Monday, March 28, 2011

Sugar shack!

Bogged down with the remnants of the "man cold" and sporting a splitting migraine today so apologies in advance for the short and sporadic posts these days...

I'm just not that into it, ya know?

The weekend was a throw-back to winter: cold and grey and super windy but we tried to ignore it and spent  a very lovely Saturday afternoon at my uncle's little sugar shack in the woods. My dad and stepmom made the long trip to be there, so did my brothers with their families - it was such a treat to see everyone again, just like that!

We're all so busy and not exactly neighbors so you just have to make the effort sometimes, eh?

My uncle and one of his friends have owned this piece of land for decades and every spring they hand-collect sap from their maple trees (250 buckets!) and boil it down to the awesomeness that is maple syrup.

Did you know: it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup?

And then you boil the maple syrup down to a thick liqud taffy
that you pour over fresh packed snow,
you can dot it with peanuts or other yummies
(dried cranberries in this photo)
and then quickly scoop up the yumminess with a stick
before it hardens too much -
soooo good!!

Sugar: it's not just for kids! :-D

In the other shack my uncle made us fresh, thin delicious buckwheat pancakes straight on the wood-burning stove, we stacked them with ham and cheese and doused them with his home-boiled maple syrup. He also makes maple butter, which he served warm with fresh fruit, we had strong coffee, shared a big bag of beef jerky and everyone brought munchies so nobody left hungry!

We're making this a family tradition from now on :-)

/end of Happy Times post/

6 comments: said...

ohhh, and no one called me? i'm hurt. :o) sounds like sooo much fun. we had lots of that going on up where we came from in upstate NY, but never knew anyone with a sugaring house. my friend has one now, but i don't live up there any more. i love fresh maple stuff!

hope you had fun with your family!

Busy Bee Suz said...

This sounds like a magical weekend (aside from the man cold and migraine) I had no idea so much work went into making syrup....and here I just thought it magically showed up in my grocery store.

Anonymous said...

Oh girlie...I am sirry that you havent been feeling well...but hopefully you are on the upswing now (since its been so long).

I cant say I ever gave a thought to maple syrup's origins (I just know I love the stuff on pancakes and waffles). But thanks for sharing the pics!

Adventures In China said...

Um, I am salivating over here. I LOVE maple syrup and candy. I buy loads when I am in Canada. No joke: I have a bottle pf pure maple syrup in my desk right now. My boss thought it was a bottle of brandy. NO, WAY BETTER THAN BRANDY.

I think I should have been born Canadian.

myself said...

ugh. I can smell it just by seeing the photos.

Too much sugaring off & maple syrup production as a kid (next door neighbour Mr Anakin used to have us help tree tapping & syrup making - bleh?!)

Looks like you guys had fun regardless of man cold!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

OMG what a wonderful tradition. Looks like you had a wonderful time.