Sunday, March 10, 2013

Maple Sugar Days at Malabar Farm

In this part of the state, every road leads to Malabar Farm. At least --- that's what it feels like. There are all kinds of little brown signs pointing the way to author Louis Bromfield's farm, which has now been turned into a State Park. We grew up going there for field trips and events. One of the most fun is the Maple Syrup Festival. You can't beat that! You get to go inside the sugar shack to see the sap boiling away into syrup (the modern method), and they have reenactors demonstrating methods used by the Indians and the Pioneers.

We had been to this event before --- a long time ago, when we were little. Elizabeth and I have wanted to go back for years, but something always comes up. Usually bad weather. Well, nothing stopped us this weekend. The weather was perfect. In fact, I was way over dressed. It could have snowed and I wouldn't have gotten cold! The sun was shining and it wasn't windy. Buddy and Kay came up to the house to go with us, so that made it even more fun. We jumped into the cars and headed off to Malabar.

We parked up in the main lot by the house and gift shop, which gave us a chance to poke around near the barns for a bit. This was Buddy and Kay's first time there --- which was fun. All kinds of hay wagons are at the park during any of the big events, pulled by teams of beautiful draft horses from the area. You can take these up into the woods where the sugar shack is --- or you can hike. We hiked. :) It was pretty muddy, but we were all wearing hiking boots. What's a little mud at this time of year?!

Almost the exact spot where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall stood for their wedding photos!

The Indian method is really cool. They filled a hollow log with sap, then they place hot rocks that have been sitting in a fire into the sap. Enough of these rocks and the sap really gets boiling. Malabar has two great Indian reenactors, too. In fact, these two guys have been at all of the reenactment events at Malabar since we moved to Ohio --- and that was almost twenty years ago!

After such a great afternoon of tromping through the great outdoors, we all returned home for a hot-soup dinner. Salad, corn bread, biscuits, cheese and some muffins made for a nice meal. We all put our feet up in the TV room and watched a comedy and a mystery together. Can't beat that. Especially since they had been up the day before, too. Wow! It's pretty hard to squeeze visiting time in-between their hectic work schedule, so we were pretty happy. Elizabeth and I can't wait for next time. We're planning on doing Gone With the Wind, and there are all kinds of fun behind-the-scenes facts about that one!

Well, it's been another long afternoon today, but more about that in tomorrow's entry. ;) More later.

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