Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Making Maple Syrup!

Little Miss Priss had a few issues while helping make maple syrup.

First, "that spile is hurting the maple tree".  When temperatures fall below freezing at night and above freezing during the day, sap begins to flow in the tree.  The sap drips from the spile, this doesn't hurt the tree.    


Second, "there would be no need for a funnel, if they would let me pour the sap into the lines".  We explained she works much too slowly and dumping the sap from the bucket into her little top would cause a huge loss in sap.  It takes 10 gallons of sap to make 1 quart of syrup.  Every drop counts.


Third, "it isn't fair, that tree has two buckets".  Depending on the size of the tree, two and sometimes three taps can be used.


Fourth, "I'm getting tired of hiking all over this woods."  Each tap provides five to fifteen gallon of sap.  It takes a lot of trees to make maple syrup!


Fifth, "These bridges don't look safe".  The kids usually build the bridges.  The teamwork of cousins and satisfaction when they finish the job make these bridges more valuable than any others in the world.  And who knows, perhaps someday, one of these little boys will grow up to engineer real bridges.


Sixth, "Splitting and stacking wood makes my handle hurt."  The sap is boiled to remove the excess water.  Because of the large amount of steam, this is done outside.  It takes a lot of wood for a fire to boil the sap into syrup.


"Oh. . . that is where you put all the wood."


Seventh, "I'm getting hungry."  Grandpa always has a pan of eggs boiling in sap.  Miss Priss declared these "the best hard boiled eggs in the world!"  
Miss Priss also feasted on hotdogs and marshmallows.  


My dad has been making maple syrup ever since he got married.  He does not do it commercially, only for our family use.  As my siblings and I have grown up, married and had children, the maple syrup operation has grown.  This year, we had four generations help with syrup.  Some of his grandchildren's fondest childhood memories are back at the "Sugar Shack".

After we returned home, Miss Priss wanted to know how we could add maple syrup to tea time.    My favorite is maple butter for scones, and it is super simple.  

Maple Butter
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup real maple syrup

Mix with electric mixer until syrup is incorporated into butter, about 5 minutes.  Use on scones, or in place of butter for tea sandwiches.

Hope your day is sweet.

Sips and Smiles, 
Teresa

8 comments:

relevanttealeaf said...

What an educational experience for Miss Priss, and for me too! Your family memories of making maple syrup are priceless. Miss Priss was very fortunate to be included!

amherstrose said...

How much fun is this! I want to help too! I am familiar with the surgaring process but enjoyed it from the teapot's perspective.
What a fascinating post, Teresa.

This teapot will have so many skills when she is finished with this tour.

Can't wait to see what is next.

Mary Jane

La Tea Dah said...

Yum! Eggs boiled in maple sap, and maple butter. Fascinating post! It was fun to see your family tapping trees for sap. Family memories forever! I'm glad to see that the teapot was able to help.

Marilyn said...

Teresa,
Thanks for sharing this very special family event. How I would love doing this and being a part of the tasting. This little teapot is having quite the adventure.

Rosemary said...

What an exciting family experience! Loved the photos and all the explanations. And the recipe for maple butter sounds super easy!

Dianne said...

Thanks for the lovely post and bringing old memories back - some of my earliest recollections include visiting a sugar bush in Quebec, and maple syrup is always a pantry staple in my kitchen - I'll try the maple butter recipe today :)

Deanne said...

My first experience making maple syrup and I loved it! I am definitely living vicariously through Miss Priscilla!

Your family traditional is so endearing... The eggs boiling in sap has me very intrigued and I'm so looking forward to making your maple butter for scones (and waffles on Sunday morning)!

Sparkly Engineer said...

Possibly Miss Pris is not the outdoor type. She sounds rather whiney today.

My husband is experimenting with tree taping. We visited a local park where they taught us how to tap a tree and collect the sap and he is now boiling it all down. We are anxious to try the results.