sugaring off

I’m completely taken with this maple syrup thing. I don’t even like maple syrup all that much but I’m loving this whole process.

We tapped our tree eight days ago. For the first week we didn’t get much more than a spoonful of sap a day. I was not at all optimistic about producing actual syrup. Then, yesterday, the temperature shot up, and the tree just started gushing. Suddenly there was half a litre in the bucket. Then today, no joke, two and a half litres!

See the drop falling?

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This morning I collected a litre of sap with a little crust of ice on top. The kids drank glasses of it with breakfast:

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The neighbour kids have been over for some sampling:

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Faced with a sap storage problem, I turned to my online maple syrup producers support group (also known as the comments from my last post) and started boiling. I’ve boiled down twice now. I know I should be doing it outside and I’m watching the kitchen ceiling closely for signs of water stains or stickiness and so far it seems to be working. I’ll ask to borrow the barbeque next door if we have to do a big batch.

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I’ve reduced our total bounty of 3.5 litres down to about half a litre. It’s not syrup yet – but it’s darkish and getting very sweet. I’m a little bit in love with the tree that holds the kids’ swings and offers us some of its sweet blood. Call it spring fever. The sun is shining and the weather is warming up. It’s still very brown and grey outside but Akka and I have brought some new spring green indoors by planting grass seed in a casserole dish. This is only five days growth:

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She concentrates very hard while giving it haircuts:

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3 responses to “sugaring off

  1. Oh I’m so glad you remember about the grass seed! Every year I think I should remind you because we did it when you were little. Then I moved out here where I didn’t really need it because there’s green grass all the time…but…it SNOWED today so maybe I should plant some too!

  2. Alice Birnbaum

    SO impressed with your sap harvest. Who knew one tree could seep so much goodness? Me too, don’t care much for the syrop, but the kids love it and it definitely comes from a reliable source.

    p.s. Mom, cry me a river (snowed in Vancouver)

  3. Laura and Mary Ingalls made syrup – so it must be cool. So fun. you’ll have to shake up some butter to go with the pancakes!

    We tried the grass thing, using a sock stuffed with a layer of seed then dirt. We flipped the sock over and made a little button face. the grass grew in as hair.

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