Yes, it’s getting sweet and sappy here on unsweetened.ca because for the first time in my life I made maple syrup!
All my years in the woods, all my stories of pruning, chopping, tending tress and I’d never tapped one. I’ve never made maple syrup before. I’ve never visited a Cabane au Sucre. I’ve never had maple taffy fresh from the snow.
Sunday we were out beating the bounds at my friend’s farm. The line of maple trees along the edge of their property were decorated with blue buckets and so we went to investigate further. The trees had been tapped by a neighbour, with permission, and he was collecting the sap. The sap was moving and the buckets were overflowing, so we decided we’d checking with the neighbour to see if we could take some of the excess for a small experiment. Turns out he was done sugaring for the season and we could have all the sap we could collect.
That was almost 40 litres! We did it in 2 batches, including filling a cooler jug with sap to process at home.
Unfortunately the day was so windy I couldn’t get the sap to boil outside, even after sitting with it for almost 2 hours.
Skim and repeat – boil, boil, boil
We watched Game of Thrones, which seemed appropriate, besides we’re all fans. But after that we had to come home. So we packed the much reduced hot sap in sterile jars and liquor bottles to bring it home and finish up here.
This morning I finished the first batch. Luckily our kitchen opens to outside and we could boil and reduce for hours without creating a sauna.
60cups which netted us 3 cups of syrup.
And then we did the jug of sap, which measured in at 77 cups, and netted us another 4 cups or so of syrup.
I’m holding off making pancakes until tomorrow morning, and then I’m going to have a big feed with a restrained amount of home made syrup. I can’t tell you how excited I am!