Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It Worked! We Made Syrup! (Just Call Us Ingalls)


Just call us Ingalls because we did it!  

And by "we" I, of course, mean not me but the rest of my family.  I watched a bit and cheered them on but I had pressing work inside spinning yarn and churning and such.  Or not.

But our little experiment worked!  Do you see that beauty?  Real syrup from our own real trees!  

We bought six taps.  We have about a dozen maple trees but I convinced Brian that six was more than enough.  The first tree tapped wasn't giving anything so the next night Brian and John Paul went out and picked different ones.  We tapped a total of five trees, placing two in one of the bigger ones.

Twice a day John Paul has been going out and checking on them, emptying them into a larger bucket as necessary.  (I know, you already saw these two pics but you can't write a "we made syrup" post without a couple pics of the actual tapping now, can you?)

On Sunday, yet another frigid cold day, Brian set up the fire pit and boiling stove.  

Like so.
Old cinder blocks, a couple of pieces of metal from the store, old wood and pallets for fuel.  And my canning stock pot which he promised he wouldn't ruin.

The boys were out there much of the time because fire.  And Papa.  And wood.  And fire.  All the things the boys love most.

The fire went from about noon til dusk as the sap boiled and boiled and boiled.

This one petered out the earliest.  

A few more stove shots...


  

Tasting the sap (and warming up!)

Love how into it this guy has been.


Commemorating the occasion...

The sap still wasn't done by sundown so Brian boiled it a few more hours inside.  Then strained and funneled it into the jar.  We still have lots of sap dripping so I think the plan is to make another batch or two.  We have a whole lot of other pressing chores to take care of before baby but most of them can't happen before the snow melts and yard dries anyway which may take a good long while.  But hopefully not because I'm starting to get antsy.  I mean, I can't exactly play Carolyn without my clothesline fixed and garden tilled, can I??

Isn't it pretty?  
And seriously, not even pretending, it is SO good.  Better than the store without doubt.  We all took a taste but the rest is being saved for after Easter…then y'all are invited over for some buttermilk pancakes.  Maybe I'll even churn the butter for you :)




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17 comments:

  1. Yay!! Thanks of all the details; that stove is impressive! I'm so glad it worked!

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  2. That is awesome! How did y'all know how to do all those different steps?

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    1. The internet and especially YouTube are our friends...we're very thorough researchers like that :)

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  3. That's awesome, Ma! ;-) We have a half dozen good-sized maple trees on our property and I've always tried to talk my husband into tapping them, but the man prefers Aunt Jemima. Oy!

    PS That stove would be handy to have if the power ever went out for any lengthy period of time.

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  4. Oh my gosh, so cool! Mary, I want to be you someday. :-D So inspiring!

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  5. That is so awesome!!! I'm seriously having daydreams of living back in that part of the country and getting a place with maple trees... What fun!!

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  6. That is AWESOME! Now, will you try making your own sugar? Huh, Ma? ;)
    But really, will you give it a try?
    And then will you make your own sugar while simultaneously holding a party in your home - complete with a band? Seriously, how did they do it?

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    1. I know, right? Every time I read one of the books, I realize what a wimp I am…then again we do and worry about a lot that they never did. But I think I need a stunt double to pull that one off :) Probably not with the sugar…I'm good with buying that at the store!

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  7. So, so, so amazing. Was the syrup what they poured in the snow to make the candy? Or was that some other time? I can't remember well enough. It looks beautiful.

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    1. I think that's what they did, right?? There's no way we're using it up for that, though…we tried that once with store syrup and it was just eh. Their palettes were much simpler than ours, I think!

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  8. I really enjoyed this! It's nice that even a modest amount of maple trees and simple supplies can give you the best quality of syrup.

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  9. oh - bunch of jealous people here in MA - Oak and Pine we got plenty of - Maple, not so much. Time to keep looking!

    blessings
    Karen

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  10. You are totally the Ingalls family! So impressed. Can I stop by for pancakes??

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  11. You guys are just so cool and your boys are blessed!

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  12. we did this last year and this year, lots of fun! and its great having it on waffles and ice cream!

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