This weekend was the 10th annual Maple Syrup Weekend here in NW Pennsylvania. My family and I have never been to an actual maple syrup sugar shack during one of these tours. We live just a mile down the road from one and my husband has been to that one last year when it was an off day, meaning that there were no tours going on. He sat there and enjoyed the sweet smell of the sap boiling and the warmth of the boiler. I now know what he enjoyed. Although we had the tour, you could smell the sweetness in the air and take a step back in time. The inside of the shack was wood and a concrete floor, with a huge boiler in the middle. When you are taking in the tour and learning how they make maple syrup, you get the sense that they truly enjoy what they are doing. The enthusiasm that they give when describing every little detail is shown all over their faces.
They told us that it takes 43 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. Wow! No wonder it takes a long time to make maple syrup. It people that make maple syrup use buckets to gather the sap, others use lines that go into one tank. The place that we went to said that they spend several hundred dollars in gas just to gather up the sap. That is why maple syrup can cost so much.
They offer many different varieties of foods to sample and I might add that they were delicious! The maple syrup peanut butter was awesome and my favorite. There was even maple lemonade. I didn’t try it but I was talking to someone that had it and said that it wasn’t too bad. I bought some peanut butter to bring home and let’s just say that it was something that I couldn’t stay out of :). I have to add here that this is another one of those examples of buying local. If you do like pure maple syrup, try to buy it local. Sure you might pay a little more for it, but you are helping a family stay in business. I talked to the owners of the How Sweet It Is sugar shack and they said that they really appreciate it when people will call them and see if they still have syrup or any of their other products still for sale. I think that it is fantastic.
It is a fun filled weekend that any family will enjoy.
On a side note, I did have some pictures that I tried to upload, but for some reason I am having problems getting them onto my blog. I am not sure if it is my end or not, but I think that I need to pick some computer geek’s mind lol. Until I can resolve my picture problems, I will posting without pictures. I hope that you will understand, and if anyone has any help I would REALLY appreciate it.