Maple Syrup

At certain the times the world is like "Booyah" in your face. Today that happened with the thermometer. Exhibit A:

Damn near 70°F. Two days ago I was wearing my winter parka. Today Minneapoltins were running in shorts and tank tops. One brave little boy topped everyone. Swim trunks, Lake Harriet and a very apprehensive looking mother. Wow.

It's things like this that splash that partially ice covered lake water in my face and say: "Remember that maple syrup blog you need to post..." Here it is gang. My apologies for the clash of winter scapes and balmy temperatures. It is spring time in Minnesota after all...I suppose one shouldn't be surprised.

As always enjoy.

Making Maple Syrup:

You've tapped em'. Now you have sap. Oh my do you have sap.

First thing first. Be prepared with containers to collect your sap.

I repeat, have containers for your sap.

Sap collected. Now you'll need something to cook it on. We converted a turkey fryer into a makeshift evaporator. There are many ways of boiling down sap. The turkey fryer method is one way. Next year we will attempt an option using a steel barrel. (For steel barrel option click here.)

Next up, you'll need to sit and ponder the worldliness of existence while you boil and boil and boil. Oh and boil some more. Don't forget to skim the foam.

Once it's boiled down to a slightly caramel color you'll need to take it inside and boil it down a little more. 219°F is your target. Hit that, pass go, collect $200. Okay maybe not $200...

 Make cornbread. Brew coffee. Sit back relax and enjoy the sticky sweetness of your labor. The experience is what you make of it. How four little spiles can accumulate to a 70+ and still counting gallons of sap is another beguiling wonder of the natural world. Deep bow mother nature. My deep and utmost respect.

Note: For a very detailed explanation of the process click here for a great youtube step-by-step run through.