Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Lenten Season and Maple Sugaring Time

March is a busy time for us. But, its a good time too.
I actually love Lent. If it is March that means it's Lent. And Lent means fish fry's at our church. We walk down to the hall every Friday during lent. The fish is great and the people are too. It feels like a real community. But, my love of Lent doesn't end at the fish fry's. 
 All of the customs of Lent help me to remember God more throughout my day. I pray a little more and it really sets the pace for the rest of the year. I've been trying to remember to pray even while I'm working on something. Sometimes when I get busy I forget. And they say that's when you need it most. I never would have thought I could learn to love a time that centers around fasting, prayer, and alms giving. But, I do. 

We just finished the first harvest of the year. March is maple sugar time. Every year we tap the trees in our front yard. We fill buckets full of sap, and when we get enough, it is all boiled down into syrup and sugar. Boy starts it outside but, when it gets to the syrup stage we finish it off in the kitchen. It makes the whole house smell delicious. This was a very good year for it. We have over six pounds of maple sugar in our cabinet and I have 1/2 a gallon of syrup in my fridge. It didn't all come from our trees. Boy and his cousin get extra sugar for us by volunteering at the county park. Our family is a little sugar crazy. We even went down to the Maple Sugar Festival in Southern Indiana.
If your wondering what on earth I am going to do with 1/2 a gallon of syrup, well I'll tell you. I'm going to eat it. It isn't just good on pancakes. Its good in yogurt, oatmeal, drizzled on bread, brandy (yeah, that's right) , and a new recipe I fell in love with called pumpkin griddle cakes. As for the sugar, most of it will be used for our group at various French and Indian reenactments that we do throughout the year. But, some of it will wind up on pork loins... And, some is going to go in my tea. Don't tell. 
 Boy does theater with the kids at school. The end of March means that it's showtime. It starts in November and he finished up just this past week. It means the end of lots of long workdays and long nights. I'm happy to have him back at home. 
The end of March also signifies that my daughter is going to be one year old. Amazing. 

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