Maple on my Mind

Who knows what this is?

Every year, when I take down the ornaments from our tree, I love to ponder each item as it sparks memories from the person or place it came from or who created it. This unique item reminded me of my Canadian roots and wonderful memories of the making of maple syrup!

This is a spout that is pounded into a tap hole in a maple tree in early spring so that sap can drain from the tree! The sap drains into a system of tubing or directly into a pail for collection and transferred to a sugar shack where it is boiled down to make maple syrup. The sweet, sugary smell of a sugar shack is one you will never forget!

Growing up, we had farming neighbors that collected sap and boiled it down to maple syrup (it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup!), so I got to see the process first-hand. One of my fondest childhood memories is snowmobiling to a sledding hill on the farm. Our hosts had boiled down the sap a little thicker than syrup, then drizzled it onto the snow to make maple taffy! We eagerly grabbed it with our fingers directly off the snow and dissolved the taffy in our mouths; what a delicious treat!

One of my favorite blogs featured the beautiful Canadian Maple tree this week! Lady Carnarvon of Highclere Castle in England wrote about the connection between Canada and England as they planted a new maple tree (gift from Canada) in celebration of the 4th Earl of Carnarvon and his contribution to the birth of Canada during his life time in politics and specifically in Disraeli’s Cabinet in 1866.

It’s nice to feel that connection across the globe and I am determined to visit Highclere Castle one day. Maybe I will seek out that newly planted maple tree and dream of the sweet, sugary aroma of maple syrup!

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