Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's Maple Syrup Time

The end of February/ beginning of March is a fun time for us around here. This is the time of the year to make maple syrup. Sure, you say. Maple syrup is being made all over the north. We do it in our backyard, though. It started a few years ago to a metropark where they were demonstrating how to make maple syrup at their "Sugar Shack." (Which to me sounds a little suggestive.) A park employee said that they sell the spiles (taps), so we bought a few thinking what the heck? That year we made about maybe 2 quarts of syrup. Last year we made nearly a gallon.

How to make maple syrup. (It's easy, really)
1. Tap trees
2. Collect syrup. We empty gallon water jugs and punch a hole in them. At the end of the process we recycle.
3. Boil the sap. Last year we used an outdoor, double burner propane stove. We're going to try to save a money this year and use wood. It takes 32-40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. That you are doing is reducing the water content and caramelizing the sugars. Do not do this inside. It can peel the wall paper off the walls. Don't ask how I know that.

Ok, really, there's a little more to it that that, but not a lot.

Massachusetts Maple Producers Association
How to Tap Maple Trees and Make Maple Syrup

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