We had 26 gallons of sap. We boiled it for 9 1/2 hours. The results: a little bit under 3/4 of a gallon of pure, delicious, precious gold. It was worth it. The taste is so amazing.
Making maple syrup is a spring tradition at my home (minus the past two years, where we managed with syrup from the past years). We tap our neighbors' and friends' trees, hang our buckets, and wait. Once we have enough sap, we boil. And boil. And then boil some more. But after that, we have some maple syrup all bottled up for pancake-breakfasts or waffle-dinners.
And then there are the spoons. We scrape the pan once the syrup is done boiling. It hardens on the spoons almost instantaneously, turning into maple-candy. It's delicious and sugary.
I can't wait until we have enough sap again. While it can be fairly boring sitting there watching the sap turn silver and then brown and then a beautiful gold, it's a good time for reading or doing school or writing or just plain old thinking. And while I'm not usually the one watching the sap alone, the times that I am watching it are peaceful and unusually quiet.
But there won't be any boiling today. So I'll just finish up a short story about a guy named Jerry who...well, you'll find out. Eventually.