Sunday, March 17, 2013

Making Maple Syrup: Part 5-Bottling the Syrup

And now for the final stage of maple syrup making- bottling! Once the syrup has been strained through the felt, it needs to be boiled down a bit further. This requires a bit more precision, so doing it on the stove inside is best. The syrup is placed inside a large pot and the heat is turned on. A candy thermometer is placed inside to measure the temperature. The syrup needs to reach 218 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to watch carefully to make sure it doesn't boil over, because that can happen quickly and even with a just a bit of syrup in the bottom. Once the syrup reaches the right temperature, Grandpa takes it off the heat and uses a spoon to skim of any granules that may be there. He then pours it hot into bottles and jars and seals them up. If the syrup happens to get too thick, it will crystallize in the jars. To prevent this, add the thick syrup back to some thinner syrup and do it over again. Or you can store the thick syrup in the freezer and that will keep it from crystallizing.
And the syrup is now ready to eat and enjoy! And the end of our week, Grandpa made us his special potato pancakes which we enjoyed with the maple syrup we had made. He shared the recipe with me, which was written in 1918, and perfected by Grandpa.

Grandpa Nutbrown's Potato Pancakes
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 cup milk
3 cups mashed potatoes
4 tbsp melted butter

Boil about 3 peeled medium potatoes and then finely mash them (or use a handheld food processor). Mix in the rest of the ingredients and fry up like regular pancakes. Serve with your homemade maple syrup! Serves 4

Take a look at:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

4 comments:

  1. I love your grandpa Nutbrown and his amazing ways. I grew up with my grandparents. They had amazing ways of working in their garden, making food and living off what was available. Shopping was a luxury, new clothes a rarity. Thank you for sharing this process. We love maple syrup and I am blown away by the huge process involved in processing it by hand. What a gift this man is. x

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment. :) It is amazing the skills that our grandparents knew. It is something that is being lost, but I think there are more and more people who are wanting to re-learn these skills.

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  2. Hi Kris,

    I printed out the whole blog to give to Grandpa. I'm sure he will be thrilled! I don't think anyone in the family has taken such an interest in this up until now. We all love the syrup and I knew some of these things but not all the details. Thank you!

    Love, Aunt Cathy

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    1. Thanks for doing that, Aunt Cathy! I hope he likes it. I was so grateful that he taught us what he did. It was such an amazing experience!

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