Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Maple Syrup

New England roads now are dotted with pails, this year put out earlier because of the warm winter.
Farmers who produce hundreds or thousands of gallons of maple syrup have necessarily adopted ever more elaborate equipment.  But the process to make just enough syrup for a family (and maybe a few friends) is simple, satisfying, and does not require reverse osmosis.

Tkaing a turn with the auger, making sure the hole angled downward.
For sap to flow, the temperature has to be above freezing during the day but drop below freezing during the night.
One Drip at a Time
A watch dog watching.
This has not been a great season.
Adding to the Supply
Straining Out Some Debris
Since the stove is going anyway, mind the temperature and...
....evaporate away most of the water.
Now just add the requisite Richard or David Attenborough monologue.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love your authenticity!

ms. mindless said...

How cool! I bet your syrup is delicious. It makes me sad that I've got to settle for bottled maple syrup. I feel awfully pedestrian now :)

Greenfield said...

The utility company's tree men were cutting maple branches near the wires several weeks ago, and the sap was not merely running, but actually spurting from the newly cut ends. Vaguely disturbing thoughts of tourniquets for wounded trees came to mind as the stuff hit my windshield . . .

Main Line Sportsman said...

Grill up the pancakes and pour liberally.

Anonymous said...

OK -- my mouth is watering now -- it's going to be pancakes and maple syrup at my house this weekend, although not, unfortunately, with self-harvested syrup.

Bon app├ętit!
Bitsy

Zenas313 said...

The only thing that could possibly be better on pancakes (or oatmeal) than pure maple syrup . . . pure maple syrup that you have collected and cooked down yourself.
Chapeau!

Parnassus said...

What a beautiful amber color--since the lighter syrup always comes first, I hope this is a lucky sign that the sugaring weather will improve and that there will be lots more sap to come.

sSe said...

Ha, after reading the Attenborough comment I couldn't help but read this post over with that exact tone of voice in mind. I have such fond memories of traveling up to New Hampshire for vacation and seeing tapped trees while hiking. While there's nothing better than authentic maple syrup, I would imagine making your own batch would make it even sweeter.

Ann said...

Oh that looks so delicious! I use syrup as our main sweetener instead of refined sugars - it has a much better taste!

Patsy said...

We're just about finished with last year's batch from my uncle-in-law's trees. Can't wait for this year's.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great photos along with the post. Clearly I need to try my hand at making my own-now I have an illustrated guide!
~Muffy
aka Madeline
syrup snob

Joseph A. Fredericks said...

True. This season's weather here on the coast has just been odd ... writing this on March 8 with the temperature reaching the low 60's and the jonquils already poking their heads through the mulch on the south side walk. Soon it will be time to open-up the house for a good airing-out.

Parnassus said...

Hello again, You inspired me to dig out and comment on some of my old sugaring photos --RtP:

http://roadtoparnassus.blogspot.com/2012/03/maple-sugar-season-nostalgic-look.html

CR said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing. It's always fun to see things done homemade and on a small scale.

Anonymous said...

Hi Muffy:

Here’s a culinary tip, when you are sauteing salmon in butter, add a teaspoon of syrup more or less to your taste. It will reduce the fish flavor and add to the caramelizing.

I discovered this combination of maple and salmon when I bit into a crepe containing smoked salmon and maple sugar on a camping trip.

All the best,

Prep West

Anonymous said...

I have alot of respect for muffy, how she gets right in there and isnt afraid to get a little dirty. Go muffy!!!!!