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We got home last night from our trip to New York State. Everything went pretty well and we had a nice dinner out on Monday night. We stuffed ourselves with fried clams. We usually only have those in Tok, but for two months now I have wanted them. We lucked out and found a little place where they had good clams.

It's been warm lately, a few days above freezing.

Tuesday we went and saw the maple syrup evaporator. It was a nice drive out in the country. We went to the little town of Munnsville New York.

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Jerseys!

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Grape vines

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Hard to see but this is the pipeline the guys who had the evaporator put in this year

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Their sugar building

We ended up buying the evaporator. It's two years old. Three guys lifted it into our truck but for us to unload it with just Kevin and I, we'll have to take the shell off the truck and use straps and the tractor. Hopefully it will go smoothly. They've decided to do a larger operation now and bought a much bigger evaporator.

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This evaporator will produce a gallon of syrup a day, which is moving up a lot for us in production. The new evaporator the guy we bought it from just bought will make a gallon and half of syrup an hour! We are not at that point yet to go that big, but hopefully if all goes well this year, we'll have some syrup to sell for the first time ever. I'd like to get into making candy for sale as well, both soft and hard maple candy. Hopefully we'll have a good run. I'll share better pictures once it's unloaded and put together.

I gave the rabbits a huge carrot each last night and it's always a joy to see Noel the next day after eating a carrot - her dewlap is always bright orange.... (I'm sure she'd be terribly embarrassed if she knew I was showing you this)

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Deer Norman showed up this afternoon with no antlers - he had them yesterday. He dropped them both at the same time or very close together.

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Is that Deer Norman?

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Yes it's him, goofy as ever!

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Because it was so warm outside, all the animals were out, the birds, deer, squirrels, turkeys. You can feel spring in the air and by the way the animals are acting. We bought a bunch of supplies as we always do, for us, and some for the animals.

Max says "is this for me?"

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Snick was out charging around the barnyard hollaring at everyone...

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Torn Ear

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I was surprised to see this doe and fawn out on this marsh because there was a little open water

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But I guess they felt safe, they know best...

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Red squirrel

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The porcupine has been really eating this tree, as you can see

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One of our big ponds starting to thaw

We did manage to hit my favorite used book store too - and pick up a few books. I'm on a big Willa Cather kick since reading O' Pioneers. I just love the way she writes, and with O' Pioneers I really connected to the story and characters. I started reading Song of the Lark on Monday. Kevin got two more Polar books, he's been collecting those for decades.

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We worked on organizing the pantry this afternoon, but I've still got a bunch of stuff to put away in the kitchen. We really need a bigger pantry since we buy a lot of supplies to last us months at a time. Maybe one day.... I can dream anyway!

Dinner tonight was vegetarian Pho. The broth made the house smell so good. This is the original recipe here.


4 cups good quality low sodium vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1″ piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced into 1/8″ pieces
6 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 small handful thai basil stems & leaves
1 small handful cilantro stems & leaves
1 8 ounce package dried rice noodles
2 cups shredded Napa or Savoy cabbage
1/2 cup fresh chopped green onions
1/2 cup roughly chopped or torn Thai basil
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish

Optional for serving: sliced fresh jalapenos, Maggi seasoning, extra soy sauce, Sriracha, hot garlic chili sauce

- For the broth: Place the first 12 ingredients in a large soup pot with a lid. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce temperature and simmer mostly covered for 1 1/2 hours. Strain through a fine mesh colander to get all the bits out. Return the broth to the pot and bring back to temp over medium heat.

- To assemble the soup: Cook the rice noodles according to the package – as a default method, cook the noodles in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until tender, drain and rinse with some cool water quickly to stop the cooking. Drain these thoroughly. Evenly distribute the noodles and cabbage between the serving bowls. Ladle the hot broth over the noodles. Top each bowl with some sprouts, basil, cilantro, a sprinkle of green onions and some lime. Serve immediately.
 
Now back to the kitchen to clean up the mess.

*This is our first post with farm friends Friday at Verde Farm, click here to visit more friends :)

Comments

Wow! You've been busy. Maple syrup time is almost here, isn't it!
I've never seen the fresh 'scar' left by losing the antler, like you've shown on Deer Normans picture. Interesting.
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Alla said…
Can sure see the signs of melting snow in your pictures! I also have a favorite used book store I go to when I go in. And maple syrup, Wow!
texwisgirl said…
Cute babies, all of them! Love the big pup, the orange stained rabbit and the sweet deer!
dogsmom said…
Happy you joined Friend Friday so I could visit. You made me smile when you said it was "warm" and a few degrees above freezing in the same sentence. People tell me I am crazy when I talk like that.
Enjoyed the pictures.

I luv rice noodles.
Verde Farm said…
What a wonderful post--so happy you joined up with Farm Friend Friday too. I love the carrot stained rabbit--how cute is that! Your dog looks so much like our Shep :)
Thanks for sharing!!
hi lucky bunny, i just found you from farm friend friday. i love your blog and love your sweet orange stained bunny, how cute is that? jill

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