April 14, 2011

Maple Syrup Lessons and a G word

We've now been living in Vermont for 6 years.  We've had to stop the car for ruffed grouse, cows or moose crossing the road, we've happily discovered that school students still have recess when it snows and we've learned about the two additional weather cycles in this state: mud season and stick season.  I've traded in my sequined purse for a rucksack and our mailbox for a P.O. box.  I keep a well stocked pantry of hot cocoa and a snow shovel by the door- even in April.

But you know what rite of passage we had never experienced here?  Making our own Maple Syrup!  And to think we call ourselves Vermonters.   


Today my pantry has jars of maple syrup next to the cocoa because this was the year for usThe trees were tapped, the syrup flowed, our neighbors taught us some basics and before you knew it, we were maple sugaring.


The whole process reminded me of a cross between canning and what I imagine hunting to be like.  Long stretches of good times with friends while the sap boils and beverages are enjoyed (along with snacks-Bear and I preferred the food over drink)Quiet moments of reflection and busy moments of bucket collections all while day evaporates to night with barely any of us noticing.


Once the sap boiled down, it's color would change; the same process of making sugar water on the stove only on a much larger scale (you can see the difference in the first picture of this post).  When it was amber colored and the perfect temperature, the syrup was transferred to the stove where it was boiled some more, and some more and some more...


until eventually we achieved a finished product just in time to pour over pancakes.  While we did process some of it in bottles, we still held true to canning most of it in jars because- as I've already told you- mason jars are the way to go when storing Vermont maple syrup. 

2 disclaimers before the G word: Our awesome neighbors held our hands and taught us everything during this process.  A huge thank you to N and C for being patient mentors and sharing your sap with us!


Grandparents, don't be anxious; Bear was safe the whole time and we only let him hold the stir stick for a quick photo shoot. ;)


And now...  syrup is sweeter when shared with friends, so...


for my very first giveaway ever you will be able to enter to win a bottle of this amber gold!!  Yay!


My next post will have all the details- in vlog form!!!-on how to enter. 

 And, as Chana, so eloquently put it, it's Easter time so I'm doing a bit of hopping...

All Week Blog Hop
Come join me?

14 comments:

Jenilee said...

I want to win some!! Yummy!

Winn (aka Koreen) said...

Me too! Pure maple syrup is the best! :D

Alita said...

Ooooooh a VLOG!!!! :D I can't wait.

Ps. I looooooooove maple syrup with sausage. YUM-O!

Leslie said...

oooh i am so excited about the giveaway!! i love that you made your own syrup

Amy said...

I'd love to win some. We got some maple syrup from a teacher friend of my husband's eho father makes it in Vermont. Your life sounds wonderful by the way!

Pam said...

That's how we know it is time to go to VT, when we need to replenish our supply of maple syrup. Miss you!

Kate said...

This looks incredibly fun. I've heard maple syrup...like honey...is a perfect food and stores forever in the pantry. That's why I ALWAYS have it around!

T.J. said...

Just had to hop on here and say- Amy you made my day since every woman want to hear that, but MAN OH MAN my life is so not perfect. It's wonderful like how all of ours tend to be at points and chaotic and messy for the rest of the time! Even so, I wouldn't trade it.

Thanks for the compliment- I'll beam about it until something crazy happens here at home like it usually does ;)

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Wonderful! You learned to make Maple Syrup! Oh my, but that will taste more delicious, than any you have ever had before, betcha'! :-)

Gentle hugs,
.♥.

Colleen said...

Oh yum!!! I love real maple syrup. What a fun thing to do!

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

How very Vermont of you! Looks like so much fun, but I'm pretty glad that we don't have to put up with "mud season" around here.

Julie said...

How very fun!! John and I took a trip to Vermont in 2003 and stopped at a Maple Syrup Farm (?), and John was very interested. He wanted to come up and participate some year (he since forgot). I will show him your post! Maybe he can live vicariously through it. ;)

deb duty said...

I loved your post! You have great photos to remember this event by.

Emily said...

I have been meaning to comment on this since you posted, and time just got away from me, BUT...

I loved this post so much because (for me) it really captures the essence of VT and my (too short) year there: Of course you would make maple syrup in your backyard with the help of your kind neighbors. That's so much of what I love about VT and my experience there.

I'm not sure if this comment makes any sense, but I LOVED this post - thank you!

Post a Comment

At any given moment, if you're inspired to leave a comment, I'm inspired to smile :)

 
© Any Given Moment
Graphics for Website Background by Sassy Designs