Friday, April 20, 2012

Getting Back to Normal

Hiya folks, it's good to be back!!

I'd been gone so long that I was getting overwhelmed thinking about trying to update y'all on all that's gone on. But, the best way to eat an elephant is always one bite at a time, so I'll give you the posts I promised, and try to remember some of the other stuff that's gone on, but perhaps we'll just have to start fresh from today and type about what's going on from here!

Maple syrup was a wonderful success, I managed to make about 1 litre of syrup, which was my goal all along. Andrew and I cut a circle out of the lid of one of the sap buckets that would fit the strainer, lined with coffee filters. Then by the measuring cup full we poured 15 gallons of sap through the filters. It took us all of one evening and part of the next morning. We would put about 8 cups of sap through each filter before it became horribly clogged and sluggish. I don't want to tell you how many filters we used! Next year I might look into one of the fancy cone filters that look like they're made of boot liners. We'll see.  Next we poured as much sap as would fit into the turkey deep fryer pot, and let it boil itself away on the patio for hours. The weather was fabulous, and we sat out and played game after game of cards, occasionally stirring the pot, or adding more sap until it all fit in the pot. It boiled, and boiled and boiled. We didn't feel comfortable leaving it boiling unattended, so we shut it off and put the lid on when we went to work and bed. 2 days later it was getting quite thick, and hard to stir, since the syrup covered about 3 inches on the bottom of the pot, and the rest was a column of hot steam! We transfered it to a smaller pot to finish, and spent yet another evening playing cards out on the patio. We both got pretty good at rummy that weekend. As we got closer, I kept a glass of ice water near by, a friend told me it would be finished when it was approaching the soft ball stage.
The syrup is delicious, very sweet!! And although the work was slow, it wasn't hard, and I really enjoyed it. I think I'll make some again next year. Also, next year, I will fill a small bottle, seal it, and put it away... the syrup is almost gone already, there's no way I'll have any left to enter in the fall fair!!

Also, I'm way happier with this new layout, what do you think?

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