The making of our first batch of maple syrup of the season.
2004 March 12
Every spring we tap a few of our maple trees to make maple syrup. We don't take it seriously; more as a ritual — a rite of Spring. But in our humble opinion, we make damn good syrup.
We tapped 7 trees last weekend (March 7) and collected the first batch of sap yesterday. This is about a week earlier than the last couple of years. We keep reducing the number of trees we tap. We usually end up with several litres of syrup, which is more than we need.
Our syrup is dark and flavourful — no Canada #1 Light produced here! How much of this is due to our technique and how much is due to our tapping red maples, we don't know. Boiling to the foaming transition is probably going a little too far since large sugar crystals precipitate out when the syrup is stored cool for an extended period of time. But the foaming transition is an easily recognized end point that doesn't require any instruments.
We developed our methods through trial and error. We like the results; other opinions may vary. Use this recipe at your own risk.