I wish I could send the smell of boiling maple syrup to everyone reading this post. It is truly my favorite part of making it. You are engulfed in maple steam the whole time, it’s wonderful.
Easter Sunday was the first day Bill and I boiled sap with Russell. Bill and Russ had gathered the buckets the day before and the reverse osmosis machine had done its thing while we shared an Easter dinner with family. We lit the fire at about 3:00 and finished at 5:30 making 8 gallons of syrup. Russ says he needs more taps now that he has the r.0. I think he’s right. Having so much of the water removed from the sap before we start to boil has cut the time to make syrup in half. We talked about how boiling used to take us hours. We’d start at 2:00 in the afternoon and maybe, just maybe be cleaning up at 1:00 in the morning.
There have been so many improvements in the equipment over the years that just make it easier than it used to be. When we sugared years ago the men that boiled could tell when it was ready by how it flowed off of their scoops. Now there are so many different ways of measuring the sugar content of your syrup I think the art of making syrup may be lost, now it’s manufacturing. Well, almost. It’s still a lot of work.
So after canning up our hot syrup and taking it away we got a call from Russell telling us he’s picking up all of the syrup we’d brought away with us – factory recall. It was cloudy so it would have to be heated and re-filtered. We were running blind in the filtering department with vague instructions Carmen had left behind when she went to work (she’s the expert). So back it went and our anxious customers will have to wait another week for their dose of fresh maple syrup.