Monday, March 1, 2010

making maple syrup

this weekend we made our first batch of maple syrup.  hopefully it won't be the last but the temperatures have been less than ideal.  we need the nights to be in the twenties and daytime to be thirties and up (above freezing) in order for the sap to flow.  
 ::here are the buckets of sap waiting in the snow banks (no snow anymore, though)
usually we have just tapped the trees but this year the weather is so wonky that we ended up tapping three weeks early.  we have one tree that is a mega producer and then a couple of other little trees and we usually produce enough syrup for our year.  we also have friends that bring their sap over and so we get to have a bit of an outdoor boil party.  this year so far, we are the only ones to have gotten any sap at all...yikes.  so, we had almost 20 gallons of sap that we boiled down yesterday morning and last night rick finished it up and we were left with three pints of glorious, sweet, sticky syrup.  usually the first boil is a light golden amber but this year it is rather dark for the first boil.
we finish the boiling inside so we can get the correct density and not either turn the whole pan into sugar or not boil it down enough (which is fine but it isn't as sweet and it will be rather watery).  
::here is zev posing for something...don't ask what because we didn't know.  we think he was mesmerized by the fire.
 
::here is our primitive boil pit.  the pan has a pre heater where the sap hangs out and drips very slowly into the chambered portions of the big pan.
  
::here is a shot of the sap steaming and boiling away
  
  
::nahum can finally climb into the leaning apple since papa pruned it!!
 
::zev occupied himself rather well out side!  
 
 
::here is the sap being poured into a flannel to strain out all the debris that falls into it during the boiling.
 
::the golden syrup as it is filtering...
well...that is how to make maple syrup in a nutshell...we do a lot of tasting and sampling and oohing and aaahing over this delicious mid winter treat.  

6 comments:

  1. Awesome! Feel free to come say hi. Your kiddos might like what we did.

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  2. Amazing! You guys rock! You are so well organized!

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  3. That maple syrup is gorgeous! My favorite sweetener for sure.

    I once tapped a box elder tree (Acer species, relative to maples) here in Colorado and it was delicious (although my Canadian-born husband thought it smelled like urine and wouldn't eat it) :)

    I will post some more info on the babysitting co-op on my blog soon. Thanks for your interest. It really is magical.

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  4. I love maple syrup. I'm still floored by people that use the corn syrup/fake flavored stuff. Maple syrup is special stuff. Thanks for showing us the process! Love to you, Kyndale

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  5. it is so beautiful to see your process pennie! your syrup looks gorgeous! our roads are now lined on either sides with tubing lines that dump into one big vat... your pans look nice, I wonder if you made them? It truly is a magical, intoxicating process ahhh pure maple syrup! A favorite summer taste memory is blueberries that are black and taste like perfume, from our neighbors farm with vanilla bean ice cream and maple syrup drizzled over! Lots of love and hugs to you and your sweet family xoxo

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  6. I'm jealous! I so wish we had maple trees to tap here in the southwest! Thanks for sharing with us the process...it's so interesting to me!
    Yum!
    with love,
    sara

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