written by Debbie Williamson
I love this time of year. It is the month of March and the season of spring. It is also maple syrup time.
My Daddy told my brother, Jeffrey, and I, this morning, at the breakfast table, that the sap is running. After school Jeffrey and I are going to help Daddy tap the trees. I can’t wait! It is going to be a lot of fun!
To tap a tree, Daddy takes a hand-drill and makes a hole in the tree about one to two inches deep. The sap drips out of this hole, once he pulls the drill out. Daddy then takes a spile and pushes it into the hole as far as it will go. A clean bucket is placed over the spile so that the sap can drip down into it.
That is all that can be done for the first day, so we wait overnight. The next afternoon, after school, Jeffrey, Daddy and I go outside and check all the buckets. Jeffrey helps Daddy by carrying a big, clean white bucket. Daddy uses this bucket to pour all the sap into.
We go around to all the maple trees that we have tapped and collect all the sap. Sometimes there Is very little sap and sometimes there Is a lot. We take the sap up to the house. Daddy strains the sap with some cheesecloth. This takes any pieces of bark or small twigs out of the sap that may have fallen into it. We now have a clear liquid left in our bucket.
Once the sap has been strained, Daddy boils the sap on the woodstove until it turns into a thick mixture. This process takes a few hours to do. We must wait, however, until it cools! Um! It is yummy!
Mommy prepares the Jars for our maple syrup, so that we can store it for future use. The jars, lids and seals have to be sterilized In a pot of boiling water. This is done to remove any germs that may be in the jars. Once the jars are sterilized, Mommy takes the jars out of the pot. She then places them on the counter on a clean towel.
Now, Daddy takes the boiling hot maple syrup and pours it into the jars. Daddy puts one jar into our refrigerator and the other jars will be put into our pantry.
Mommy is now going to make us a treat for supper tonight. We are going to have pancakes and maple syrup. I can’t wait!
I hope that you will get a chance to make your own maple syrup or at least get a chance to visit a local maple syrup farm. Making maple syrup is a lot of fun!