It took about three hours for the sap to boil down to maple syrup. Remember, I started with 5 liters, and I boiled it down to 125ml – that’s the 40:1 ratio. The syrup tasted just like real maple syrup, maybe because that’s exactly what it was. I poured my half-cup of syrup into an empty maple syrup bottle (which has syrup in it when we bought it). Then I put it in the fridge.

When I got home tonight, Va asked me what I wanted for supper. Maybe you’ll guess before reading this, but I suggested that we have pancakes. She thought that was a splendid idea. The five of us sat down at the table and passed the syrup around. 125ml divided by 5 is 25ml each. That’s a bit more than 1.5 Tablespoons (again for you imperialists out there).

As I was enjoying my pancakes (and especially my syrup), I started thinking about a bean soup mix I bought last year. I bought it when I was teaching the Backpacking Honor to the Pathfinders, and it was to illustrate a point. This soup was indeed dried and compact, but it takes something like 12 hours to make it. That is completely impractical for a backpacking trip.

The parallel between that soup and these pancakes is that it took me seven days to gather enough sap, and three hours of boiling to turn it into syrup. The difference is that this was a lot of fun (to me), and I imagine that making that soup is… not so much?

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