The weather here is finally improving (I’ve been dancing around because of it all week), which of course can’t help but put me in good spirits. Today the forecast is calling for thunderstorms, and I couldn’t be happier. Rain is awesome as it is, but rain with thunder and lightning is even better. But anyway…

Izz's Sugar Snow

A couple of mornings ago, I awoke to snow (as shown above)…but not just any snow, as it clung to the branches of the trees making the world a glistening white wonderland…for a little while anyway. It was a “sugar snow”. For anyone who may not be familiar with that term, the “sugar” part of it has nothing to do with the color, the texture, or the taste of the snow. It really is just SNOW in the end. It has to do with the time of year, which is Maple Sugaring time. As I’ve stated (probably more times that I’ve needed to), the days are getting longer as well as warmer (more dancing around…sorry about that), which promotes the sap to run in the trees. Here in the North Country (as well as in some other places fairly close by), we are particularly interested in the sap from the Sugar Maple, for when that sap is extracted from the tree, and then boiled down for a few hours, you come up with some of the most heavenly stuff in the world: Maple Syrup. Anyone who has ever had some of the real stuff usually can’t tolerate the fake ick that they try to pass off as the real stuff in your neighborhood box mart. Pure maple syrup is simply divine, and goes well with more than just your average, everyday pancakes. I use it for braising vegetables (most notably carrots), for topping ice cream, for some breads, and lots of other things.

Maple Sugaring

So why am I talking about this? I don’t know really…I suppose it was just one of those things I had kind of forgotten about while I was living away from here for so many years. It’s amazing how much you forget about a place that you lived practically your whole life in, and yet how quickly it all comes back after you return. I’d been seeing all of those little buckets hanging on the trees, and I remembered the spring that I did the same thing. How truly satisfying it was to collect the sap day after day, and then after the sap was done running, to take it all and boil it for hours until you have the right consistency. That was the best maple syrup I’d ever had, and I think it has a lot to do with all of the work I put into making it. As I see those buckets, I remember good times from my childhood that were so long forgotten. Things that I would love to share with my own children, and have them experience as well.

Nostalgia…that’s why I’m writing about this. I’m feeling nostalgic and that’s a good thing.