Is it maple sugar season YET????

This has been a strange winter! March has brought temps that we usually have in January! We generally tap our trees in early March but just tapped them this past weekend. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that temps rise above freezing during the day and below freezing at night but not so warm during the day that the trees start to bud. It’s quite the complicated process this maple sugaring.  At least we’ve tapped the trees.  It’s a waiting game now.

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Maple Sugar Season is almost here!

Maple Sugar season is almost here – soon the temperatures will be above freezing during the day and below freezing at night and the sap will run!  Time to clean the maple buckets, spiles, covers, and collection containers.  Time to gather all our supplies and wait for the forecast to call for warming temps.  We’ll dig out paths to the maple trees and then dig out our “refrigeration” in the snow.  We try to utilize the natural refrigeration the snow provides to keep our sap cold until we have enough to start boiling.  The boiling is the “hard” part – it is just time consuming.  We boil on the stove since we are a small backyard operation.  We boil for 12 hours a day or so and then put the sap in the fridge until the next day when we boil again.  The reward is great though – dark rich maple syrup.  Dark maple syrup offers the strongest maple flavor and is my favorite – not just for cooking with but also to warm up and pour on pancakes or French toast.  Yum!

We try to have enough sap to start boiling before our March Maple Madness  on March 22nd.  This fun Inn-to-Inn event offers guests the opportunity to visit the historic inns of BBInnsMWV while sampling maple treats savory and sweet.

Maple Sugaring at the Mt. Washington B & B

Maple Sugaring at the Mt. Washington B & B

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What to do on a Spring-Like day!

Mt. Washington Bed & Breakfast

Mt. Washington Bed & Breakfast

What a gorgeous few days we’ve had! Yesterday was sunny and around 50 degrees here in the White Mountains. Today is just as beautiful – wow! My guests cross country skied yesterday at Great Glen Trails at the base of Mt. Washington in Pinkham Notch. Today they’ve headed over to Bear Notch Skiing in Bartlett. Me – I went out to snowshoe. I like to snowshoe on my property and check out who has left prints in the snow. I’ve seen fox prints, coyote prints, turkey trails, bobcat trails, and lots of trails by the smaller critters in the area. The bobcat trails are the most fascinating to me – I have never seen a bobcat on my property but see plenty of evidence that they are here. I would love to see one and snap a photo but they are shy and elusive cats.
I started out dressed warmly with a polartec jacket, windbreaker, and gloves. Ditched the windbreaker and gloves in a very short time. It is just gorgeous out here! Today I saw turkey, and a cat and possible fox tracks. No bobcat tracks. The sky is bright blue and there are some clouds but not many. I snowshoed around the Western side of the property and into the wood, then came back into the house for water and lighter clothing. Then back out I went and walked along the Eastern side of the property. The turkey tracks were all over the property and what I believe are kitty tracks.

Turkey tracks by the Pear tree

Turkey tracks by the Pear tree

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SnowCoach Tour

Guests are headed up to tree line on the Mt. Washington Auto Road’s SnowCoach today.  They won tickets from me by being the first guests to reserve for the Valentine’s/Presidents Weekend.  I thought of tagging along as I have another ticket but it is Co-old up there today!  I looked at the Mt. Washington Observatory’s website – <a href=”http://www.mwobs.com”>www.mwobs.com</a> – to see what the weather was like.  Brrrrr – 69 plus mile an hour winds, making the wind chill about 30 below zero F.  Don’t get me wrong – I like adventure but that’s just a little too cold for me and my Canon Digital camera.  The poor thing would freeze on me and then I’d freeze waiting for it to thaw to take photos.  I live up here and can go on a warmer day (and I really need to find my long johns!).  I will find out when they come back if they went up or decided it would be too cold and windy for them too.  They are much more adventurous than I am – they come up every fall to hike Mt. Washington and take a different route every year.  I provided some Chocolate Amaretto Fudge to help fortify them!</p>

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Valentine’s Day at the Bed & Breakfast

Happy Valentine's Day from Miss Daisy!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Miss Daisy!

Happy Valentine’s Day – or rather day after Valentine’s Day.  I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your special someone.  My special someone is Miss Daisy pictured above.

This weekend is all about Chocolate – yesterday when guests checked in they arrived to Chocolate Frosted Brownies in their room.  Breakfast this morning guests were treated to Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes as part of their Valentine’s Weekend Stay – yum!  I had initially thought of making them with some Amaretto but, foolishly, decided not to.  After guests were served and they all headed out to ski I made myself on with Amaretto in it – Oh MY!  Next time definitely preparing them with the Amaretto.   When guests return from skiing, they will be greeted with homemade fudge, I’ll use the Amaretto in the fudge.

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Adventures on Mt. Washington

MAM Mt Wash Sunrise 2My apologies – it has been some time since I’ve posted anything.  It was quite a busy 2013 at the Mt. Washington Bed and Breakfast here in Shelburne, NH.  Last year I joined the Mt. Washington Auto Road on several of their tours.  The first was their Bicknell’s Thrush Tours in June.  If you’ve never heard of the Bicknell’s Thrush, it is a small gray bird that nests at higher elevations in harsh climates – perfect description of Mt. Washington.  If you’d like to learn more go to: http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/events/bicknells-thrush-tours/ and check it out.  I had a great time, the tour leaders were very informative and although I did not see the little bird others did and I did hear its call.  I offer a Bicknell’s Package if you’d like to take this tour.

In August I took the guided tour up to the top of Mt. Washington – what a wonderful ride!  The tour was great, the driver talked about the history of the road, the weather, moose, bear, and pointed out landmarks and the various peaks in the Presidential Range to us.  Then a few days later I joined them again and Ernie Mills Photography for a Sunrise Photography Tour – wow!  It was so breathtakingly beautiful up on top of Mt. Washington waiting for the sunrise.  It was very cold – winds were 59 miles an hour with higher gusts.  There were low level clouds that made it look like we were surrounded by islands in a sea.  Again – another tour I highly recommend and yes, I do offer an Adventure Photography Tour Package.

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Foliage Season is upon us!

Our porch - all decked out for fall!

Our Porch is all decked out for Fall!

Ah fall – the time of year when the temps are pleasant during the day and chilly at night – and Mother Nature paints the landscape with oranges, reds, yellows, and gold.  My favorite time of the year!  Time for Pumpkins, Mums, Scarecrows, and leaf peepers!  We have guests arriving from all over the world over the next 3 weeks who are hoping that Mother Nature puts on the best show ever for them.  This Foliage season looks to be one of those that guests will remember for years to come – it’s still a little early and colors are looking very promising!  I drove through Pinkham Notch on Monday and it was so pretty in there!  This is the time of year that I prepare pears, apples, Pumpkin Pancakes, Orange Cranberry Pancakes, Apple Spice French Toast – all the flavors of fall – Yum!  I also try to make sure that every single day I go out on the porch and enjoy my own view – this season can fly by so fast with cleaning, cooking, and helping guests plan their day that I can miss it.  What good is it to live in such a beautiful area if you don’t appreciate it’s beauty daily?    Now to find the time to sneak in a hike!

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