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.
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,