It’s been a whirlwind around here. We leave for Berlin in two weeks and I’ve accepted an urban planning research contract and have to present my findings the day before we leave. We’re juggling the kids and the jobs these days and maple syrup has taken a back seat. I was feeling overwhelmed by the daily bounty of sap so I pulled the spile a few days ago. The poor tree has been leaking and early spring ants have been lapping it up.
Our final yield was 18 litres. I couldn’t keep up and our neighbours stepped in and collected several buckets and did some boiling down for us. Now we have three or four (I’d have to check the next-door fridge) jugs of reduced sap the colour of apple juice. It still has a ways to go before becoming syrup.
Well-meaning folks have been warning me against boiling down sap inside the house. It looks harmless enough but apparently it can coat your ceilings and walls in sticky residue. My mother has vivid memories of her uncle’s cottage kitchen dripping with syrup. Boiling on the barebeque wasn’t working very well so I went out and got an electric burner. It’s plugged in outside and sap is boiling away as I type.
It’s like trailer park meets sugar bush:
Since I took that photo the sun has gone down and I’m now periodically hunched over the pot, freezing cold, with a flashlight aimed at the steam, trying to read the thermometer and salvage some syrup before scorching the pot. If all goes well, we should get about half a litre. I’m really really going to savour that pancake.