We’re done making syrup for the year. It was a pretty exciting new hobby and a good way to stay busy during what has turned out to be a long mud season. Our neighbors sponsored the operation, providing all the equipment, and the other 1o or so of us provided some brute force to make the whole thing work. Here’s a few pics from earlier in the season (the later ones are really awful. Seriously, mud season is ugly and does not photograph well):
Originally, we had 90 trees tapped at the neighbors, but we weren’t sure that we’d have enough sap for the evaporator. Sexy and I tapped and additional 20 trees on our property at the end of March, and although we missed a bit of the early run, we hit the peak run at our house. From our 20 taps, we collected about 95 gallons of sap in just a few weeks.
Overall, we figured that across all 110 taps, we gathered over 700 gallons of sap. We made a bit over 11 gallons of syrup, which is a horrible ratio (more than 60:1, when 40-50:1 would be more normal) but it doesn’t matter because we actually pulled it off.
The Promised Recipe
Since around mid-March, I’ve cut back on the amount of sugar I eat, particularly during the week. (On the weekend, I still eat obscene amounts of junk.) This means no cookies and no ice cream in the evenings. Also, no wine. So this has been my go-to snack in the evening when I need a sugar fix:
Maple-caramel kettle corn
Make popped corn on the stove – I usually make about 2/3 of a my everyday soup pot, about 8 cups popped.
As the popcorn is popping, heat 2 parts maple syrup (about 1/4 c) and 1 part butter (2 T) in a small pan until it just starts to boil. While stirring, toss in a pinch of baking soda and the whole think will get a bit foamy. Pour mixture over popcorn and mix it in. Also add salt to taste. Nom nom nom!
Also, with a little more work and time, you can take this same idea and make Maple-Pecan Popcorn.
Do it! Right now!