Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Maple Syrup-y Goodness!

Hey y'all~ I've been awful about this space. I can't find the time these days to keep up.

The finished product :)
We're in the midst of refinancing our mortgage to take advantage of these wickedly low interest rates before they climb again. The housing market sure seems to be rebounding, which is welcome and happy news. We're also facing multiple car issues on not just one, but both of our aging cars.

We own a Nissan Sentra and a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, neither of which are at their prime. The money and time has been bleeding out between all the different things we now need to take care of.

But at the same time, I've been busy boiling down ridiculous amounts of sap from the one maple tree. Huge vats of sap get boiled throughout the workday, with a vintage wall vent and a standing fan to aid the steam out through the house. I'm pleased to report that here has been absolutely no damage caused by this new late-winter hobby!

Thus far, I've managed to fill a dozen 5 oz. bottles with the stuff. Chris raves about it, but I'm not entirely pleased. I've been tasting and managing it for weeks now, and while it's insanely delicious for coming straight out of a tree, it's not perfect in clarity. I would like very much to have a more efficient filtering device outside of an old, rigged, coffee filter. The niter (aka "sugar sand") is a pain in the ass to work around, so I think I have to perfect that in a more efficient way.

Snow on the last day of winter - a shot of the kitchen window
which is always full of plant life
But overall, I'm really impressed by the results. The time and effort required for this hobby seem to be exhaustive if you're working a full time job outside of the home. I'm lucky to be able to set a 20 quart pot on the stove top and walk away into my office to work for the day.

I plan to share the syrup with my friends and relatives, in hopes of promotion a DIY mentality about how things are done. With a little healthy curiosity and a can-do attitude, I swear, anything can get done. Including making your own maple syrup from a maple tree!

If you're curious about the namesake of our maple syrup, it's a nod to our neighborhood, and our city. This maple syrup was produced by a tree less than 20 yards away from my house, on my own property, in the city. This impressed me more than anything else. You have our many thanks, maple tree!


Nicole said...

I love your willingness to try these things! Your syrup looks wonderful! Yum :-)

I did try making my own laundry detergent. My town has a lack of needed ingredients, well the choice is limited. I bought what they had, but next time I am driving the 30 minutes to the nearest Walmart for a better selection.

I like the homemade detergent. It smells lovely without being overly perfume-y. Just a nice clean scent.

Michelle said...

What a great resource to have in your own home. I love what nature can give us if we only take the time to look.

townhouseturnaround said...

That is so cool!