Last week Pam shared lovely posts - here and here - after her visit to Kings Landing Historic Settlement. As you will see in Pam's post there was a maple sugaring taking place.
I found it fascinating to see Pam's pictures. It was so fascinating for three reasons, I have long been interested in this activity, because I love to eat maple syrup, and because the picture on my calendar this month is a depiction of a maple sugaring event.
You can see that the sap has been gathered in buckets from the trees, and is then boiled over the fire in a very big pot until the sap turns into syrup. Then you can take the syrup and pour it in pretty shapes into a barrel of snow and that gives you maple candy to eat.
My fascination with maple sugaring started may years ago when I first read Little House in the Big Woods.
Fans of the book will recognise these images. Below you can see Laura and Mary making their own candy in pans of snow. They were not using maple syrup for this, but a mixture of boiled molasses and sugar. This candy was to be kept for Christmas.
A little later in the book you read about how Laura's Grandpa has been preparing all winter to collect the maple syrup by making troughs and buckets to collect the syrup in. There is a wonderful description of how the troughs are put into the tree and then left to allow the sap to pour into the buckets as the weather gets warmer and the sap starts to rise in the tree.
Pa then explains to Laura how the sap is boiled to make the syrup. There had been great excitement in the story because there had been a sugar snow. This meant that it had snowed and therefore the weather cooled down. Because of this the sap would run for longer, meaning more maple syrup!
There was then a great dance to celebrate the sugar snow and the syrup and sugar that could be made. At the end of the dance Laura and Mary got to make some maple candy of their own in pans of snow.
I don't know when I first read this book, but I remember the story so well all these years later.
So when I saw Pam's posts I found them so interesting and they bought back good memories of reading Laura's story.
It is funny when things combine like that isn't it - the posts from Pam, my calendar picture and my memories!