Friday, March 13, 2009

Slowly, slowly

The maple sap has finally started running in the last week or two. Most years, I think we are done by now but the cold weather has delayed our season a bit.

It starts out very clear and just as thin as water

Clarence pours it through an old milk strainer his dad found for him, using a coffee filter to line it. This takes care of any ants or other debris that might be in the sap.

Then it goes on top of the woodstove to start cooking. This year, he purchased a couple stainless steam table pans. The larger surface area seems to be a big help in cooking the sap down more quickly. The stock pot holds the excess now, instead of being used for the whole job.

The color starts to change as it cooks.

As it thickens, we have to watch it more carefully. We usually get it close to being done, refrigerate it, then wait until we can combine batches to do the final cooking down. It can be hard to finish it without scorching it or turning it to maple sugar but by combining batches, we can maintain a little more control.

We've had another little cold snap so the sap quit running again. This weekend promises perfect maple sugaring weather so we should be back at it in the next couple of days.

In a completely unrelated matter:

My oven is fixed! A new igniter, broiler burner adjusted, a couple other questions answered, an explanation of proper combustion, and $150.00 later, we're good to go. I also have an occasional problem with my convection fan not working. It isn't all that frequent but enough to be annoying. He checked into that, too, and called me today with the price for that part. Another $150. For the part, not labor.

At that price, I'm taking my chances that it will continue working most of the time or I'll get by without it.

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  1. Sheesh! And I don't suppose there is any warranty left or it wouldn't have cost $150!

  2. Making the Maple Syrup sounds like a tricky proposition. I have known people who have done it...but never have. Most likely won't unless I can't get syrup any other way...

    Hope that fan lasts a long time for you.

  3. Wow that sounds pretty hard! High five to you guys! I bet it is yummy!


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