poetry and prose about place

end of the maple syrup season

with 10 comments

On Monday, we finished our last lot of maple syrup for the season.  The whole house was filled with the sweet smell of syrup at boil.  I finish the syrup on our electric kitchen stove, in a pan made particularly for the purpose.  Made of aluminum, it has a narrow base and a flared top.  I thought it was a terrible extravagance at $268, but it really has improved both the boiling time and the process, and it will last for many years.

I love the final boiling.  The smell of the steam is amazing and the boil of the syrup is fascinating to watch.  While the  sap is boiling, I skim the foam with a slotted spoon, a very soothing activity.  Then, the temperature rises suddenly on the candy thermometer, and those huge candy bubbles start to form.  The part I like best is hearing the seal ‘pop’ on the Mason jars and knowing we have produced enough syrup for our pancakes and muffins and a few gifts for family and friends, enough for the whole year.

This was not our best year but we are so used to the routine, it seemed painless.  We tapped 10 Red Maple trees, collected 167 liters of sap (compared to 329 liters last year) from March 12 to April 6, and prepared 14 pints of syrup.  The syrup was dark this year but very sweet and flavorful.



sugartime slow


in the rain

maples bloom

small red fireworks

slate sky


drip slow

time slow

sap runs bitter

hardly worth the boil



© Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

April 11, 2012 at 7:03 am

10 Responses

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  1. Gosh, I can almost smell the maple syrup from here (even this long after you posted!).



    April 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    • Hi Robin. The season was short but the syrup has a wonderful flavour this year. Jane


      jane tims

      April 18, 2012 at 8:23 am

  2. I love this post. It makes me remember the boiling down of sap on our old wood stove, when I was a child. The poem is lovely and the descriptions and photos are wonderful…I can smell and taste the maple syrup.


    Carol Steel

    April 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    • Hi Carol. Thank you for your comments. I am surprised at how many New Brunswickers either remember boiling maple syrup or collect from a few trees today! Jane


      jane tims

      April 13, 2012 at 7:05 am

  3. Love the poem, when the sap gets bitter the maple starts blooming – the cycles of life… Love the smell of pancakes with real maple syrup!


    Barbara Rodgers

    April 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm

  4. I love the little poem – and looking at that maple syrup makes me think of pancakes!



    April 12, 2012 at 3:44 am

    • Hi. I’m glad you like the poem. Pancakes… hmmm… sounds like Saturday morning to me! Jane


      jane tims

      April 12, 2012 at 7:19 am

  5. Hi Jane, What a hobby.! I can smell your syrup from here,,,and don’t forget,,,your hair and clothes,,everything smells like maple syrup after you batch it up. Love it.! Have you had dark syrup before because after all,,you are not a beginner at this.? Using syrup instead of sugar in muffins is heavenly.! Beautiful words and poetry. Love it.! Love it.! Love it.! Keep it coming.!



    April 11, 2012 at 9:59 am

    • Hi Patsi. Everyone I talk to is commenting on the darkness of the syrup this year. I’m glad you like the poem! Jane


      jane tims

      April 12, 2012 at 7:10 am

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