This is how it begins! A beautiful sugar maple tree, a plastic tap, a good ole milk jug, some rope, and bam! You've got the beginnings of the most amazing maple syrup you've ever had!
This year I was so blessed to be able to learn how to do this! Some friends of mine that I grew up with have access to an amazing old "sugar shack".
I'm not sure when it was built, but I know the man who owns it now, used to go to the sugar shack with his grandfather! So we enjoyed hearing the stories of how he would fall asleep on a bench at night while everyone finished cooking the syrup when he was a child. We had a blast, turned up the folk music, made some amazing eggs and sausage and pancakes, topped with maple syrup. My friend Jordan earned the name " the pancake man" for his creative way of making pancakes!
It was a wonderful day all around. So here is the process, the best way I can explain it. You tap the trees. There are many websites that have good prices on the equipment to do this.
You just dump the sap into a food grade bucket ( they got theirs from a local grocery store ) and once it is all collected, you put it on to boil!! It takes about 6-8 hours for it to boil down. You just skim the top to make sure the impurities get out. :) Of course this is not a complete awesome tutorial, just a fun post of a neat activity we did here at the hill.
Here's a pic of the sap boiling on top of the outdoor wood stove. It smells amazing!
Once it boils down, they usually take it home and boil it down and test the sugars etc on their kitchen stove. :)
Put it in a jar and there you go!!!!!! This one is a gorgeous amber grade and oh my heavens it is soooo amazing!
All in all it was such a fantastic experience. Especially being in the woods with good friends, listening to good music and eating good food! What a fun activity!
Happy Sugaring! :)