Maple Moon Sugarbush is starting to wrap up its 2010 sugaring season this week. My family and I will be pulling the taps out of the trees and washing up all the equipment soon. We made about 25 gallons this year, which means we have plenty for our Sunday pancakes and to replenish our friends and familys’ supplies.
Since boiling can take all day, we’re usually canning late at night. We’re all exhausted at this point, but knowing we’ll be waking up the next day to pancakes and fresh maple syrup helps us push onward.
We use mason jars for our syrup because they’re reusable, and the syrup looks so beautiful in them. The lids are boiled in water, and kept hot until they’re screwed on. As they cool, the jar seals. The syrup doesn’t need to be refrigerated until it has been opened for the first time.
The first taste of syrup blows your mind. It is silky, buttery, hot, and tooth-achingly sweet. If you grew up eating Aunt Jemima or Log Cabin syrup, you need to run out right now and find yourself some real maple syrup to try.
One of my favorite traditions growing up was to heat up a small sauce pan of syrup, and then drizzle it over snow. The syrup hardens on the snow and makes maple-taffy. It changes your life, that’s how delicious it is.
Maple syrup is a golden gift the trees give us every spring…a true miracle of nature. The most amazing things in life are this way, it seems…you can’t quite wrap your mind around them. And even after you learn the science of how it works, you’re no less awed by it…on the contrary, it seems more like a miracle than ever.