Cookin’ With Love

by Wendy

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I thought it would be fun to share some photos of our maple syrup cookin’ set up and operation this year.  As you may, or may not recall, we relied on our outdoor cook stove/summer kitchen setup for last years mapling season.  It worked great, and was a good starting place, but was not without a few drawbacks.  The biggest of which was the fact that we had to split all our wood down to kindling size, to keep the fire hot enough to keep our sap in a rolling boil in our chilly Northern Minnesota clime.  Until you split the sheer volume of kindling that was needed, you really have no idea….The boys split wood like troopers and we had more than enough to cook the sap for the season and then some, but as this year drew closer, there were logistic and engineering dreams of a bigger wood box.  Another reason to try another set-up, was just the sheer amount of time and attention needed to feed the beast, so to speak.  I am of course referring to the fire itself.  With such a small firebox there were days, when it was hard to run to the biffy and keep your boil.  Enough said.

With that in mind, my hardworking hubby, who is also chief engineer of the homestead, found and retrofitted an old cast aside from yesteryear, cabin stove that was rusting in the bushes somewhere.  Perfect.  Investment once again $0.  That is important to us on our homestead.  Everything we do, we first look at what we can use that we already have, what we can find, or what we can make-do with. What can I say?  One man’s trash, really is another man’s treasure.  😉

This year’s setup is working pretty good, so far.  It too, is not without want for improvement, but we are getting there.  With another season underway, we are getting a pretty good feel for what our ideal setup looks like, and no, we are not there yet, but we are getting closer!!!

As always, we are enjoying our time working together as a family, and cookin’ with love, in the great outdoors!!!

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