Monday, April 4, 2011
Some friends of ours collect maple sap each year and spend the better part of March boiling and boiling until it condenses into that amber ambrosia, syrup. And each year, they invite the community to their sugar camp to eat pancakes, french toast, fried corn mush, and hash. And maple syrup is available to those who want to buy.
This year the event was yesterday (Sunday).
The sap is pretty much done running now - at least the clear sap. Now that the buds are beginning to expand, the sap gets cloudy and the cloudiness can't be removed from the syrup. These pails are put on the trees for effect, I think.
The sap comes from several different woods, and once the pails are emptied into tanks pulled by 4-wheelers, it is accumulated into this bulk tank to be driven a couple miles down the road to the sugar shack.
The sap is then pumped out of the bulk tank, into a tank pulled by another 4-wheeler, then pulled up the hill where it is fed, by gravity, into the shack where it will be boiled.
Here's one of the boiling pans. It was like a steam bath in here.
Tyler here explains where the sap comes from, and is pailing the sap as it first comes in so it doesn't burn as the temperature rapidly rises to boiling. Once it boils, it essentially pans itself, and doesn't burn.
It takes a lot of wood to boil down the sap.
What does this have to do with bike riding, you ask. Probably nothing, except I rode in the morning on Sunday, and was famished when I got here. But after eating french toast and fried corn mush, all drenched in maple syrup, I was very happy and satisfied.
Gotta go - the big game is ready to start. Go Bulldogs! My daughter almost chose to go to college at Butler, but instead chose Purdue. We could have been sitting in Houston tonight! Of course, if Purdue had kept winning, we could have been sitting in Houston tonight, too!