Monday, 19 March 2012

Cake and Bones


The last time I checked, it was still officially winter. You would not know this in eastern Ontario this morning, however. We are having a heat wave. In the last few days the snow has mainly turned to water and poured away into streamlets, the robins and chickadees have begun singing their spring calls, the woodpecker next door is banging out love songs on the metal chimney and my bulbs are showing tiny green tips. Wave after wave of Canada geese has honked away overhead, no doubt discussing where the open water is as they speed north. It is supposed to reach 22ยบ C today and be even warmer and sunnier through the week.

This incredible weather has had one good effect for me. One of my organizations held a fund raiser on Saturday, a St Patrick's Day lunch with a story telling event by Mary Cook.  Because of the wonderful weather, we had a perfect turnout. All the tickets sold and we were actually over booked to the point that I had to turn several people away to reserve enough lunch to serve the kitchen staff and the speaker and her husband. (I had given a plate of sandwiches to her husband for Mary since she was mobbed by fans after she finished speaking; her husband ate them, though.)

Although the soup and sandwiches were a bit tight at the end, the dessert table was well stocked. We had lots and lots of dessert, including four St Patrick's Day themed cakes that I had made on Friday - just in case we ran short. In fact, I brought the remnants of one cake home, to the delight of my family. It meant two busy days for me, one baking and shovelling the spilled sugar and flour off the kitchen floor and on the day of the event being both kitchen staff and event manager, the latter without much help from noon on. I ended up ripping off my apron and climbing up to the stage to thank the speaker and explain the lunch line to the audience, then whipping it back on again to serve soup.

There are one or two downsides to this weather, however. It is quite probably going to spoil the maple syrup season. Syrup makers need temperatures that drop five Celsius degrees below 0 at night and climb about an equal distance above 0 during the day, since in that range the tree sap retreats in the cold and pumps back up in quantity the next day. In really mild weather the trees start acting as if it is really much later in the season and start to bud out the new leaves. When they do this, the composition of the sap changes from simple sugars to something more complex that tastes and smells a bit like rotting broccoli and is not usable.

The other downside is mud, in massive quantities. When you are looking after a big, white dog that loves water, this means that the downside of the house is liberally splattered with mud, twigs and bits of flotsam. We dog-sat last week and I think, due to the incredible travelling schedule the YD is being forced to run, we are getting the dog back on Wednesday for another ten days or so. I will have to lay in more bones.

Mostly, though, this weather is a treat and a welcome respite from our normal wet and cold early spring.

I have just been out policing the yard, picking up well chewed dog bones, wet seed husks and other debris. Checked the perennial garden and found a brave little yellow crocus in full bloom. Life is good.

13 comments:

  1. My daughter's crocuses are in full bloom. I don't think there are any bulbs left in my garden though. Too bad as I love those little guys and gals.

    Have you noticed that we're all at blogpsot.ca now and not .com? Everybody still gets here or there though, so I guess it doesn't signify.

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    1. No, I hadn't. Trust you to spot this kind of thing, though. Hmm. Now I wonder why.

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  2. Just found your lovely blog, and I'm a new follower ~ so nice to meet you!
    Best,
    Anne ♥♥

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    1. Thanks. Your craft explanations are amazing.

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  3. sad about the sugar season :( I miss 'helping' down at your camp in the springs, fond memories of my childhood :) Enjoy the spring flowers! We're forecast to get another 1-3 inches of snow tonight... arg...

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    1. People are pulling the spiles and washing up. Sad, short season. Maybe you'll get the hot weather next - I was weeding a bit yesterday, all amid the mud and runoff. Silly, but I couldn't resist.
      Waiting for pics of the closet.

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  4. We have daffodils, new leaves, lots of clumps of crocuses, and are predicted to see 80 (F) today in NEO! It has been a wonderful, wonderful March here. I've been sleeping with all windows open for a week now. Even the water lilies in my fishpond have started to send leaf shoots toward the surface!

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  5. Its good to look forward to Spring and warmer weather but the mud and water....... well I expect we just have to put up with that. I also have been dog walking most days this week and they come back with muddy feet ..... but not in MY house :-)
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May.

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    1. I get the dog back tomorrow for ten days. I am keeping a watering can and basin by the door, the better to remove the mud.

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  6. Rotting broccoli flavoured maple syrup? yeurgh!

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  7. we seem to have skipped spring and landed in summer. gah.

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