scenes from the weekend

mmm. while i’m not usually a big fan of pancakes, these were really good. and with fresh maple syrup?? stop it!

it’s been a nice weekend here in albany. we arrived friday evening and had a nice dinner with my mom at home, then watched a couple of old movies while preparing for the release of our new stone soup yarn and the adorable sky ladder shawl/blanket pattern. emails and texts flew back and forth between me, erica, and david right up to the witching hour of 12 am, when everything went live. then we fell into bed to get a little shut-eye before starting a new day on saturday.

the main reason we’ve been here is for david to set up my mom’s new computer and first thing saturday morning, he got to work, transferring everything from her old PC laptop to the iMac she got from a neighbor (we’re all relieved that she’s finally going to be on the same platform as the rest of us; so much easier to troubleshoot from afar).

while david worked away on that, i did some pattern corrections, wrote up a couple of new patterns, and cleared out most of my email boxes (though the ones requiring more serious consideration i left for next week).

it was super cold and windy all day, but i was determined to go for a run; we’ve had terribly wet and snowy weather at home that has kept me inside for too  long. i don’t care how cold it is, haha—i am sick and tired of the stationary bike.  it was nice to get outside and run in the neighborhoods nearby; i love seeing so many pine and birch trees in between the homes. and of course once i get running, the cold is not even an issue for me.

after that we went to my niece’s tennis match and i worked on one of my cowls for a couple of hours. this one i am naming sculling, because the stitch patten reminds me of rowing. i’m knitting this up in the burnt toast color of our breakfast blend fingering yarn—a kind of warm, toasty brown that i think will look great with blues, grays, and purple.

between spectator sports and the long ride today, it’s finally looking like something is happening here. the stitch pattern is very easy to memorize and keep track of, so it’s a good traveler.

my sister’s family came over for dinner last night after tennis and we got to have a nice visit with them. anika and arjun even brought cupcakes that they made; now that they are getting bigger, they are a lot of fun.

this morning i got up early and went for another run before we took off for north country, joined by my aunt helen and anika. we stopped off first at the cemetery so my mom could put palms on the graves, which anika has been asking about. we showed her all the family plots and she said, (i kid you not), “there sure are a lot of dead people around here!”

finally, we were on our way to lunch. we drove through troy, stillwater, schaghticoke, and into beautiful washington county, to our destination at mapleland farms. i love it up there; the old farms are so beautiful and the sight lines across the hills to the adirondacks in one direction and the vermont hills in the other are just spectacular.

when we arrived at mapleland farms, the sugar house was packed and the crowd was buzzing. we stood on line for a bit, but finally a table opened up and we got busy on some lunch.

which was AWESOME—the pancakes, cooked up fresh by two family members in the back were so tasty. on maple weekends, they cook a lot of them—it is all you can eat and one of the servers told us they cooked 291 plates yesterday alone.

i know we had plenty at our table—the pancakes are plate-sized, so i could only eat two, but some boys across the aisle managed to put away three platefuls. whoa.

the focal point of the sugar house is the evaporator, where the maple sap is cooked down. the sap house has been run by the campbell brothers since the 70s and their story is both charming and inspiring.

here’s a shot of david campbell preparing barrels for filling with finished syrup—the syrup used at the tables is drawn from these barrels for serving—you can’t get fresher or more yummy than that.

there’s mary jeanne, who runs the battenkill fiber mill, helping out at the checkout counter for the weekend. we grabbed a few maple sugar items to bring home while paying for our lunch—some sugar for baking and eating on oatmeal, some maple roasted nuts, and for the kids, some maple sugar cotton candy.

then we we were off for home. we had hoped to spend some time with mary jeanne today and maybe visit a couple of fiber farms in the area, but she was really busy, so that will have to wait for another time.

we rode home on a different route through saratoga, mechanicville, and clifton park; by late afternoon the clouds had cleared and the sun was warming everything up. we all got a little sleepy from eating our fill of sweet stuff, but that doesn’t hurt as a once in a while thing, does it?

now we’re all back in our respective homes, except for us—we head out tomorrow for ohio. and for this evening, i think i’ll leave you now to relax and knit the night away.

14 Responses to “scenes from the weekend”

  1. Dianne says:

    It’s Maple Weekend in NH this weekend too. We went to a local sugar house where we tasted syrup fresh out of the evaporator as it was being bottled. Pancakes for us this weekend too :-) Yum!

  2. Jo Morgan says:

    Maple weekend sounds sweet! I didn’t recognize the names of any of the places you mentioned which just amps up my desire to return to New York north of Albany–such beautiful country! Drive safely tomorrow.

  3. Liz Arrow says:

    So jealous! That’s one thing I miss terribly about the northeast: real maple syrup made locally! Also-now I’m craving pancakes ;)

  4. josiekitten says:

    Anika is definitely in need of some warm handknits! Glad you had a good time with your family. I find maple syrup rather sweet, but it’s delicious if you add a little when you’re roasting vegetables. I add a squirt to roasting parsnips – yummy.

  5. Mo says:

    Mary Jeanne is one of the busiest women I know! But everything she does looks like so much *fun* :) Glad to see you had a good weekend and good weather too.

  6. Kristin C says:

    NYS Maple weekend is a great thing! We also went to a pancake breakfast at a sugar house. Yum YUM

  7. I’m not much of a pancake eater either, but a fresh one with brand new maple syrup is indeed heaven on a plate!

  8. Do I see a Schnoodle? Our Katie is a Schnoodle, gotten from an upstate breeder.
    (Mulberry Farm).

  9. Bordergirl says:

    I finally figured it out! Anne, David and Erica have clones. That is the secret of their phenomenal creative productivity. I am out of breath just reading the blog. I can’t wait to try out the Knitspot yarn. Thanks for all you do.

    Bordergirl on Ravelry

  10. Suzanne says:

    That looks like fun. I bring my parents to Clifton Park and we always go to a local Orchard that has deli sandwiches and stuff for sale. It’s a lot of fun. I love Saratoga Sprigns and have gone there each time I bring my parents. My first trip to Saratoga Springs was a work related 2 day business meeting.

  11. Katharine says:

    Cool post!

  12. janna says:

    I can’t imagine maple syrup that fresh! I would love to go to a sugar house sometime!

  13. scienceknitster says:

    Living in South Texas, I miss Upstate New York and maple sugaring! Although I have to say that I don’t miss that spring doesn’t arrive until sometime in May… ;-)

  14. Danielle says:

    OMG thank you so much for the delish tour of Mapleland Farms, it is really making me miss my family’s annual jaunt to a sugaring house in western NY at this time of year. Is there anything better than all you can eat pancakes and fresh syrup?? And…now I’m hungry :)