Posts tagged ‘handcrafted’

April 15, 2012

Maple Sugaring

by Jillian Douglas

It was not my intention to neglect you, oh blog! Life has the uncanny habit of swallowing me whole at times.Don’t worry though, it spat me back out. It’s good to be back! I have many posts floating through my head, ready to land in the crisp screen of a blog post.

First up is fun with maple syrup making!

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Mid-March I went to my dear friend’s house and had a great time with her family and another friend, watching the maple syrup process and making maple cream candies with them. They only have 3 sugar maple trees, each tapped twice, but this apparently creates a substantial amount of sap, which is then boiled down to syrup.

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This process interests me a lot! I love handgrown and homemade things. Collecting sap for syrup-making is on my list of Dreamy To-Do’s, along with beekeeping, canning homemade salsa, and sewing my own clothes.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera when I went over (sigh), so I only have photos of the delicious syrup they gave me. Which we consumed it in a week. (hah!)

We also made chocolate-covered maple cream candies! They were so easy but delicious (and I discovered a new chocolate pair that I adore… Nate didn’t like it especially, but I loved it. Even more than chocolate + bacon…).

Simply melt chocolate chips in the microwave, then dollop a bit into paper candy wrappers. This makes a bottom for the candy (it will appear similar to a Reese’s peanut butter cup later). Then place that in the freezer until the chocolate is stiff while you mold your maple cream into little balls (my friend’s dad had made the maple cream by simply heating maple syrup. I didn’t catch how to do that, but here’s a recipe elsewhere. He apparently did it a little longer than usual to make the consistency thicker and moldable, and placed that in the freezer to stiffen a bit as well). Place the maple cream balls in the cups with the chocolate bottoms and pour more chocolate on top to seal the deal. Place them once more in the freezer for a bit. Enjoy!

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So here’s a quick list of

Things I Learned on This Adventure:

1. It takes 32 gallons of sap to create… (get this)… 1 gallon of syrup.

Is that not crazy? I am surprised people still even do this; it requires so much patience. But then again, I can understand how they fall in love with the process.

2. Maple cream is really just maple syrup (with a tiny bit of butter) boiled more to create the thicker consistency. I thought for sure there was some dairy yum in it… but nope!

3. This year, because of the unusual weather, the maple sugaring season was much more successful and earlier than usual. When tappers would normally begin in February, they started in January (remember when we had those crazy summer days when it should’ve been frigid? Those triggered the sap).

4. I have awesome friends who I need to hang out with much more.

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November 16, 2011

48valentine

by Jillian Douglas

I absolutely love creating.

I love dreaming up an idea, working with it in my hands, and watching it develop. That creative process has given me energy since I was (much more) little. It’s God’s gift to me; when I imagine Heaven, I picture God and I working side by side, perhaps squishing some clay in our hands, perhaps smoothing thick paint on a canvas. Creativity is something deep in my being, and when it surfaces, it bubbles with joy.

Summer Wildflower Photo Print 8x10"Pinecone Photography Print 8x10", MattedHelp Japan- origami crane photo printNYC Central Park Photography Print 8x10"

I like to think that every single one of my creations has some token of joy. Like a memory, or a connection to a favorite thing or idea. And what was joy made for except to share? That’s why I made a spot online, called 48valentine, where I can put my creations up for sale. There’s quite a range; at times there will be photography, paintings, and other goods. I also include vintage items in my shop, too; items that recall beauty from the past or remain simply timeless.

Photography Print "The Sinking Sun" 8x10", Matted

He Holds Us in His Hands- Acrylic Painting- Bird

So take a look around…! http://www.etsy.com/shop/48valentine. And don’t be shy! Let me know what you think. 

You can also go here to like 48valentine on Facebook (you’ll find more details about the works, my creative process, and helpful, inspiring links, like how to start a productive day). Can’t wait to see you there!