Thursday, March 12, 2009

Unlike a kettle,

a watched pan does boil.

One of the best times about sugaring is just before the filtering and transfer into the finishing step. The pan depth is no greater than a centimeter; less in spots. I take the wooden spoon and move the liquid along the bottom of the pan; insuring it doesn't stick and burn. A rhythm sets in over me. It's always the same sway, the same beat. (The picture above is not of this time. It is earlier in the day when I am still adding sap to the pan.)

I am reminded of my daughter's and a friend's humming. Something they do when they are traveling life's calm waters. Maybe sugaring is that way for me.

Someone asked me if I would still sugar if I knew of the expense. I answered, "Yes."

We started, 6 years ago, with 7 plastic milk jugs hanging from our trees, boiling outside in my biggest pan on a turkey fryer burner. From that first season I was sold.


Yukon said...

I am trying to conserve my propane - wondering whether an aggressive boil is much better than a light boil. Using one turkey fryer per 12"x20" pan, I keep the boil pretty moderated. I see your pan, is it about 2'x3'? Do you see a benefit to the aggressive boil?

PtCakes said...

I find that the boiling goes faster with an aggressive boil. (Makes sense.) When the propane tank is nearly empty and the boil is light, hours can go by without an appreciable change in volume. What we do is pull these nearly empty tanks off the burner and put them on the gas grill. There, we use the fuel to preheat the sap. For there is plenty of LP to fire the burner on the grill.