Making Maple Syrup

In my last blog I spoke about the things that we do with our family that enrich our lives.  I was fortunate enough to have my first experience with making maple syrup about a month ago.

We own about 400 acres in the Adirondack park.  Our property has a wide variety of plants, animals, terrains, and environments.  The one thing that we do not have an abundance of though is Sugar Maples.  We do have a few though and my Mom was determined to try her hand at making Maple Syrup.  We had a seasoned veteran walk the property and help identify trees, and my mom visited an old “sugar shack” in upstate Maine to get some advice from a life-long sugarer.  My mom tapped 3 trees and hung buckets.
This was a great season for sugaring because of the cold nights and warm days.  This temperature change is what makes the sap start to run through the tree.  Over the course of a few weeks my mom collected and froze about 16 gallons of sap.
Over one weekend my dad, my mom, and I began boiling.  We boiled, and boiled, and boiled….and on, and on.
On any normal weekend at the property we are all non stop all day.  From ATV-ing to setting fires, clearing trails, and continuous upkeep it is rare to see anyone standing around for more than a few minutes.  Unbeknownst to us at the time, we were about to be standing around for quite some time.
We had two pots boiling on an outdoor propane camping stove for 10 hours that day!  We carefully monitored the temperature of the boiling sap as it began to thicken and caramelize.  Once it reached the proper temperature and had reduced enough to be moved inside, the sky was dark and we were ready for dinner.
The next step was to continue cooking the sap until it was the proper consistency.  We then strained the sap to remove as much of the “sugar sand” (or sugar protein) as possible. In commercial operations they press and strain out all of the sugar sand which is why commercial Maple Syrup is totally transparent.  Since the sugar sand is perfectly safe and delicious we did not go through the trouble of removing it all.
With our precious 4 cups of Maple Syrup we decided who would be worthy of receiving a bottle and marveled at the effort and time it took to produce a product that is purely used for pleasure.  It was such a great time spent with my parents and an eye opening adventure that I would not have ever experienced if my Mom had not pushed for us to try it.

May 24, 2013 | Category: Blog, Recipes | Comments: 1

 

One comment on “Making Maple Syrup

  1. scott

    Takes a lot of work making syrup, I have a freind that makes gallons of it and sells it here in Ohio. Taste is better than store bought. Good job!

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