I’d Tap That

By way of follow-up on the sap post from last week, it’s worth mentioning that subsequently I got 12 more gallons from the same source and cooked them down into one resplendent bottle of syrup (a quart plus an extra half pint which I poured into the other syrup in the fridge). Meanwhile, I’ve been steadily gathering and reducing sap from the smallish birch trees near the garden. The birch sap is for something else, but the maple syrup is pure liquid sunshine, magically appearing at the time of year when we need it most.

Seriously, to go from five-gallon buckets of clear liquid, schlepped carefully in the car over five miles of windy road…

…to the biggest pots steaming madly…

…to this in the span of one day is pretty amazing. Two days, actually, since the sap sat outside in a snowbank until morning so I could have the whole day to cook it down. Even the lingering snow serves a purpose this time of year; it’s perfect for keeping vast quantities of sap cold during the collection period.

Our resident sugar aficionado was over the super moon with delight. Next year we’re going to do this at a whole other level.

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  1. March 21

    What gifts. Both the syrup and your son!

  2. March 21

    That’s some honkin’ jug of surple! That would last us for years.

  3. March 21

    That is just beautiful! It’s really alchemy isn’t it? Pretty inspiring!

  4. Jessica Still
    March 21

    Your hands-on creativity with some of the the foundation blocks & keystones of cuisine make you stand out pretty dramatically, Peter!

    Is early Spring the traditional maple-syrup-making time? Autumn? But it stands to reason that the sap is rising. What a great way to capture Equinox energy – a rite of Spring.

    In the valley where I live we have one Sugar Maple & hundreds of Box Elders, which old-timers tell me can also be tapped. Please write & show us more!

  5. March 22

    Oh yum!! Wish I had a maple sap source but I’m thinking where I live makes that highly unlikely of ever occurring.

    Beautiful jug of syrup and beautiful boy!

  6. March 22

    Did you do the boiling inside? I noticed your wall tiles in the background of that photo. I loved doing this but felt like it really requires an actual set up (both for transport and for boiling) so let me know if you decide to get serious next year and do something crazy like building a shack or getting an actual evaporator or something.

  7. Peter
    March 23

    Nicole: Yes, both are gifts. Unfortunately, the latter is eating all of the former with alarming speed. He’d drink it by the glassful if I let him.

    Julia: It is. Did you make some?

    Jessica: I’ll have a post up about the birch syrup soon.

    Mo: It’s one of the benefits of dealing with our winters.

    Eve: Yes, inside. I put on the vent fan and it didn’t get sticky. Next year I have plans to do something much bigger with my friend who has the trees.

  8. March 23

    Nope. I didn’t get my act together. Next year. I’ll just live vicariously, as I usually do over here.

  9. March 24

    I’m looking forward to your post on birch syrup. I’ve never heard of that before. I have many birch trees on my property.

  10. Peter
    March 24

    Julia: Aaaaw.

    Bill: It’s up. Depending on where you are, you might still have time to harvest sap.

  11. […] stovetops (he used his wood stove) in our big speckleware canning tubs. The results were documented here, and we both officially caught the sap fever. This year, as promised, he took it to another […]

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