Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How We Made Makeshift Maple Sugar (The Ox-Cart Man)

The family in the book The Ox Cart Man works together to make maple sugar.  Since the boys like sweets this part was very interesting to them.  They were fascinated by how the family tapped the maple syrup from the trees, boiled it, and turned it into sugar.  They really wanted to try maple sugar so we decided to try to make our own.  
We poured a little maple syrup (the real stuff!) into a silicon baking cup and put it in the oven at 350.  Then we set the timer for ten minutes and check it.  Then we set the timer for another 10 and checked it again.  It started getting really bubbly and it smelled really good.  We checked it every 5-10 minutes until I thought it might be close to burning.  Then we took it out and let it cool.  

Once it was all cool I let the boys crunch it and pound it into tiny chunks.  We put some on toast, we had it in our oatmeal, I put some in my coffee.  It was delicious!  Thank you Ox Cart Man for a fun and delicious learning experience.  You can listen to the story online here:
The Ox Cart Man, by Donald Hall is one of the sweetest children's book I've read.  A child can learn so much from this book:  industry, hard work, team work, contentedness, family, frugality, and so much more.  It has become one of my new favorites.


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