Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Maple Syrup

No, this isn't a post about how much better for you pure maple syrup is.  It's a post of how that liquid gold makes it to your table.

For as long as I can remember, maple syrup has been a part of my life.  

My dad's family has been making maple syrup since the early 1900's.  It's a tradition that has been passed down for four generations.

So how does it happen?

It starts in the woods in the spring when the sugar maples are tapped and the buckets hung.  And then you wait for the weather to be perfect.  The days need to be warm enough (about freezing) and the nights below freezing for the sap to start running.

Then the sap needs to be collected- which requires lots of manpower!

Once the sap is collected, it's taken back to the cookin' shack where it's filtered and pumped into the cooker.  The sap is cooked (water is evaporated off) until it hits 217 degrees.  At this point, it's pulled off the cooker and taken back to the house.

Here it's put into a smaller cooker and heated to a specific gravity of 32.  Then it's filtered one last time.

Once it's been filtered, it's heated to 220 degrees and bottled.

And there it is, liquid gold from the tree to the table.

Maple syrup time isn't just about making the maple syrup.  It's also about spending time with family and passing traditions on to the next generation.

My grandpa's tractor- the first one that was used on the farm, restored by my cousin.

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