Sunday, March 22, 2009

We're sugaring down in Maine!

It's one of those scuddy cloudy, sun and brighty March days here in Maine and we are collecting our maple sap....... possibly the smallest sap buckets known to man...everyone else uses 5 gallon buckets...not me, they just aren't cute enough!
The sap has been flowing intermittently as the temps have been up and down the last few days but today it is flowing like a raging torrent...well not quite, more of a constant trickle, but certainly better than yesterday when it was freezing coming out of the tap!! I am awestruck at how much water you have to boil out of the sap...the ratio is about 43:1 so I am going to have to collect 43 gallons of sap to end up with 1 gallon of maple sugar, no wonder the divine stuff is so expensive. I am aiming more realistically for a pint, and then I will consider myself lucky!!
Here is Eleanor wondering when she gets to taste the sap which you can see frozen into a doughnut shape...yum, maple doughnuts...that sounds good to me. Alas, I don't have a recipe for today but I did just see a delicious looking one on David Lebovitz's blog so hop on over there for Giovanna's Maple Creams.
I would show you a picture of the actual sugaring down on our trusty old wood burning stove but I have to admit I am too embarrassed at it's current state of dirt and rustiness after a hard winter of constant burning day and night. I am delighted to be able to do the sugaring down on the stove which we are still using to warm the house so I am killing two birds with one stone...apparently this is not such a bright idea as there is the possibility of my coating the entire house with sugar sap but so far it hasn't been a problem and honestly you saw the size of my buckets....we will be lucky if we end up with 4 fluid ounces of that delicious golden liquid, nectar of the Gods. When I have completed the process I will post a Brit recipe which uses maple sugar but I haven't decided on one yet.

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