Tuesday, March 25, 2014

making maple syrup

A few weeks ago my husband and I went to a maple sugaring workshop at our state park. I had just had surgery on my left hand 2 days before but my husband still drug me to the workshop because he said I will be glad I went and of course he was right. I am so glad we went. I cannot say I had alot of fun at the workshop because I was still recovering from the surgery but I did have fun the weeks after the workshop. We decided to tap the maple trees around here. We found 12 maple trees to tap this year. It is harder to tell which ones are maples when there are no leaves on them so in the summer we will be going around and seeing where all of them are while they have leaves. The first thing we had to do was figure out how to make taps because we did not have time to order some and have them arrive before the season is over because there is a short few week window to tap them and get enough sap so my wise husband made me some taps from the casing from some ink pens. They worked great! We hung gallon jugs and 2 liter pop bottles to collect the sap.

This one hung on a tree in my mom and grandma's front yard and it also is the one that collected the most sap. I am pretty sure this is a sugar maple tree but I will know for sure in the summer when it has it's leaves. 

 In the picture above I was having to fix one of the taps that I accidentally broke and I was fixing it in the snow! I cannot believe we are getting so much snow this year. As you can see this was the first day of spring!

Here is a picture of my sister and I emptying one of the 2 liters into a bucket. Those buckets got heavy after they were full.

When I would get the buckets of sap back to the trailer I would strain the sap with a paper towel lined funnel into quart and half gallon mason jars to keep in the refrigerator until the weekend.

When the weekend arrived and after I collected gallons of sap I would then spend the whole day boiling the water out of the sap to get down to the sweet goodness of syrup. It takes lots and lots of hours to boil all of the water out. Next year my husband is going to have a place built outside to boil down the sap so that we don't have to use so much electric running the stove all day and because I plan to have alot more sap. 

The picture above shows when the sap is almost done and made into syrup. We boiled it until the temp was around 220 degrees. My trailer smelled really sweet.

We ended up with 3 quarts of this amazing syrup. I know there is only 2 quarts in this picture but what can I say, we really like this stuff and we already have eaten a quart.  

Isn't it amazing the things God provides naturally? I am going to use some of this to make maple candy and the rest will be used on pancakes, french toast and waffles. Yum!

Hugs and blessings to all!!


Shared at Homestead Barn Hop


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