Teaching the Craft

Sara asked me this morning if there was anything she could do to help with the maple syrup production. “I’m home in the afternoon between runs, and I’m home in the evenings before you are. I could start the boiling…”

“Well, I… sure sure you can do that but… it’s just that I’m trying to be real careful about…”

“How about you just show me how you want it done when you get home?”

“Yeah, sure. Yeah. We’ll do that.”

So after I got home from doing the grocery shopping (That’s right. I do the grocery shopping. I make the shopping list too. What? What? You want some of this?) I took Sara down to the shack (there’s a horror movie plot half written) and filled her in on how it’s done.”

“Okay. Use this bucket here to bring sap from the collection barrel into the shack. I’m trying to be better this year about recording how much sap I’m boiling so be sure to use the gallon measurements on the side of the bucket to keep track of how much sap you’re boiling. Very important. Don’t forget.”

“I won’t.”

“Write it down.”

“I won’t forget.”

“Right. So. You can use this thing here…”

“The blender?”

“Yes, it used to be a blender, but now it’s what I’m using to scoop sap out of the collection barrel. When the bucket is full, write down…”


“…how much you’ve collected and screw the lid on so nothing spills and nothing else falls into your sap. Then make sure the barrel lid is snapped back on as well. And on to the shack. Walk (this Young Frankenstein here) this way.
So, lighting the burners. Each burner has two shut off valves – at the tank and on the hose. Turn the tank on first, stick you wand lighter on the burner and then slowly turn on the hose valve. Once it’s lit adjust the flame until it just starts to roar. Any more is overkill, any less and you won’t get a good rolling boil. Don’t fill the pots more than halfway cuz they’re likely to boil over. Um… check everything about once every half hour. That’s about it.

“So you want me to measure and boil water.”

“When you say it like that it hardly makes the result sound like it’s worth nine dollars a pint. But yes.”


2 responses to “Teaching the Craft

  1. i’m in yurz shak, boilin yurz sap

  2. This post made me wonder if somebody on the internet … somewhere … had actually posted a recipe for boiling water.

    http://www.dullmen.com came through with flying colors. In my humble opinion, doing key word searches for these gems is what the internet was invented for. Al Gore would be proud. Enjoy:



    Water Pot

    Instructions: Pour water into pot. Place pot on stove. Turn on stove – on high. Sit back and enjoy waiting for the water come to a boil.

    Tips: Take care when selecting a pot. Make certain the pot is large enough to hold all of the water you wish to boil. We recommend that a lid be used, placed on top of the pot (after the water is in the pot). With the lid on, the water in the pot boils faster.

    We recommend that you select a pot that has a handle. This makes it easier to pour the water out, when needed, once it has boiled.

    Bonus tip: If you can find one, use a glass lid. Then you can watch the water as it works its way up to a boil.

    Warning: Boiling water can be dangerous. Take care not to spill it on yourself or anyone else. Boiling water can cause burns.

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