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Old 03-30-2009, 04:57 PM   #1
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Default Fruits Nuts & Syrups? For Quietman

Maple syrup trees have always held a special place in my heart. I grew up seeing taps in trees. We used to run around those trees playing hide and go seek. From time to time we would hold very still and jump out at our friends to spook them. We were little back then and the trunks were large enough to hide us.

Here are some I took photos of over the weekend.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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More maples.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:46 PM   #3
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Awww! Those photos bring back memories for me! It was my job to empty the buckets (we called them pails back then) so the sap didn't spill over the edges. The sap was cooked over a fire in a big galvanized tank. We took the syrup to town and had it canned up in tins. Maple syrup is wonderful - but the crystals in the bottom of the tank was sublime!

As I remember I usually did the sap chores on skiis - so there was still deep snow when the sap started to run. Im talking about the nothern Michigan woods - near Traverse City.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:46 PM   #4
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Oh that looks so yummy and like so much fun. thanks for sharing
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelnut View Post
It was my job to empty the buckets (we called them pails back then) so the sap didn't spill over the edges. . . . Maple syrup is wonderful - but the crystals in the bottom of the tank was sublime!.
That's a neat memory. Thanks for sharing. What does the sap taste like? Is it something you snitch a taste of when you're emptying buckets?
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:43 AM   #6
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The sap is pretty watery when its still sap, but when you boil it down and get a spoonful it makes your eyes pop! Ive had some forms of molasses and sourghum syrup that taste a little like maple syrup - but not mapely which is quite a unique flavor.
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:51 AM   #7
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Default Wow! That's a lotta pails!

Thanks for thinking of me! Very nice photos!

Most of my neighbors only have 10 or 20 pails out, some even fewer. Now, on my way to work, I've noticed one bloke who has switched over to the space age "bag collection" method. Maybe they are more efficient, but they are not very nostalgic.

Take care every one!

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Old 04-01-2009, 05:57 AM   #8
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Default maple syruping

My Quaker Meeting did maple syruping this year for the first time. We tapped two trees, one of which was a red maple with lower sugar content. Over a few weeks we collected about 20 gallons of sap which we froze as we collected it. The sap spoils readily otherwise. It is very clear, watery and barely sweet. This past Sat we got all the sap out to thaw. Sunday we built a wood fire and boiled the sap down. We had a special pan for it, only about 6 inches deep, but 34" square, for lots of surface area. We started about 10 AM and boiled all day. About 6PM we transferred what was left into a big kettle and finished it indoors on the stove for better control. Having stood out in the cold all day boiling sap, you really don't want to ruin the whole thing! We finished about 8PM with just under 2 quarts of the most beautiful dark amber, wonderful syrup I have ever tasted, which we canned. Sun was 38 degrees here, rainy, very windy, the worst weather day we could have picked, but we put up a canopy and did pretty well. It was a fun community activity, educational for the children (and the rest of us, I had never seen this process). One interesting tidbit. I came out of it with a line of chigger bites, right at the top of my sock. Ordinarily it would be too early for chiggers. We decided the wood fire sitting directly on the garden soil all day must have warmed the soil up and driven some of them out!
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:12 AM   #9
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rainbowgardener: Its interesting that you made a community activity out of maple syrup making. For me it was a solitary - but busy - job. My uncle started the fire in the morning and took the days syrup if it was ready to the cannery in huge tins with screw on lids. He collected these with the horses and a small sleigh with racks he built for that purpose. The cannery was in a nearby town. They canned up the maple syrup and also garden produce for the school in gallon tins. As I remember the cannery was run by local ladies who volunteered there.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:08 PM   #10
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You found it! I loved your photo of the solitary maple tree with the pail.
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