Streams

Maple Magic: Cold Weather Makes it a Good Year for Sap

Monday, March 25, 2013

It’s a good year for sap in the northeast. The prolonged cold temperatures and late snows seem to have provided a surplus of the clear liquid — which is thicker than water, slightly sparkly and a little sweet to the taste. Most satisfying of all, for me, is that it’s there for the tapping — moving up and down the tall silent maple trees that grace the woods separating our house from our neighbors.

As the days get warmer the tap begins to rise up the silver trunks, sending liquid life to the tree tops to help produce leaves.  At night as the temperatures drop, the tap moves back to the roots, the tree uncertain, as I imagine it, that it is ready to awaken and spring forth.  The trick is to catch the sap — coming and going in order to boil it down into the deep, amber liquid gold that is maple syrup.

And that’s exactly how my neighbors and I spent the last couple of days.

First, you gather the buckets of sap (no small task) and strain the liquid for bugs, bark and any other stuff that may have fallen into the pails. 

Then, it's slowly heated outside for hours in a long shallow metal pan set in a frame over a large wood fire. We needed lots of dry sticks, strong backs and patience to keep a rolling boil going for hours.  

Lastly you wait for it to all together, which it did early this morning — about 1:00 am when the bubbles covered the surface of the eight foot pan. After multiple tastings the consistency was determined to be about right. 

As for the taste, it was declared delicious and the best syrup yet! Good thing as exhaustion had set in for all involved.   


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Comments [1]

SZGGY from ASTORIA / ACCORD, NY

REALLY EXCITED TO SEE YOUR MAPLING STORY POSTED TODAY. I'VE HAD THE FEELING IN MY BONES THIS SEASON WOULD BE A GOOD ONE FOR MAPLING. I'VE BEEN TELLING FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES THIS, AND GENERALLY GET LOOKS FROM THE UNINITIATED, SO THIS STORY RESTORED MY SENSE OF SANITY, AT LEAST FOR THE MOMENT.
THE BEST AND MOST MEMORABLE POEM I'VE EVER HEARD/READ ON THE SUBJECT IS BY ONE OF OUR GREAT WRITERS, POET, MUSICIAN, ECT: ED SANDERS, "HYMN TO MAPLE SYRUP", RECITATION OVER THE AIR SOME YEARS AGO. HOPE HE DOESN'T MIND. TOO GOOD TO PASS UP. THX TO GOOGLE BOOKS,CHECK IT OUT BELOW- ENJOY

http://books.google.com/books?id=MOJTVau02yoC&pg=PA198&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

Mar. 26 2013 12:05 PM

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