Homemade is Best

As many do this time of year, we spent Easter with our family this last weekend. Our car trip took us to northern Wisconsin for a small gathering with my hubby's lovely family. The visit was complete with smart talking, delicious food and some education for this lady.

Each year at Christmas my husband's aunt and uncle gift us homemade maple syrup and I always ration it to make it last as long as possible because it is fabulous! As luck would have it, our recent visit had us there while the maple syrup'ing was in progress. I might have been just a little excited about this because I've never seen this in 'real life'.

After eating and getting a couple rows knit on the yellow sweater, we took a tour outside to see things up close. There were numerous trees tapped to collect sap and all were donning these fancy accessories.


If you look closely, you can see the clear sap in the bottom. Hubby tasted it and didn't seem too impressed so I decided against trying it myself.


I discovered that the next part involves lawn chairs and a fair amount of beer. Who knew?!


Once the sap is collected, it's slowly cooked down here over the next 2 days - 40 gallons of sap will yield about 1 gallon of syrup. The cooker was covered with plywood since it had been raining recently, so just use your imagination and pretend that's not there.


When it's almost at the right consistency, the syrup is taken inside for the last little bit of cooking on the kitchen stove. Then it's bottled: image

Store bought maple syrup is no comparison to this golden goodness and I appreciate it even more now. Many thanks to Darla and Bill!

On our way back to the house after our tour of the maple syrup operation, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that spring is trying hard to make an entrance up north with little bits of green peeking up through the ground.


I was even more surprised to see an actual flower emerging!image

Happy spring!