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Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Maple Fun on Tap in Thurman
Those of you who know me even a little bit are aware that I am an ardent cheerleader for the little Adirondack town where we live in spring, summer and fall. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I am able to stay connected and involved with community projects there all year long. Right now Thurman is gearing up for the annual maple events, when the town and visitors turn out to celebrate all things maple.
Thurman has quite a number of maple producers - those stalwart folks who admit to being addicted to sugaring. Many tap sugarbushes that were run by their fathers and grandfathers before them. Most primarily use plastic tubing, some with vacuum assist, to deliver the sap to the sugarhouse, and then a variety of equipment is employed to remove the extra sixty percent of water to make it syrup. There are wood- and oil-fired evaporators, SteamAways, and even reverse osmosis machines. There are bottling machines and candy making machines and equipment that makes delicious maple cream.
If you haven't had the chance to see these operations up close, March is the time. I understand the sap has started running, and a great season is anticipated. On March 14th several maple producers will welcome the public for Maple Weekends, and they will open their sugarhouses Saturdays and Sundays throughout the rest of March, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you just can't wait that long, head over to Valley Road Maple Farm, where Mike and Ralph start their breakfast at 9 a.m. They'll flip you some fluffy, hot pancakes with award-winning light amber syrup to drizzle over them. You'll see demonstrations and tours, and you can browse and buy maple goodies. There's no admission, and on certain days there will be special activities. On this first weekend, catch a live radio broadcast by Froggy 107.1. Each weekend Martin's Lumber will offer sawmill demonstrations, talk about sustainable forestry and show off their finest maple slabs and interesting stained glass stepping stones and paper bead earrings.
Saturday evening, March 14th, is the annual Maple Sugar Party, with live music, a buffet of home cooked food, and traditional jack wax (sugar on snow) for dessert. Hot maple syrup that has been cooked down is ladled over cold snow, forming a chewy confection not to be trifled with! Tickets for the dinner are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-11, and free for kids under six. Your support benefits the American Cancer Society, and charity never tasted so good.
I hope those of you within driving distance will pile into the car, pick up a neighbor and head for Thurman. It's a great way to celebrate spring. Details (and maps) can be found by clicking on links at www.Thurman-NY.com or phoning 518-623-9718. Or email me, PersisGranger@aol.com.
Adirondack Gold - A novel by Persis Granger, personalized for you by the author
A young Adirondack boy of the 1890s strives to understand his father's death and forge a bond with his embittered grandfather by reopening the family's maple sugarhouse. Historical fiction for kids 12-99.
Adirondack Gold II: A Summer of Strangers
Strangers enter the life of Hollis Ingraham during a summer of hard times for his family and difficult choices for him. Historical fiction for kids 12-99
Shared Stories from Daughters of Alzheimers- Writing a Path to Peace, edited by Persis Granger
I've written two historical novels for kids 12 - 99, "Adirondack Gold," and "Adirondack Gold II: A Summer of Strangers." I've also contributed to and edited "Shared Stories from Daughters of Alzheimer's; Writing a Path to Peace." Each year, under my business name Fiction Among Friends, I host The Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat in the Lake George Region of New York, in summertime, and The St. George Island Writers' Retreat on the Florida panhandle in November. I also edit the Quarterly, published by the John Thurman Historical Society. I freelance when I can, and have placed articles in "Adirondack Life," "Adirondack Family," "Healing Springs," "BackRoads," and "Adirondack Guest Infomer." Since the summer of 2009 I have helped organize the Second Thursday Readings at Willows Bistro in Warrensburg, NY. Please read more about my projects and passions at www.PersisGranger.com or www.FictionAmongFriends.com.