Sugaring Sunday

Sunday, March 20, 2011

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? Luscious.

Here are some new pictures from a cabane a sucre here in Quebec.

I mean  Honestly. Can you get more picture perfect that that? Emily wasn't terribly impressed since she has been looking at this stuff all her life. When her father asked her if she knew how maple syrup was made, she fixed him with a very baleful look indeed.

"Dad. I started helping Colin's Dad at his sugar house when I was 4, and then again every year until I left Hopkinton. I KNOW how it is made..."

We try, us ignorant parents. But she is just utterly nonplussed at every thing we trot out.

Spring is coming. It can not be held back or denied.

2 Baleful Regards:

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Love this post!

I get angry when at a restaurant I ask for maple syrup and receive a sugary, HFCS-laden concoction instead.

Dawn said...

I never knew that there was a difference until we moved to Vermont when I was nine. I was all
"HOLY SHIT! THIS IS AMAZING" when I got hold of my first real maple syrup.

I've never looked back. This is the time of year I will indulge in sugar on snow and maple sugar candy too. I am going to add some pictures of a sugaring house here in Quebec too - we bought maple cinnamon buns, baked in a very Old stone oven.


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