Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nectar of the gods and a sneak peek too!

Hello again friends!
Yesterday here in N.E. Pennsylvania, we experienced a BEAUTIFUL spring day. Not a cloud in the sky, no wind and SUN, SUN, SUN! Truly a welcomed thing after a long winter, and perfect conditions for spending the day cooking sap. We started the process at 9am by building our cinder block fire pit and starting the fire....
Next we emptied our refrigerator of 11 gallons of sap. We added to that 2 more gallons that we collected off the trees in the early afternoon hours.
As you can see, we use the best technology available to us in our sap collection by hanging recycled milk jugs on the trees. Just slice a small hole in the side and hang it on the spile (that's the metal thingy that gets pounded into the tree that the sap drips out of).

Next we sit around and watch the sap boil...and boil...and boil. We also enjoyed a lunch of baked potatoes with ham and cheese, cooked in the hot coals. YUMMY!
Yes, I know I look a bit redneck in my bib overalls and ski cap, but all fashion rules go out the window when you're making syrup! I swear, we really are making syrup, not moonshine! As you can see, we use 2 pans. The one in front of Colvin is the warming pan. We get a good boil happening there and then bit by bit, we transfer it into the next pan to cook some more. Then something magical happens...
it begins to change color. This means that we're getting closer to syrup. We were outside cooking for about 8 hours. After the sap is mostly evaporated, we then filter it through some muslin clipped to a pot with clothes pins...

Then the pans need to be soaked by melting any available snow into them...
After the fire is out, we retire to the comfort of the indoors and wait for our transition lenses to return to normal. But wait, we're not done quite yet. Now we actually finish it off into syrup on the stove...
Whoever said a watched pot never boils apparently never made maple syrup. The end is now near. After digging around in a kitchen drawer and locating 2 canning lids, it's time to cross the finish line...
That's right. This is what 13 gallons of sap turns into after 9 hours. 2 1/2 pints of pure Pennsylvania maple syrup. It's just that simple! Can you almost taste it?

Now, before your eyes glaze over and you slip into a syrup-induced coma, I've got a sneak peek to share with you. Once again, I've been invited to have a sampler appear in the Halloween issue of Just Cross stitch magazine. Now I just hope the frame arrives soon as I need to get the sampler shipped out this week. Feast your eyes on this and may the curiosity begin....
At the risk of sounding "sappy", I'd like to thank each and every one of you for "sticking" with me. Wishing you a day sweeter than maple syrup!



  1. gosh that is a lot of work for such a small return size wise but I bet the taste is gorgeous :)
    and oooo nice sneak peak :) and I have been working on Dandy Dreams these last two thursday nights ... will bob progress on the blog soon :) love mouse xxxxx

  2. What a neat process.... you certainly have a lot patience! Nice to see how these things are made...thanks for posting.

  3. Yesterday was a beautiful day in NJ too :-)) Spring is coming :-))
    I finished Promise of Spring. l like it a lot :-))
    I posted it on my blog.

  4. Lovely to be able to make your own syrup - does look like a lot of work - hope it tastes gorgeous.

  5. Oh my goodness. I had read one of Laura Ingills Wilder's books and she described exactly how they collected the sap, boiled it and only to end up with pure maple syrup. Wow, thats soo cool. Oh I enjoyed your post so much. Ooh fun sneak peak too. love Annette

  6. I had no idea it took all that work to get maple syrup, I'll appreciate that much more now!

  7. Sometimes the food that takes the most work to prepare tastes the best, doesn't it? Thank you for sharing this, Diane!


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