★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
December 17, 2013
★~ Today’s Quote: Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.— Carl G. Jung
★~ National Maple Syrup Day:
In the early years of maple syrup crafting, 40 gallons of maple sap were boiled over a fire until 1 gallon of syrup was created from its sugars. Maple syrup is a distinctly North American product. Canada, the largest supplier of maple syrup, produced 5.1 million gallons of it in 2010!
Native Americans were the first to harvest and boil the sap of the maple tree into a thick syrup during the 1600s. Tapping a maple tree does not damage the tree and only 10 percent of the sap that is produced in a year is actually collected. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 years or more.
Maple Syrup Day is easy to celebrate just use it to top pancakes, waffles, or vanilla ice cream. Try to avoid the imitation maple syrup tho and buy the real deal.
★~ Saturnalia ( Dec 17–23):
Saturnalla is the Ancient Roman festival honoring Saturnus, Two thousand years before Jesus was born, the pagans celebrated a festival called the Saturnalia (feast of Saturn), the god of agriculture. It was a time of merriment at the end of harvesting and wine making. Presents were exchanged, sacrifices offered, and masters served their slaves. Yule logs were added to large bonfires to help warm the earth and bring new crops in the spring. Evergreens believed to be magical were hung in temples and homes. Hence, “Deck the halls with boughs of holly.” Have a little extra fun today and honor Christmases pagan roots.
★~ Today in History:
♥~ 1843 – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was published in London and immediately sold out. He wrote the story in just two months, beginning in October, 1843 and finishing at the end of November. It was the first of five Christmas books by Dickens. Its successors were The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain (1848).
♥~ 1903 – The Wright Brothers earned their wings, by successfully flying an airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. That was the day Orville Wright made the first powered flight of a plane, going 120 feet in 12 seconds. Later in the day, brother Wilbur kept the plane in the air for about a minute.
♥~ 1955 – Carl Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes. Less than 48 hours later, he recorded it at the Sun Studios in Memphis. The tune became one of the first records to be popular simultaneously on rock, country and rhythm & blues charts.
♥~ We pause for a moment in remembrance of Tiny Tim (Herbert Buchingham Khaury) marrying Miss Vickie (Victoria Budinger) on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.
♥~ 1979 – Former Hollywood stuntman Stan Barrett became the first person to break the sound barrier on land. He reached a top speed of 739.666 miles per hour in a 60,000 horsepower rocket vehicle at Rogers Dry Lake, CA.
♥~ 1989 – The first episode of The Simpsons aired, Created by Matt Groening, it’s the longest-running animated series in television history. The premiere episode was a Christmas special. Groening has described the characters as “creatures of consumption and envy, laziness and opportunity, stubbornness and redemption. Just like the rest of us. Only exaggerated.”
★~ Born Today:
♥~ 1760 – Deborah Sampson. Born at Plympton, MA, Deborah Sampson spent her childhood as an indentured servant. In 1782, wishing to participate in the Revolutionary War, she disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Continental Army’s Fourth Massachusetts Regiment under the name Robert Shurtleff. Her identity was unmasked, and she was dismissed from the army in 1783. In 1802 Sampson became perhaps the first woman to lecture professionally in the US when she began giving public speeches on her experiences. Deborah Sampson died Apr 29, 1827, at Sharon, MA. Full military pension was provided for her heirs by an act of Congress in 1838.
♥~ 1949 – Paul Rodgers songwriter, singer: groups: Free: All Right Now; Bad Company: Shooting Star; solo: LPs: Cut Loose, Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters, The Hendrix Set, Live: The Loreley Tapes, Now, Live, Electric
♥~ 1956 – Peter Farrelly, American film director, screenwriter, producer and novelist. The Farrelly brothers are mostly famous for directing and producing gross-out humor romantic comedy films such as Dumb and Dumber, Shallow Hal, Me, Myself and Irene, There’s Something About Mary and the 2007 remake of The Heartbreak Kid.
★~ Good to Know:
♥~ Great web site for all things Maple: Pure Vermont Maple: Official site Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association
♥~ Pure maple syrup is not to be confused with “breakfast syrups” or “pancake syrups” like Aunt Jemima, or basically anything you get at diners and fast food restaurants. Those aren’t made from maple sap at all, but from high fructose corn syrup flavored with an aromatic compound called sotolon, which contains the scent of fenugreek, curry and burnt, caramelized sugar. American labeling laws prevent these imitations from carrying the word “maple” on their labels.
♥~ It takes four maple trees that are at least 40 years old over six weeks to produce 35 to 40 gallons of maple sap, which equates to one gallon of maple syrup (which sells for about $50).
♥~ Tapping does no permanent damage to the tree, and only 10 percent of the sap is collected each year. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 or more years.
♥~ The maple season may last eight to 10 weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for about 10-20 days in the early spring.
♥~ So what makes sap rise? “The sap we call maple syrup is a special case involving stem pressure,” or the way that nutrients are distributed throughout the tree. “‘In daytime in late fall through spring, when the leaves are not out, cells in the stem start metabolizing. The process, which is not fully understood, produces carbon dioxide, which collects in the spaces between the cells. The pressure forces the sap out when a hole is made.”
♥~ Don’t fake it! In 2011, a bill was introduced to make it a felony to sell fake maple syrup (meaning it is just pure cane sugar).
♥~ Vermont is the biggest US producer, with over 1,320,000 US gallons during the 2013 season, followed by New York with 574,000 US gallons and Maine with 450,000 US gallons.
♥~ The Province of Quebec, produces more maple syrup than all other U.S. states and Canadian provinces combined.
♥~ Try a Maple Syrup Liquor or enjoy a maple syrup cocktail.
♥~ “Sugar on Snow,” is a traditional Vermont dish in which freshly boiled syrup is poured on late winter snow, creating a taffy-like consistency. It is traditionally eaten with a sour pickle to offset the sweet maple flavor.
♥~ In the United States Maple syrup is divided into two major grades: Grade A and Grade B. Grade A is considered the premiere type that’s meant for eating, while Grade B is so dark that it’s generally only used for cooking or baking. Grade A is broken into three subgrades, which are measured by their translucence: Light Amber, Medium Amber and Dark Amber. Check out the Huffington posts Guide To Maple Syrup Grades to determine the best Maple syrup to drizzle over pancakes, bake in a cake batter, or add to a cocktail.
I feel a little like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, “I’m late, I’m late….” as I dash around trying to wrap Christmas up, so I’m ready to devote my time to meeting, greeting, and playing with campers. Last night we had pizza for dinner which I love, but it made me so thirsty that I woke up to guzzle water at 3 am and ended up writing about white rabbits at 4am, which means by 1pm I won’t know sit-up from sic um. You know, tho, it always gets done and that is what I keep telling myself. I also keeping telling myself that I should start earlier, but I just can’t do Christmas in October.
It’s snowing and 18F degrees as I type. I would dearly love for Cole to have a snow day, but I just don’t think that is going to happen. I could use a second pair of hands at home. Some times, I really regret not homeschooling!
Wishing you a terrific Tuesday, but if it is not terrific feel free to rant because, my Odd friends, today is Rant Tuesday and your rant is our rant.
Odd Loves Company!