Friday, May 3, 2013

Box Elder Sugarin'

{Things around here have been quite hectic lately - we moved into our new house one week ago and we are slowly, gently settling in. I promise to post more on that soon when I get a bit more time to take pictures and gather the words to describe the crazy process that is renovating a house and moving with two toddlers. In the meantime, this post has been patiently waiting for a final edit that got boxed away with everything else in preparation for our move. I would like to tell you that it is unseasonal at this point, but as I look out my window on this early May day to see more snow and sleet (yes, really) I realize I can still squeak it in before it is entirely obsolete.}

Lately when people come into our house the first words out of their mouths are, "What is that smell?" Slightly sweet, a bit earthy, hard to place. "It's syrup!" I squeal, barely restraining my delight. When an arborist paid a visit to our new house and checked out the trees I was deeply hoping we would have some maples on our property. And I was quite disappointed when I realized there were no sugar, no silver, no red maples to be found. Ah, but we have box elders! Three of them, in fact. And, yes, they are a kind of maple. "Can you tap them to make syrup?", I asked? The arborist paused a moment before doubtfully dismissing the idea.

But it turns out, you can!
And we did.

And I must thank my husband, who, in the face of remodeling half a house and moving our family, when confronted with my idea to add another project to our list of things to do right now - maple syruping! - not only responded with a "sure, let's do it", but diligently checked our sap bags when he was working at the house and lugged the heavy 5 gallon bucket full back day after day so we could boil it all down. He's also the one who makes Saturday morning waffles and pancakes on which we've been generously pouring our own sweet and sticky box elder maple syrup, so a double thanks and a big smooch to him. 

1 comment:

  1. i'm so glad you posted this (though the snow and sleet in may is very unsettling) since things have understandably been so quiet on your end (from my perspective!). i'm so jealous about your syrup...we will have to work out some sort of bartering between maple syrup from your yard and fruit jam from mine (though we have a year or two yet before our trees mature...maybe some pickles this year?). can't wait to see more pictures of the new house and all the work you've been doing! xo