WEATHER: Snow. It’s a white white white white world.
HOW’S IT RUNNING: Ever since Wednesday afternoon the sap’s been flowing, but not well. At night it trickles, during the day it sputters (collectively, that is, with sap from all 9,700 taps flowing into one receptacle).
SAP SWEETNESS: 2.2%. Good news.
BOILING STATUS: Thursday was Day Three. We madly filled jugs and bottles with 2019’s golden elixir.
TODAY I’ll make Maple Cream in the kitchen to spread on doughnuts for Open House.
Boil water in a small pot to gauge the temp at which water boils today.
Pour one gallon of syrup (or less) into a large stainless steel pot.
Add a dollop of butter to prevent the syrup from boiling out of the pot.
Heat to 20 degrees above the temp of boiling water.
Let it sit for about 8 hours until it has cooled to room temp. I often cover the pot with a cloth.
Stir with a wooden spoon. The syrup will turn glassy with bubble pockets. It lightens in color as you stir.
The trick is knowing when to stop stirring and start pouring the goo into containers before it hardens into a blob in the pot.
Factors affecting the timing include freshness of the syrup (new syrup tends to cream up more quickly than old syrup) and humidity ( stirring cream works best on a clear day, unlike today).
Maple cream is so finicky that I stopped making it a few years ago, to the disgruntlement of the neighborhood. Life is short: I’m learning to say ‘no,’ including to aspects of Maple. But I do make a batch for Open House doughnuts.
Time to sign off and go fetch the special thermometer from the sugarhouse.