“Expect the unexpected.”
“Expect nothing.”


The first boil taught me there are layers of expectations.

What we thought we expected, and chatted about as we built up the fire in the arch:
The filter press pump to work. (It did.)
A novel crisis to bedevil the crew. (It did.)

What we expected but didn’t know we expected until it didn’t happen:
To make light syrup.

Rolled into one, here is a short version of the all-too-novel crisis that both fulfilled and defied expectations:

Immaculate – though extremely weak – sap in the tanks boiled into an odd-tasting dark syrup that had no niter and repeatedly gummed up the filter press, making for a gooey mess over and over, between midnight and 4 pm with a crew that had been checking lines or working a day job since 8 am.

It was the most peculiar sap and syrup we’ve ever seen. We’re not alone; as far away as Burke Mt. waft tales of a devilish first-run syrup. Conclusion: the trees are grumbling about getting out of bed. Somehow, this all relates to the frigid winter…

What color is this ice?                                    [Carly. CT Photo]
What color is this ice?
[Carly. CT Photo]





One thought on “First Boil Expectations

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