Monday, March 31, 2014

Sugaring Time

SPRING--It might just happen.  The sap is flowing and the snow is slowly fading.  Time for a trip to a local sugarhouse for pancakes and local sausage.  The Gould family have been serving up just that for over 50 years.  Mrs. Gould still manages the front of the pancake house, while the younger generation man the boiler.  The wait on a weekend (when we are ALL so glad to get out of the house and go for a ride) can be long.  But while we wait, we can sip sap right from a bucket, eat 25 cent maple ice cream cones,  watch the boiling process and buy syrup so hot that it is still warm when we get home.  Saturday was Day 8 for boiling this year.

Checking the sap.

A boy and his tree friend 
A more modern collection system of tubing and tanks

Gould's evaporator is wood-fired.

Evaporation from the sap coming out the top
Huge crowd for syrup.  I think we all love Gould's because they allow us to get right in there close and look in the evaporator, and talk with the family about their yields and the process or their love of border collies.
A gleaming operation
Tall galvanized cups with thermometers checking temps
In New England we eat pickles with our syrup to cut the sweet. 
Massachusetts Maple Producers Association--Anywhere we see this sign, we can stop and buy syrup all year.  Once you see all the labor involved in getting 40 gallons of sap condensed down to 1 gallon of syrup you can appreciate the price of the real stuff.

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