Time to do some Maply Syrup Sap cooking.  We had never done this before and were scratchng our heads a bit this morning but got started.  Both Troy and I remember doing it a little as kids but not since.  This is sometimes known as a turkey frying pot but we have made it our big filtering pot for the purpose of Maple syrup today and if we need a 2nd boiling station when the trees really get going

All the sap we have collected so far that we have been storing in Muskie Inn the last few days as the trees have been a bit sluggish starting out

Turkey cooker all ready to go and hooked up

First step is filtering the sap through a cheese cloth into the big turkey pot.  What are we filtering out…. bark, bugs, pine needles and anything else floating around in the sap

Good job for bored kids on a Saturday morning who have been fighting, this causes them to work together instead and before you know it you have a smile or 2 on their faces

Once the pot is full, next step is to pour the filtered sap into our syrup pan.  The syrup pan was bought at Maple Hallow in Merrill about 7 miles off of Hwy 51.  They are a family business that is all about Maple Syrup and they make our little operation look puny in comparison.  If you are thinking about making syrup it is the place to start (just don’t as how much that pan cost…. I love tax returns)  They also sell wonderful maple syrup if you need any.

On to the turkey cooker the pan goes.  The reason we bought this pan is it is just the right size for our small amount of sap, it can go on this LP cooker, or over a fire on cement blocks and also on my kitchen stove if I want to finish it off inside the house.  Why you ask don’t you cook it in the house the whole time?  Do you see the steam coming off the cooker…. unless you want to remove the wallpaper in your house it is not advisable to cook the extra gallons of water off in your house

We are learning as we go.  After this picture was taken at 180 degrees for the water we raised the flame to get it up to 211 and the steam was really rolling!

After getting everything cooking we decided to head out to our newest taps and see what we have collected.  I seem to have a problem going to the hardware store and not returning home with more taps… so instead of buying the holders and bags we have resorted to other containers.  The Cranberry ones are nice because the plastic is nice and thick compared to milk jugs.  Troy found a few of our Cranberry jugs and even emptied out the one in the fridge into a pitcher to come up the remaining containers we needed.  You start tapping trees and you have a hard time stopping it becomes addictive!

even made use of a ice cream container.  Notice the duck tape holding the cracked lid together.  This bucket was over flowing this morning.  We did resort to a few milk jugs as well and they held up just fine

Collecting the remaining sap.  Stay tuned to see how our first batch turns out!