The tapping is closed off, the cooking is now complete...
Yesterday I finally pulled the plug on all remaining Maple tree's at my friend's property. I had only gotten a few gallons in the past 4 days and trees were starting to bud, so I simply ended things - To keep getting a trickle, then wait to have enough to boil was absurd!
I pulled all of 1 1/2 gallons yesterday and as you can imagine I used a much smaller pot today to boil it down. It took no time at all, and in fact I got distracted long enough that the temperature in the pot actually zoomed right past the point of making Maple Syrup and now I have Maple Candy! I could have reincorporated some water into the mixture and re-boiled it, but thought what the heck.
What REALLY amazes me is that the settlers to our country used Maple Syrup, Maple Candy and Maple Sugar to sweeten almost everything as sugar was hard to come by (I remember much of that from The Little House stories Mom read me as a kid!) - I CAN NOT imagine making THAT MUCH! Even the 5 quarts/9+ pints I processed - Plus the handful of Maple Candy - amounts to nearly nothing. I can't imagine getting through an entire year on that if I used it to the extent the settlers did...
If you care to learn more about the history behind making Maple Syrup in the US, there are many REALLY good websites out there - Check them out, or better yet, next year try making Maple Syrup on your own... The process is rewarding, fun and pretty easy!
History of Making Maple Syrup in Michigan
Michigan Maple Syrup Association
Maple Syrup Story