Try stove-top syrups this spring
Seeing displays of sap-tapping tools and equipment might turn most outdoors enthusiasts and gardeners to a different store location.
But fear not, anyone who can identify a maple tree, any maple, even a box elder, can make enough maple syrup for at least one pancake or French toast feed with a few neighbors.
While most sugar-bush tappers wait until a broken limb forms a sapcicle, there are those who say, “Tap any time after Feb. 14.” The flow may begin immediately, or it may be several weeks, but at least the taps are ready.
A drill, several taps, and a bucket or bag begins the wait for drip, drip, drip.
Once several gallons of sap are in hand and holding in a refrigerator, read a paragraph or two on the internet about the boiling process and temperatures, but be available in the kitchen so as not to end with candy, or later, maple sugar.
That’s the basis for the beginning. Mess up, start over, maple tree willing. Correct the glitches and try again.
(Contact Jerry Davis, a freelance writer, at email@example.com or 608-924-1112.)