Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Great Turkey Fryer Incident of 2011

"Want To Make Your Own Maple Syrup? We Have The Supplies You Need!"

It all started with that innocent sign outside Hiller's Hardware Store. We drove past after Sunday School and suddenly Cale was turning around and we ended up in Hiller's parking lot.

Stef: "What do you need at Hiller's?"
Cale: "They have supplies to make our own maple syrup"
Stef: "Huh?"
Cale: "We can tap the Maple Trees in the yard and make our own syrup"
Stef: "Uh, we only have one Maple Tree"
Cale: "We can tap the neighbors trees too."

And before I knew it Cale was in and out carrying a bag of maple syrup making supplies.

Stef: "How much?"
Cale: "I bought 4 taps and some bags, it was only $30"

Let me say right now, I know nothing about making maple syrup, but I had a hunch you needed more than a small bag of taps and some plastic bags. We know a few people who make maple syrup and they have pretty extensive equipment for it. But I just nodded my head and smiled and waited to see how this would all play out.

So back to the story...
Day #1. Between our yard and the neighbors we had a total of 4 trees to tap.
Day #2. After work Cale and Lucky collected the sap and then encountered the first problem. The sap needs to be cooked down and we didn't have anything big enough to do it. So Cale ended up cooking it down using 2 different pots in multiple batches, one out on the grill and one on the stove in the house. Let's just say he was up late that night.
Fast forward to Day #4. Sick of using multiple pots and being up late Cale informs me he needs to buy a turkey fryer because then he can cook all the sap down in one batch.
Day #5. Cale comes home with a brand new turkey fryer from Wal-Mart. Only $40...a small price to pay for homemade maple syrup, right?

Now before I continue I need to explain something about Cale. Anyone who knows him knows he is very mechanical. He can fix pretty much, motors, toys, lawn mowers, you name it, he can fix it. But he has no use for any safety equipment. If a piece of equipment, machinery, or tool has a safety feature, he will probably figure out a way to take it off or turn it off. Safety-Schmafte.

So back to Day #5. The new turkey fryer is out of box, assembled, and cooking down sap. Cale comes in the house and asks:

Cale: "Where's the duct tape?
Stef: "Why???"
Cale: "The stupid thing has a safety switch on the timer that automatically turns it off after 20 minutes if you don't manually reset the timer."
Stef: "So why do you need duct tape?"
Cale: "Because I'm going to tape the thing wide open so it can't shut off." Stef: "That doesn't sound like a good idea. What if you forget to check on it?" Cale: "I won't forget"
Stef: "But what if you do?"
Cale: "I won't, you worry too much"
Stef: "I'm stating for the record this is a bad idea"
Cale: laughs and heads outside with the duct-tape

Fast forward to 10:00pm that night. I'm in bed sleeping when Cale comes to bed:

Stef: "What's that smell?"
Cale: "I burned a hole in the stupid turkey fryer"
Stef: "WHAT!?"
Cale: "I fell asleep in Lucky's room after I read him a story and never checked on the sap. When I woke up and went outside there were flames shooting out of it and there was a hole burned through the bottom of the pot and all the sap is ruined."

Stef: (not successfully trying to hide laughter). Now what?
Cale: "We need a new turkey fryer."

So for those of you who are keeping track, check out my pic at the bottom of the page to see what $70 of maple syrup looks like.....