I had a good day at work today, so I’m in a pretty good mood. And after I got off work, I went straight to the school to sort out the network troubles I started yesterday. I had four things that I really needed to do to the three servers, and one thing I wanted to do. I got the four important ones done, and now everything is roses there. That fifth item can wait, as it is not critical.

I really do need to document the setup I have created over there, and I’m thinking the best place to keep such a document would be on a wiki. But I would have to set one up to do that, so maybe I’ll just write it up on my PC and email it to a couple of people.

I got home a little after 7:00, just as it was getting dark. I hadn’t checked my sap bucket for a couple of days, and we’ve been having perfect weather for collecting sap. The bucket was about half full (or half empty! Or twice as big as it needed to be!) I’m estimating that the bucket itself is three gallons, so I think I got about six quarts of sap. If I boil that down by a factor of 30, I should get about a fifth of a quart, or just shy of a cup of syrup.

I have three sap buckets that Ken loaned me, so I took one of the empty ones with me out to the tree and swapped it for a full one. There was a little bit of junk in the sap – like tree bark and bits if detritus. So I poured it through a paper towel that I had placed in a sieve, and that caught pretty much all of the undesired matter. I poured it through the sieve into a large kettle, and set that to boiling. I also added a pat of butter to it, as I have read that that will keep it from foaming up. Of course I didn’t remember to do that until it had already foamed up, but after a few minutes of buttery goodness, the foam disappeared. So I guess that works.

In a few minutes, I’ll head back downstairs and watch the sap some more. I prolly ought to do this over an open fire instead of on the stove. I’m thinking the reason most sappers do it that way is that firewood is a lot cheaper than the electricity needed to run my stove. I have a whole pile of brush that needs to be burned anyhow. But I don’t really have a lot of time to be out there tending it. We’ll see how far it boils down before I got to bed.

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