Memories and Maple Syrup

Canada
January 8, 2017 4:16pm CST
When my youngest was around 8 years old we moved into a home with two big maple trees in the back yard. A good friend when he noticed them suggested we tap them and make some syrup just for fun. My son had already asked if we could do that. My friend had the taps and the covered buckets so we put two buckets on the two trees.It was spring and the sap was running. My husband the chef has a huge pot for making big batches of soups and other things, we brought up into the kitchen. He was out of town for a couple of weeks.... So we decided to make a mess.. My son checked the sap buckets and emptied them into this huge pot and when it was full and it was the weekend we started ... We boiled that sap and like magic it started getting thicker. It took three days... It took a long time... When the syrup was finally thick enough we put it in a few little jars.That pot that probably held 8 gallons of sap and gave us about a half quart of syrup.... It was delicious and as I cleaned the kitchen something dropped on my head. I looked up and the whole ceiling was dripping with syrup steam. It took me many hours to wash the ceiling first and then everything else in the kitchen because everything was sticky. I had noticed the steam coming off the syrup as it cooked. If you go to a sugar shack where they make syrup in a building, you will see they don't allow the steam to be in a building, it is sent up out of the roof. In the olden days it was boiled over a fire outside (in a huge kettle) so the steam just disappears. Thankfully just the kitchen was a mess, and I would never do it again but my son and I had a great time doing it and enjoyed the syrup on our pancakes. From that day on every spring we would go to a sugar shack and watch the process, no more sticky ceilings for me – ever! The photo is mine taken at a maple syrup place here in Ontario.
How to Make Maple Syrup - From tapping the trees and gathering the sweet sap to bottling your syrup, using it in recipes and making maple cream.
22 people like this
26 responses
@sharon6345 (101189)
• United States
8 Jan
That was nice that you had the time to learn about it. I would not want to clean that up in my house though.
3 people like this
• Canada
11 Jan
And I will never do that again just because of the mess.
@sharon6345 (101189)
• United States
11 Jan
@PainsOnSlate Boy do I understand that. Good for you.
1 person likes this
@Juliaacv (20588)
• Canada
8 Jan
We lived in what is nicknamed The Maple City for the first few years of our marriage, and we have always had a maple tree on our property, until we moved out here, but I have never partook in the spring maple syrup tapping, we haven't even been out to a maple bush to see someone else do it.
3 people like this
• Canada
8 Jan
Its fascinating to watch and see what goes on. My parents took us kids to a sugar bush every spring and we came home with maple syrup and candy. I did the same when we moved back north for my kids. The last one I went to here in this area had natives there making syrup the way they did years ago, they hollow out a cut tree, then pour the syrup into carved tree and dropped hot rocks in the sap and the steams rises and eventually they have syrup. I asked how they cleaned their syrup when it was done because the sap in the cut out tree was filthy with the ashes from the rocks used....I don't remember their answer.. I should look it up and see if its mentioned on line...
2 people like this
@Juliaacv (20588)
• Canada
8 Jan
@PainsOnSlate We toured a Menonite Farm up in St Jacobs one summer, and they showed us their outfit that they used during the maple syrup run, very sophisticated.
1 person likes this
@Happy2BeMe (62433)
• Canada
8 Jan
lol what a great story and good memories to have. I love going to the sugar shack in the Spring. My aunt and uncle in Ottawa always made their own maple syrup and bring us all a bottle when they came for a visit. It was so good.
3 people like this
• Canada
8 Jan
It was delicious but that was the first and last time I tried it in the house...it was very sticky... everywhere.
2 people like this
@Happy2BeMe (62433)
• Canada
8 Jan
@PainsOnSlate I would imagine it would be hard to clean up
1 person likes this
@paigea (20024)
• Canada
8 Jan
That is a great memory. But I can imagine the mess. I will be sure to do it outside if I ever get the chance.
3 people like this
• Canada
8 Jan
Live and learn...I would never do it in the house again - ever!
1 person likes this
@katsmeow1213 (28707)
• United States
8 Jan
I bet it was good as it was fresh! I've never gotten any fresh maple syrup.. I buy the fake stuff from the store. The real stuff is too expensive. Maybe someday.
2 people like this
• Canada
9 Jan
I don't like the fake stuff because of the chemicals they add to the mix to "make it better" So i spend the 25 dollars for a big enough bottle to last for a year...There are just two of us so it actually lasts usually longer than a year but we go to the local sugar shack every spring and buy a bottle for us and a bottle for the neighbor who blows the snow off of our driveway all winter...
• United States
9 Jan
@PainsOnSlate I go through an entire bottle each time I use it!
1 person likes this
@Kandae11 (23468)
8 Jan
Always heard about maple syrup but I have never tasted it.
2 people like this
• Canada
11 Jan
Its delicious, very sweet and a taste of its own.
1 person likes this
@LoriAMoore (8727)
• United States
8 Jan
I'm laughing about the syrup steam dripping from the ceiling!
2 people like this
• Canada
13 Jan
I laughed too until I had to scrub it off the ceiling.
@allknowing (54667)
• India
9 Jan
Maple syrup and you made it!!! I can only think of pancakes and maple syrup
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Jan
French Toast is also delicious with maple syrup...
1 person likes this
@allknowing (54667)
• India
9 Jan
@PainsOnSlate My US holiday gave me an opportunity to eat pancakes with maple syrup. I thought French Toast was already sweet.
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Jan
@allknowing French toast is just a slice of bread soaked up in a beaten up egg with a bit of milk. You add the sweet with syrup. Easy to make and delicious..
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (32766)
• Gainesville, Florida
10 Jan
How did the syrup taste? I can imagine that it was probably delicious! Here in Florida, we don't have a lot of maples, so it would be hard to make homemade maple syrup. But we do make cane syrup from sugar cane, although in my opinion it is nowhere near as good as maple syrup. But still, it's pretty good. Just a different taste, that's all.
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Jan
That is interesting, the syrup tasted lovely just like the ones I buy every spring now..I have never tasted sugar cane. When and if we get to meet in Florida you can show us. I think Belle is in Florida now, I'm still in limbo waiting for my surgeon to set a date. I'm beginning to think nothing is going to happen this spring so I may put it off to late summer so we can get out of the cold country and head south.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (32766)
• Gainesville, Florida
14 Jan
@PainsOnSlate I hope you are able to make it down to Florida! Yes, Belle is already here, but we haven't met up yet.
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Jan
@moffittjc If not this year, next for sure.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (30037)
• Portland, Connecticut
9 Jan
My cousin used to tap His trees but he brought the syrup to someone else to process, I am assuming for this very reason lol
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Jan
I'm guessing that is the reason. I didn't know you could do that. Very interesting, I have young maples in my yard and in the spring they have ice cycles. It took me a while to figure out the ice was maple sap...
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (30037)
• Portland, Connecticut
9 Jan
@PainsOnSlate We have at least 6 maples in our yard and I have never considered tapping them, I guess I should lol
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Jan
@BelleStarr Not unless you have a special building to boil it in...
1 person likes this
@1creekgirl (7408)
• United States
8 Jan
What a wonderful memory for you and your son!
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Jan
It is a fun memory, we did have fun doing it until I had to clean up the mess...
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jan
@PainsOnSlate Oh, I would have really hated the clean up. I'd rather be dirty than sticky
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Jan
@1creekgirl It really surprised me, I wasn't thinking... but it won't happen again.
1 person likes this
@just4him (85245)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
13 Jan
That must have been exciting, even if it was a bit messy.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Jan
It was fun but I wouldn't do it again...
1 person likes this
@just4him (85245)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
14 Jan
@PainsOnSlate I wouldn't either not with all the clean up it caused.
1 person likes this
@fishtiger58 (29386)
• Momence, Illinois
9 Jan
My husband loves real maple syrup, oddly for me it tastes bitter, so I don't much care for it, but it must have been fun making your own. Except for the sticky mess it left beind. Live and learn.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Jan
It was and it won't happen again...
1 person likes this
@fishtiger58 (29386)
• Momence, Illinois
15 Jan
@PainsOnSlate I bet not, the thought of how much cleaning you had to do is awful. Sticky for days lol.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jan
i wish we had a sugar maple..all we have are poison maples..they put out white sap. they're good for furniture and fire and that's about it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Jan
I've never heard of a poison maple. I just looked it up and I see the red maple is poison to horses. I read farther and even the leaves of the sugar maple can make a horse sick. I learn something every day. so thanks for that...
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jan
@PainsOnSlate these ones in particular are norway maples-they drive me nuts-with the weather changes,they now drop "twirlies" twice a year.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (43817)
• United States
8 Jan
we have three huge maple trees here.A couple of years a friend of mine tap a spout and got plenty of syrup. They had their own sugar shack.Then a tree specialist told me to stop it as it may harm your tree.We notices that one of the tree was going down him.But still healthy and we did stop.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Jan
I only did it that one year so I'm thinking the trees are good. I noticed at the sugar shacks they tap all different sized trees, mine in the back yard were huge...I'm guessing I didn't hurt them.
@amadeo (43817)
• United States
14 Jan
@PainsOnSlate yes,they are starting to branch out on different type of trees
1 person likes this
@KristenH (18993)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
8 Jan
Aww happy memories. Pancakes and syrup go together like mac and cheese and PB&J.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Jan
I so agree with you!!
1 person likes this
@KristenH (18993)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
14 Jan
1 person likes this
@Shellyann36 (8037)
• United States
8 Feb
Delicious lesson learned. I would love to see this process.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Feb
it was fun and a learning curve for my sons and me....
@DianneN (54752)
• United States
9 Jan
I don't blame you for not wanting to to it again in your house, but what a great memory to have!
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Jan
We still laugh about it...
1 person likes this
@PatZAnthony (11721)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
9 Jan
It would be fun to do if we had that kettle needed to be outdoors! Otherwise, like you, not doing it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Jan
It would be fun to do it outside but I think in the cold it has to we be watched all night and I'm not doing that.. In the house I shut it off during the night - it took thee days to get the syrup...won't be doing that again - ever...
@masood72 (4159)
• Amersfoort, Netherlands
9 Jan
nice sharing
1 person likes this
• Canada
12 Jan
Thank you.