The maple syrup adventure continues. We had a few days of cold weather which caused the sap to stop flowing. I spent six hours boiling down five gallons of sap to make this pint of syrup. I will admit it's a bit thin, I was afraid of burning the syrup.
I have collected another five gallons of sap and will spend today manning the stove. When I get it boiled down I may add the pint of syrup I have to remove more water and make it thicker. We will see, it takes up a lot of my time. Is it worth it? Well, I've never tasted anything like it. It doesn't taste like bought maple syrup. It's not overly sweet and has a flavor more like creme brulee than maple. I like it!
The other day as I was driving down a back road I came across another tree tapper. This person's approach amazed me.
I sent this photo to my friends at Camp Lutherlyn with the caption,
"freaky looking but what a good idea."
They answered, "what's freaky is it looks like this person tapped an Ash tree."
I couldn't tell for sure from the photo what kind of tree this is. I hope it's a maple.
Dick from TX had asked me in an earlier post what other trees I might tap. Birch and Sassafras also can be tapped. I am a beginner so I'll stick to maple....and the boiling down of sap is more work than I had imagined. Besides the boiling, there is a lot straining. A by product of boiling is tree sand. The sand is a mixture of minerals in the sap that drop out as the water is evaporated. The sand is gritty, not something you want in your syrup. It's not easy getting the sand out. My jar above has sand on the bottom. I was sure I had stained it all out, but after the syrup cooled...there it was.
While I am boiling sap today I'll be working on my sketchbook for the
Sketchbook Project 2015. It's due at the end of the month and I have hardly begun!
I picked the theme History Book this year. I decided to look at world history through the eyes of my favorite mice.
I have a few pages roughed out but basically my sketchbook is empty. It's going to be down to the wire this year.
Well, I have my work cut out for me today so I better get to it.
Have a great day and stop back soon!