Thursday, June 6, 2013

Maple Syrup

Canadian Gold.....

Hands down the sweetest, tastiest all natural treat that exists.
The "Sugar Shack"

To make Maple syrup we "tap" sugar maple, black maple, or red maple trees.  When I refer to "tapping" the trees, I mean drilling a hole into the tree (which does not harm the trees at all) and inserting a "spile" (spout) with a pail below to catch the liquid that will drip out.  This is called "sap".  The sap is clear & tasteless and needs to be processed into syrup.  To make the syrup we boil the sap to evaporate the water.  Generally speaking it takes about 50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  Now you know why it can have such a high price tag.
Real maple syrup is high in maganese, contains zinc, and has only 34 calories in 2tsp.  It is a great substitute for sugar.  It is good for your heart, excellent for your immune system, and is beneficial to mens reproductive health!

Besides all of this, it tastes GREAT!  Our family is so spoiled that we don't like the fake table syrup at all.  YouIt is used for more than pancakes & waffles...we use it for baking, cooking, a replacement for any sugar,  & we make "Dunns Valley Shooters" (1/2 Whiskey & 1/2 Maple Syrup)

My family has made maple syrup since the 1980's.  We started by manually drilling the trees, and collecting the sap by pails with the help of a sled.  We had an open bonfire pit, with a giant cast iron kettle hanging over the fire for days.  It was a really fun time with some GREAT memories.

We have evolved over the past few decades, my Father purchased a professional type of boiler a couple of years ago, he has built a "sugar shack" around it, and there are some trees with blue tubing running to the big barrels.  The yield is larger, but the work is harder and longer too.
This year my Husband and kids spent the whole spring break there boiling the sap.  I made sure that they tapped some trees the "old" way so my kids would not loose the simplicity of it all.

Awesome weather this year for making Syrup.  Lots of snow means the spring will be better for the trees.

The beautiful view from the camp onto the small lake

I am sure we have created some great memories and traditions for our kids to pass along to their children.

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