Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Maple Syrup

 The next shack we visited was located on a horse farm.

 Oops...The Blog Tech caught me walking to the sugar shack.  I was wearing his big jacket because it was much colder in the mountains than when we left that morning. He was also wearing a hoodie so I made him cough up his coat to me!

 This shack had a candy kitchen connected to it.  You can see maple sugar candies being made in these molds.

 They proudly display their awards.

 Maple leaf menus.

 Click to enlarge any of these pics.  This gauge says For Maple Syrup Only.

 Vintage sap transporting sleds.

 Off to the last sugar shack.  Next year we will try to visit more of them.

 This shack had vintage maple containers on display.

 Tapped trees.

 A farm bell.  Farms used to ring these if they had an emergency and their neighbors would come running to offer help.

 These horse troughs collect the sap.

 This is the system you most often see these days.  Each tree is tapped and a small plastic tube runs from the tap to the main artery.  Hundreds of trees are tapped this way and the sap flows to the troughs or holding tanks.  The shack owner collects the sap when needed.  This is much more efficient than dumping the sap buckets over and over again.The sap runs best when you have sunny days in the 40's and freezing night temps.

 I bought a lot of maple products.  The bag in the front is maple sugar.  It is especially good sprinkled on yogurt. On the left is a big jar of maple walnut topping.  Lots of maple syrup in all kinds of containers. On the right, in the front, is a glass log cabin filled with syrup.

 Maple taffy, maple nuts and maple hard tack.  Did you know that maple syrup has 15 times more calcium than honey?

 More nuts and maple sugar candy.

 Black walnut maple fudge and maple creams.  I had to hide this and dish it out a little at a time or my husband and The Blog Tech would eat it in an untimely fashion.
This is my favorite syrup, dark amber.  It has a much denser maple flavor.  The grades of syrup are based on density and translucency.  The lightest syrup is the most expensive and has a much lighter maple flavor.  I don't get it, it should be just the opposite.  This is a 2 quart jar and it cost 9.00. The same container filled with light amber would cost twice this amount.
 Maple BBQ sauce and maple mustard.

I also bought a sap bucket. I have no idea why other than I think at this point I was suffering from maple fever.
 It is covered by a domed lid which slips over the brim and a spile for tapping the tree.  Too bad my neighbor killed my maple tree.  The jerk.  Hope you enjoyed the sugar shack tour.