Sugaring Saturday

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Having grown up in New England, I forget that the sight of the sugaring buckets are unusual for some people. For me, when I see them emerge at this time of year, they confirm that winter has indeed come to an end. Winter may not be completely done - but it's close....

There are hundreds of these buckets around my house. People ask neighbors if they can tap their trees in exchange for a share of the syrup. My daughter has never had anything But real maple syrup and I am oddly grateful that she can still see the vestiges of an older time.

This is a VERY old tree. With five buckets on one side and five more on the other, this tree must be a couple hundred years old.


A close up of a bucket - I prefer the old style metal buckets, but you see more and more tappers using plastic containers. They don't blow off and spill the sap like these kind.


I lifted the top so you can see the sap in the bucket. Today is a great sugaring day - the sap was really flowing out - drip, drip, dripping into the bucket. See the tap at the top of the bucket?


These are the reasons that I so love New England. This old mixture of old and new living side by side stirs something in my soul. And the smell of a sugar house when they sugar off? Lucious.

19 Baleful Regards:

Kristen said...

Sigh - New England has so much character. I looovee it. I have a bunch o family in the Boston area.

sweatpantsmom said...

This is great, Dawn. Makes me jealous that I'm not living somewhere where me and my kids could experience this. We've never had fresh syrup, except once when someone brought some back as a souvenier with a sticker that said, "FRESH MAPLE SYRUP!" Although I think the bottom of the bottle said, "Made in China."

Oh wait - but we do share in your experience of getting syrup from our neighbors. Their names are Mrs. Butterworth and Aunt Jemimah.

E. said...

I hope my kid never has anything but real maple syrup. If I have my way, he won't know there's anything else until he's sleepover age and by then maybe his tastes will be set on "pure maple only."

How great that your daughter gets to experience the sap being collected.

Mom101 said...

My stepfather taps his own syrup as well but not quite so far north as New England. Aren't we lucky! Log Cabin makes me want to vomit, let alone that Mrs Butterworth crap. I'd rather just put butter on my waffles and leave it at that.

mama_tulip said...

That's so cool.

Jaelithe said...

Dawn, did you know that today is International Waffle Day?!? How appropriate!

My husband refuses to eat real maple syrup because it takes too "dark" compared to the fake kind he was raised on.

Philistine.

Jaelithe said...

Tastes not takes.

IzzyMom said...

I love real maple syrup. I hate to be a syrup snob but I won't touch the "other" stuff. And my daughter's never had anything but the real thing, either. Course it comes from the supermarket instead of our backyard but that's because we live in suckass Florida.

Li said...

I have one of those sugar destinations near my house. I have decided that since D conciders maple syrup a staple this particular activity will have to ramain a mystery!

Esereth said...

It's one of those things. I am so damn taken with this post. It has made me disproportionately happy, metal buckets and old pretty trees that have sweet food coming out them.

Thank you.

ps (do you have to add sugar to maple syrup? Cook it? Drink it out of the tree? I should look this up but it would be more fun to hear it from you.)

Nancy said...

This was a lovely post -- a great way for me to end my blogging activity before bed. I remember going to the "maple syrup farm" in elementary school and getting real syrup snowcones. It's so neat that even with all the technology in the world, there's still some things that have to be done the old fashioned way: with nature and time as the key elements.

Contrary said...

Oh man, I already feel like I'm doing time in Purgatory, waiting until we can move up North. This isn't helping! I'm gonna go kick a pine tree now.

Lisa said...

Wow. That is so cool. I would love to have the real syrup. Thanks for a great post.

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful photos. The nature centers around here have Syrup festivals with all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts..yum!

I still like Mrs. Butterworth's though. THe real stuff tastes too thin and watery to me. Maybe I'm buying the wrong kind.

Mega Mom said...

I just chaperoned a field trip to the woods to learn about this with my kindergartener. We finally made the switch (after wanting to forever, but being too cheap). So glad we did. So neat to see the pics!

Mrs. Chicky said...

Great post. I just noticed the other day that my neighbors had tapped their trees. Spring has indeed started.

I have to admit, though, that I do on occasion have the "other stuff" on my waffles. And I like it...

*ducking from the thrown Aunt Jemima bottles*

Bobita said...

Oh, man! My brother and I used to run through the woods behind our house...stopping at the tapped trees to steal sap! We also used to tap our own trees and suck on the taps!

Ahhhh...sweet memories...

Thanks for the photos and the memories!

mothergoosemouse said...

That is really cool! I love seeing pictures like that - local color. Never been north of Boston. I'd love to see NH, VT, ME...someday.

Catherine said...

I'd never tasted the real thing until Allan offered it up, back when weren't married yet and he was still trying to get into my pants... and, yeah, coupled with some smooth-talkin',it worked. But damn, that was good stuff!!

 
◄Design by Pocket