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”

Here comes science!

[Ed.:  I would like to heartily welcome Dr. D. Gustibus to ScavengerGourmet.com and thank the good doctor for this, and hopefully many more insightful and entertaining articles to come. -Mr. Carnegie]


My near and dear friend Mr. Carnegie asked me if I would write the occasional post on this fine blog, to which I agreed. In keeping with the general theme of this blog and given my background (PhD in psychology), my posts will focus largely on the intersection of food and science. Eating and drinking are activities we engage in every day yet I imagine many of us don’t think about the hows and whens and whys and whats of how and when and why and what we eat…or with whom 🙂

Fortunately, there are a great many people out there who make it their business to delve into these topics and I intend to share some of these fascinating insights with you, the fine readers of this blog.

Let’s start off with a “heartwarming” topic: Comfort food. The term is widely used and, I imagine, familiar to most. But, is comfort food really “comforting”? That is, why do we so often seek out those foods that are high in fat, sugar and starch?

Some yummy lookin' ribs on the smoker

Continue reading “Here comes science!”