Home-made Maple Syrup in the big city

A few weeks ago I heard on the radio that the annual Elmira Maple Syrup Festival (yes, an entire festival dedicated to that sweet delicious goo made from tree sap) was coming up and I got to thinking…

Years ago, when I was a wee lad living on a farm, we tried making our own maple syrup.  Not knowing what we were doing, we headed down to the Co-Op for some supplies, tapped some trees, collected the sap, and boiled it down to syrup.  How hard could it be? Well, had we the foresight to boil the sap outside and not in our kitchen, things would have been much easier (after all, at a ratio of 40:1, that’s a lot of sticky steam all over the kitchen). But worse was the fact that in late March, when there are no leaves on the trees, none of us suspected that two of the seven +80-year-old trees, all in a row, weren’t even Maples. So in the end, we ended up with a very sticky kitchen and some sweet, but strange tasting, cloudy, syrup that no one really wanted to eat. Continue reading “Home-made Maple Syrup in the big city”

Thermapen Unboxing and Review

So, as I alluded to a while ago, I bought myself a Thermapen instant-read thermometer!

First I’d like to talk about buying a Thermapen in Canada, from where yours truly hails. In short, you can try to buy locally (as I always prefer) or import them from either the US or the UK. Preferring to buy locally, I looked around…and around…and around, and only found one supplier, and they came in at a significantly higher cost than anywhere else I could find on-line. Ultimately, I decided to order from ThermoWorks.com, as they were having a sale on at that point which included an oven probe-type thermometer (more on that some other time) and they have a great shipping deal.  Shipping is often a major cost consideration in Canada, as it can often be 50-100% of the item you’re importing! Shipping to Canada via FedEx was $19, including all taxes and duties.  You just can’t do better than that!  I really have to commend ThermoWorks for finding such a great price.

Anyway…on with the unboxing!

Continue reading “Thermapen Unboxing and Review”