Maple Syrup : Springs’ First Harvest
Remember the Turkish Delights from the Narnia series? Well, they just can’t stand up against our just tapped homemade Maple syrup. It drips off my fork of freshly buttered pancakes, and bursts with sweet, smokey, maple deliciousness. MMMMM good! Come along and I will give you a glimpse of how we make it….the traditional way….including all but the horses.
Tapping the Trees
We’ve had cold below freezing nights, and warm above freezing sunny days. Mr. Man the love of my life…slipped out the door this morning to tap the trees. It is the perfect day. He begins his trek out into the great north woods in search of Maple trees to place first the taps then the buckets. Once they are in…. the sap begins to flow with vigor. Thankfully, he wears his best go tree tapping tools. Snowshoes!! Without them he would be up to his hips in snow with every step.
Boiling Down the Sap
Everything will revolve around the sap flow. Gallons and gallons and gallons of sap will be hand carried and walked the long distance back home. Oh, for the want of horse power during these days. The sap will be poured into a large pan which fits snugly into an outside barrel wood stove. The stove has been stuffed with wood and is ready to boil the sap —- Day and night the little stove will puff away, bubbling the sap to a dark, golden brown syrup.
Final Boil Makes Maple Syrup
In the evening the almost ready syrup will be carried into the kitchen, and placed on our wood stove or on our gas stove. It will be brought to just the right temperature of 7 degrees above boiling. By then I start meandering though the house breathing deeply and smiling. The smell of maple syrup has wafted into every room of the house. My mouth starts to water because very soon my lips will be smacking maple goodness.
Maple Syrup Anyone?
Following the rhythm of the seasons is so richly apparent when Maple syruping ..is that a word…it is for me. The sap will flow only a few short weeks, then we are done. Another year will fly by before we tap again. Deep into the winter next year as I am pouring my syrup onto homemade pancakes I will be dreaming of the smell of Maple syrup invading my home reminding me that the snow will soon melt, making way for more maple syrup, seed planting, pruning fruit trees, pasturing goats, turkeys, chickens, tending bees, playing with rabbits and frolicking in the summer sun. Another season begins…….
Till next time,
If all this isn’t enough Maple Syrup is actually full of nutrients, and is good for you to eat. Lots of good minerals. Nutritional info on maple syrup