Gone Maple Sugarin’ (Instagram version)

Tapping our Maple Trees

Tapping our Maple Trees

Apparently my life would be richer with Instagram. My kids keep telling me to get (an?) (on?) Instagram. I think it’s a graphical Twitter, which isn’t as illuminating to me as you’d think. This stuff confuses me. I was very irritated to learn that I can’t join the Pinterest community unless I have facebook. I don’t have facebook. I did for a month and got spooked by the privacy issues (Lol! since my life is an open book.) Mainly, I got spooked by my complete inability to do anything but search for old boyfriends.

Checking our taps. 40 gallons of sap = one gallon of maple syrup. The sap looks like water.

Checking our taps. The sap looks like water. (sugar shack in background.)

Drip, drip. 40 gallons of sap=one gallon of maple syrup!

Drip, drip. 40 gallons of sap=one gallon of maple syrup!

So I wrote this anti-facebook ‘manifesto’ about why I was ditching facebook because it was creepy and taking me from my family and work commitments and so on and so forth. I posted it triumphantly and then – presto! – deleted my FB account, again triumphantly, but somehow not realizing that a) I was actually deleting my ‘manifesto’ in the process, so exactly one person saw it – my brother who just happened to be on facebook at that exact second before I hit delete and who has never let me forget what a loser I really am. And b) you can’t really ever delete facebook completely. They’re just lying in wait, like a virus, for a moment of weakness. So now, I just stalk my husband’s page when I feel like being a stalker and seeing everyone’s pictures and stuff. He’s a romantic guy and likes to tell me we’re “same soul/different bodies” and whatnot, but I have to say, trolling through his facebook and seeing him dressed as a polar bear and using teen slang with our children’s friends and musing about his writer’s block and diet coke urges etc., I don’t always feel 100 percent soul-matey. In any event…

We are still really excited (reality of sap boiling hasn't sunk in yet.)

We are still really excited (reality of sap boiling hasn’t sunk in yet.)

This is the interior of our "antique" (100 year old) sugar shack. I am worried the buckets will leach lead and make us craz(ier) and stupid(er). My husband likes old crap and says there's nothing to worry about!

This is the interior of our “antique” (100 year old) sugar shack. I am worried the buckets will leach lead and make us craz(ier) and stupid(er). My husband likes old stuff and says there’s nothing to worry about!

 

What my kids are trying to communicate with this Instagram ploy is something along the lines of:

SHUT THE F-CK UP, MOM!  (less talk, more photos.) (actually, ‘less talk’ works.)

Old timey equipment for maple sugarin' (final g optional). Mainly all rusted out but makes us feel like Vermonters.

Old timey equipment for maple sugarin’ (final g optional). Mainly all rusted out but makes us feel like Vermonters.

Getting ready to boil the sap. You have to do it outdoors unless you want the steam to take the wallpaper off your walls.

Getting ready to boil the sap. You have to do it outdoors unless you want the steam to take the wallpaper off your walls.

We bought a turkey fryer to boil off the sap. Problem was, we didn't read the label where it said that the flame turns off every 15 minutes for 'safety.'

We bought a turkey fryer to boil off the sap. Problem was, we didn’t read the label where it said that the flame turns off every 15 minutes for ‘safety.’

Boil boil toil and trouble. (12 hours later: finishing off the boiling on the stove. Still really thin and liquidy.)

Boil boil toil and trouble. (12 hours later. Recall: had to reset propane flame every 14.5 minutes due to safety shut-off mechanism designed for drunken sugaring parties. Finishing off the boiling on the stove. Still really thin and liquidy.)

Getting closer

Getting closer

Filtering the syrup. We went overboard and cooked it too long, so it's hard to get through the filter.

Filtering the syrup. We went overboard and cooked it too long, so it’s hard to get through the filter.

IMG_7198

Maple-sweet elixir!!

About ErikaChristakis

Yale Lecturer in early childhood education/Licensed teacher/Former preschool director and Harvard College house master/some-time journalist. In possession of: unmarketable bachelor’s degree (Harvard, anthropology), semi-marketable graduate degrees (public health, education…). Rewarding career at the intersection of family, society, and schools (including long stint in parenting vortex). Forging a new path to connect all of the above.
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4 Responses to Gone Maple Sugarin’ (Instagram version)

  1. ahh-h reminds me of my home province – La belle province, Quebec!

  2. You guys definitely know maple trees!

  3. Richard Hussar says:

    I could say you have too much time on your hands but know that’s not true. Somehow I think you’ll find home made maple syrup close by and forget this project next year. Looks like fun for sure and the kids must have been amazed to find that syrup does not always come from a Aunt Jamima squeeze bottle. Your just like the ‘Little House on the prairie’ without a Whole Foods down the road. I joke of course and commend you on this family project. Dave makes the pan cakes I’ve ever had so send him a bottle. Then again all that sap yields little syrup.

  4. Wow, that looks like so much fun! I’ve never done this; Always wanted to! The results look sweeeet!

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