|Just starting to steam|
We have a temporary abundance of liquid from one end to the other of the Maple Sap to Maple Syrup continuum and we've discovered a couple of delicious ways to enjoy it. In the photo above, the new sap goes into the far left pan, #1, and as it cooks down, we ladle it into the pan to the right. The far right, #4, pan has the most advanced syrup that is almost finished. We've discovered that it's pretty good at every stage.
Stage 1: A friend who grew up in Maine told me that she used to drink the sap like water when she was a kid. You can do that. It's sweet, but not too sweet. It'd probably be good in Kool-Aid. Because you need an excuse to buy Kool-Aid.
Stage 2-3: Now, the stuff in the middle - beyond sap, but nowhere near syrup makes fabulous tea. We just ladled the stuff right out of the pan in the arch and into a mug with a teabag. It was Mike's idea, and he said he got it from a Maple Festival in Medora, Indiana. Yum! We tried it in Celestial Seasonings Almond Sunset, which they don't make any more [We've had it for scary long], but they should because it was fabulous this way. We also tried it in Bengal Spice, Peach and Cranberry Apple Zinger. Dee-Lish. I'm thinking it would be good with their Honey Vanilla Chamomile, too. We mixed Stage 2 and a bit of Stage 3 for the best tea.
Stage 3-4: I like it as syrup here because it doesn't taste too dark yet. The experts say that it's not safe to put up this way because the sugar content is too low. It's fine to eat fresh and we do.
Stage 4: Thick, sweet, dark syrup. Best enjoyed on French Toast. Duh.