Monday, March 9, 2009

Maple Thoughts

Maple Thoughts

In his essay "Phases from Farm Life"
American Naturalist John Burroughs
says of Sugarmaking "Before the bud swells,
before the grass springs,
before the plow is started, comes the sugar harvest.
It is the sequel of the bitter frost; a sap-run
is the sweet good-by of winter."

-John Burroughs-"Phases of Farm Life"
From Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich

Maple Time is a sweet pleasure in life. It is another time,weather sensitive process. It cannot be hurried, it is time to sit, watch wait, keep the fire burning, whittle, knit, chat, split wood. It is a time like no other as it comes only once a year. It slows you down and gives you peace.
This is the start and finish of our efforts.
You must do this outdoors. You are essentially evaporating 40 gallons of sap for every gallon of Syrup. You do not want that moisture in your house! When you are at the very end- you must watch very carefully lest you not boil the sap over as we have had the experience on more than one occasion, that is bittersweet after hours of careful watch . . . . but the sweetness is like no other. So wherever you are - get out to a Sugar house this season. It is a timeless part of history. We are fortunate to still be able to enjoy. Another sweet pleasure is Sap Tea- taking a cup of warm sap as it is in the evaporating stage and adding a tea bag- you will have tea like this only once a year. Enjoy!!

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