Give me some sugar, baby—maple sugar.

Just after boiling, the syrup was still cloudy. In the fridge it settled to the clear amber ambrosia we know and love.

Man-cakes with local syrup.

By now the sap seems to have stopped flowing, and we are taking in the buckets; the trees are hoarding sugar for their own selfish annual project of waking up and growing. This morning W. and I invited friends to polish off our first batch of Isthmus Maple Syrup atop some worthy buttermilk man-cakes and waffles. Once we saw how much sap it took to make that little half-pint jar, we had been hoarding it ourselves, like Gollum with his Precious.

In case you have syrup ambitions yourself, the vinyl tubing system worked pretty well, but next year we will try slightly larger holes and some proper spiles (the spouts you stick in the tree) to see if we get more sap that way. The turkey fryer is a must in the urban neighborhood, so often prejudiced against backyard bonfires.

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