Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It is Maple Sugar Time!

Let the Festivals begin!
Maple sugar is a traditional sweetener in the northeastern United States and Canada, prepared from the sap of the sugar maple tree.
Maple sugar is what remains after the sap of the sugar maple is boiled for longer than is needed to create maple syrup or maple taffy. Once almost all the water has been boiled off, all that is left is a solid sugar. By composition, this sugar is about 90% sucrose, the remainder consisting of variable amounts of glucose and fructose. This is usually sold in pressed blocks or as a translucent candy. It is difficult to create as the sugar easily burns and thus requires considerable skill.
Maple sugar was the preferred form of maple by First Nations/Native American peoples as the sugar could easily be transported and lasted a long time. It is called “ziinzibaakwad” by the Anishinaabeg Nation. Blessing of the Bay, the second ocean-going merchant ship built in the English colonies, carried maple sugar from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to New Amsterdam as early as 1631.
(Source: Wikipedia; photo credit: Sugar maple trees in fall,; Maple tree with buckets,; Maple sugar candy,; sugar maple tree illustration,

Wednesday's celebrations

April 20th has a bunch of celebrations to consider:
National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day        
Lima Bean Respect Day
Look Alike Day
Volunteer Recognition Day
Secretary Day
Radium Day
National Equal Pay Day
The Civil Rights Act of 1871 becomes law
Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injured 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado (1999)
Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race (2008)
Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion kills 11 and causes rig to sink, initiating a massive oil discharge in the Gulf of Mexico (2010)
Ku Klux Act passed by Congress, 1871
420, 4:20 or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) refers to consumption of cannabis and, by extension, a way to identify oneself with cannabis subculture.
Birthday of Harold Clayton Lloyd, Sr. (April 20, 1893 – March 8, 1971) was an American film actor and producer, most famous for his silent comedies
Christian Feast Day: Agnes of Montepulciano, Blessed Oda of Brabant, Theotimos
Second day of Passover
Ridván begins at sunset (Bahá'í Faith)
Rice Planting Day, Thailand
Maple Sugar Festival
April 20 is the 110th day of the year and there are 255 days remaining until the end of the year.

(Photo credit: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake,; Danica Patrick after qualifying for the2007 Indianapolis 500, Wikipedia; Harold Lloyd, 1924,; maple sugar,