Maple Goodness

Saps Running

Growing up in New Hampshire and Vermont the maple trees would be tapped in March. It took a few years of living here in Massachusetts for me to get used to them being tapped in February. Did you know that it takes 40-50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup? One tree produces 10-20 gallons of sap. My favorite way to eat maple syrup is on snow! Growing up we called them Leather Aprons but most people call it sugar on snow. You heat and stir the maple syrup until it forms a sticky ball on the snow (the snow was collected and packed into a baking type dish), once you’ve got the right consistency you drizzle it on the snow and it hardens to the most delicious chewy, taffy-like candy. I had relatives who ran a farm and a sap camp (they boiled their own sap down to maple syrup) where they would serve donuts and dill pickles (to offset the sweetness) alongside the leather aprons. When you used up most of the heated pot with very little maple syrup left you could turn off the heat and stir the remainder for quite a while to make maple sugar candy. Just one of my very favorite things.

I recently came across this 1998 photo of my friend Susan and I enjoying Leather Aprons. Susan is from Alabama so it was all new to her. She loved it! I’m hoping for at least one more snowstorm so I can collect snow for Leather Aprons.


6 thoughts on “Maple Goodness

  1. Oh, you are a girl after my own heart! (When I was a teenager, I went ‘sugaring’ where I saw and participated in the entire process from sap to syrup. And yes, we also filled trays with snow and put the syrup in them!)

    For me, it is REAL maple syrup or NOTHING! LOVE the stuff – we buy/get it by the gallon. Luckily, we know many people in VT so we tend to get family-made syrups. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted one I didn’t like! We EVEN go as so far as to bring tiny bottles of it when we travel to Disney because sadly, they only serve the fake stuff in their restaurants. When we pull out our little 2-serving bottle at the table, other folks look at us longingly and the waitstaff have commented, ‘Smart!’ 🙂

  2. Ooh, it has been a few days since I’ve been over to visit! Cool new theme you’ve got going here! Nice big photos.
    I’ve never been a maple person, but I do think the whole process is pretty neat. I learned a lot more about it in my days working at Old Sturbridge Village. I thought the buckets seemed to go up a bit early this year – did you notice that? There’s a house near here (maybe you’ve seen it right on the corner of Stony Hill and Dipping Hole?) that puts up one-gallon milk jugs for collecting the maple sap.

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