me that never wants Winter to leave, these sugar shack trips are the last hurrah before Spring moves in. No matter how warm it is at home, the sugar shacks seem to always still have snow at this time of year.  I get my last snow fix.

 A nice old Ford tractor.

 The shopping area.  The shacks sell everything they make.  A lot of shacks now sell maple cotton candy and this year we bought our first maple peanut butter.

 Maple shots anyone?  Each sugar shack offers samples of all of the grades of maple syrup they make.  You can taste everything from the lightest grade A (mild) to the darkest amber (robust).  It used to be that the lightest was the most expensive and the most popular.  You could buy the dark syrup very cheap.  Not anymore!  People have caught on that the dark syrup is more concentrated and has a better flavor.  Right now, all the grades are priced equally.

 More awards.

 I would like to have a maple syrup window in my house.

 Vintage syrup tins.

 On the way home we stopped at a wonderful pottery shop.

 Be still my heart.  I love pottery.

 They were selling insect hotels which impressed The Blog tech since he built one for the community he works in last year.

I was so good.  I didn't buy any pottery though it was tough walking away from it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Sugar Shack

 Last Saturday we went to our last Maple Festival of the season.  It sure flew by fast this year.

 This is one of The Blog Tech's favorite sugar shacks.

 You can see all of the different spiles used to tap the trees.  Click for a closer look on any pics.

 And here you can see why this is The Blog Tech's favorite shack.

 Some of the free samples.


 Stoking the fire in the boiler.

 Hot dumplings right out of the oven.  All they need is the vanilla ice cream and maple syrup which they top them with.  Surprisingly, The Blog Tech passed on a dumpling.

 Vintage syrup cans and awards won by this shack.

 These girls show you how the pioneers made syrup over an outdoor fire.

 The Blog Tech and his wife did, however, imbibe in maple milkshakes.

 And maple hot dogs.  And that was just at the first maple shack.  They ate maple products all day long until TBT was turning a bit green around the gills by the end of the day.  His wife never faltered. She was still sampling maple products at the last shack.  They are a couple made for each other!

And so we were off to the next place.  More tomorrow!

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Good Day at the Thrift Shop

 Sometimes you just get lucky at thrift stores.  I found this old oil painting on Saturday for 19.99.

 It's big too.  It's 3'X2'.  I'm taking it to have it framed later today.  And yes, to answer a question in the comments, it is signed....Chappel.

 And I found this nice pottery plate and bowl for 59 cents!

 Great glass flower frogs for 99 cents each.

 The bowl inspired me to make hummus.

Perfect!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I'm posting this comment which was left on my last post just in case any of you missed reading it.  I'm posting it for a number of reasons.  The first reason is that I think we all need to see how "the other side" thinks.  I think it is good for us to try to understand how others justify The Troll's actions.  I'm also posting it because I was in no way speaking politically, though I certainly could.  I was speaking about something close to my heart.  I am in the trenches with these kids every day so I speak from knowledge, not just emotionally which this comment accuses me of, as if it's the wrong place to be coming from. It also questions that what I do isn't the right approach...I should be out in the community telling parents how to be good parents?  WOW!  I'm sure that would work out really well.  Assuming that these children are where they are because of bad parenting is a very bigoted remark whether or not you think of yourself that way. The biggest reason why I am posting this is because I am really sick and tired of the fact that the people that leave nasty comments on blogs are always the ones that have no link back to themselves.  It's so easy to be brave when you don't have to show your face.  I never mind someone disagreeing with me. It's actually always an opportunity to learn something.  I just don't suffer cowards well. So, for all of you blog bottom dwellers...grow a pair.

Here it is in all it's glory:

Blogger lynney62 said...
I have followed your blog for almost 6 years and so enjoyed all of your postings. I was sad to see your post today. You see, I live in Illinois, a "Flyover" State I'm sure you've probably never visited. I am one of "those horrid, ignorant, stupid, uneducated, racist, anti-semitic, LGBT hating people who "clings to their guns and religion"" who voted for President Trump. But you see, you don't know me at all! Because you never tried to know me. One of my very best friends is gay and lives happily in a gay relationship...One of my closest relatives is happily in an inter-racial marriage with a precious multiracial child... But you don't wish to know me, a person who wants America to be safe, secure, strong, and full of opportunity for all who come here "legally" and live according to the Laws of our Constitution and country. Also, you don't seem to see the HUGE debt that our last 6 Presidents and paid politicians have placed on you, myself and our children....You don't seem to see how each State would be more able to manage programs such as yours through cutting other programs of free education, food stamps, etc to "Illegals" that drain our State and Federal Budgets Why is it okay for some who come here to do so "illegally" when so many have come here "legally" and made our country great..What does this say to those folks who worked hard to come following our laws? And how can we call ourselves free without having those laws? ....I admire all of your work and time given to these inner city children...But I ask you...Would you give some time to work in those areas to teach women how to be good mothers, teach men how to be responsible fathers..work in your local government to bring prosperous economy, new businesses, jobs, to those people....Then programs like yours would not be so needed. Families could be reestablished to work together to grow for a better life. I'm doubtful you will really understand what I'm trying to say......I understand how different many of us are......You live through "feelings"....I live through "reality" and looking at the very long term for my child..I want America to stay a free country with Laws that keep us free.....Don't worry...I won't bother you again...And I won't be reading your blog daily anymore...I just have a hard time with the way you spoke about our President...If I had spoken that way about President Obama, I would have been called a "hate monger and a racist"...But life, sadly, is full of double standards.............................

Friday, March 17, 2017

No More Food or Anything for the After School Kids

A representative for Mr. Tangerine Man said that there is no proof that these after school programs help the kids and they can no longer use our tax dollars to support them.  Well bad dude, I see how these programs help these kids every single day.  You just took away the one bit of hope that these kids have, not to mention the food that I myself feed them.  You just took away their safe place.  Their place of nourishment (not just from the food) will no longer exist.  But then, how would you know?  You've never set foot in one of these places and OMG...there are no white faces.  Make sure to build the TRUMP wall which we need so desperately.  Maybe you can paint it gold.  You are a giant, moronic piece of shit.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

St. Patrick's Day for the After School Kids

 I made halushki for the kids for St. Patty's Day. Hey....it has cabbage!  This year's kids are slightly pickier than last year and I just couldn't think of anything Irish that I thought they all would like.  But they love halushki so that's what I made.

 Since I am now cooking for the group in the new town as well as the original group, it limits me somewhat,  I made 25 quarts.

 And I made them 60 individual trifles.

 These are made by layering chopped oreos, chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding and whipped cream.  The are topped with a sprinkling of chopped thin mint cookies.  Some kids ate 3 of them.

Packed up and ready to go.  The slow cooker is for the smaller group.  The larger group got a roaster full of it.  One of the trickiest things about cooking for so many is transporting the food. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tofu Buddha Bowls

The Blog Tech and his wife are on diets.  They are going on their honeymoon in early may.  Bali!!!  Lucky kids!  I am helping them by making healthy low cal meals and these buddha bowls have become their new favorites.
You can make many variations of this depending on what your preferences are and what you have on hand.  For this batch, I sauteed onions just until they began to turn translucent.

 Then I browned some zuchinni.  Season everything with salt and pepper as you cook them.

 I added sauteed asparagus too.

 I baked some tofu but you could use chicken or shrimp or any protein of your choice.

 This was layered over Israeli couscous.  You can change up the grain and use rice or faro or anything that floats your boat.

You can also vary dressings though I made an Asian one for these bowls:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil 
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang paste