Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Maine Maple Sunday

Besides training for my new gig, watching the snow melt, and participating in Maine Maple Sunday, there hasn't been much else going. So let's focus on the last one today.


I've heard a lot about Vermont maple syrup before my days in Maine, but I never tried it because who wants to pay 15 bucks for syrup? I never thought about Maine being just as popular for their syrup making. It all started a couple weekends ago when Patrick and I went to a co-worker's house for a pancake breakfast. This man makes gallons of maple syrup every year. I now understand why it's so expensive. Not only does it taste like liquid gold, the process alone takes longer than my tiny attention span can fathom. Since I'm far from being a "maple syrup making expert", and the fact that I was just smiling and nodding and thinking about Walter (our cat) while the kind man was explaining the process, I'll just briefly,and probably incorrectly, explain the process.
  1. Put a tap in a maple tree. 
  2. Let the sap from the tree pour into a bucket.
  3. Boil the sap (which looks like water) for hours, maybe a day.
  4. Then you put it over some other kind of wood-burning stove for a day or so.
  5. Then something else happens.
  6. Finally, you bottle the yummy goodness.
Now you can all go make your own maple syrup. 

After experiencing the best pancake breakfast we've had in 24 years, we decided to find a local sugar shack on Maine Maple Sunday. The closest place was a farm about 15 miles away. Once we found a place to park among the massive line of cars, we realized all we had were debit cards. Ugh! We couldn't even buy any of the syrup. We weren't going to let the ruin our trip though, so we toured the farm and even got a free cup of ice cream with maple syrup drizzled on top. That made it all worth it. 

Here's a little visual of our maple syrup adventure. 


The farm is a Christmas tree farm as well.

Part of the syrup making process

The sap travels through this maze of tubes to the boiler.


Tapped tree with bucket

Enjoying some ice cream in the freezing temperatures.







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