From the Easy Reader Archives: Houndsley and Catina
"The transformation of the foreign into the familiar"

Maple Syrup, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Snow

Reading this post from March 2007, I remembered how much fun it was making maple candy. We have the syrup, we have the snow, maybe we'll try this again. Meanwhile, I'm going to have to hitch up the team of horses to the sleigh to fetch Jr. at school today. The flakes are really coming down right now at 11 a.m.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Inspires Kitchen Mess

Img_0126 Our house smells so good right now, like maple syrup, because we did it! We made maple candy just like Grandma Ingalls did in Little House in the Big Woods. The weather cooperated by providing us with fresh snow this morning. We boiled up maple syrup into the "soft ball" stage, which candy makers evidently know about, and which, by luck, we managed. Junior was great about stirring the syrup and then, when the big moment came, running outside for plates of snow. Because the mixture was so hot, I (not Junior) drizzled it onto the fluffy snow. And, lo, there was candy! The taste is subtle, a gentler maple flavor than I expected. Perhaps that's attributable to my store-boughten syrup; I don't know.

Our plan was to follow Grandma Ingalls's example and make maple sugar when our caImg_0128ndy syrup started to "grain." That was not to be; the potion burned. No flames, don't worry.  I should have turned down the heat, or congratulated myself on the first success and stopped.  Still, it was fun, and a good activity for a snowy day.  And our kitchen got very messy and sticky.

Img_0123 Here is the picture of a modern-day sugar house, at a local organic farm. You can click on the photo to enlarge it. Yesterday I wrote about some great books for children on maple sugaring, in addition to Little House.


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Wow. I used to love the Little House books, and I had never even thought of trying anything Laura and her family did in the books.

That looks like so much fun. I've always wanted to try making maple candy after reading the Little House in the Big Woods many years ago. Laura and Mary were my heroes as a little girl!

Thanks for sharing, wish we had some fresh snow...

Meechelle, ha, yes, sweet.

DaraAngel, it was a lot of fun! And very entertaining on a snow day.

Holly, give it a shot!

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