Monday, March 7, 2011

Tasha Tudor
When I was a little girl, I absolutely loved all Tasha Tudor books.
Her illustrations were magical and her lifestyle, even more so.
Tasha Tudor lived in my century but as someone in the century before.
Even to this day I pour through Tasha Tudor's "A Time to Keep" and marvel at the intimacy and community of time's gone by.
Sometimes I long to be in those pages taken straight from Tasha's childhood.

March is sugaring month!
I met Tasha Tudor in 1987 and she was delightful!
She told me that her favorite goat shared my name, Rachel....
Every since I was a little girl, I have so wanted to go "Sugaring" like Tasha Tudor did.
So guess what?
We're making maple syrup for the first time.
It doesn't quite look like the pages of "A Time to Keep" but the feeling is still the same.

Finding the trees we marked, with orange surveyor's tape, last fall.

Here's a big tree that can take two taps.

Wayne drilled a hole for the tap, 1 1/2 inches, at a slight angle to help the drip of sap.
The trees aren't harmed in this process and will continue to give sap for years to come.
The warmer days and cool nights of March, make the sap run.

Hammering in the taps.

True, these buckets are no where near as charming as the metal one's Tasha Tudor used...
2 gallon buckets with a lid to keep out impurities.
We were surprised to find some of these buckets were full the very next morning!

And now... the evaporation stage!
Of course Tasha Tudor would have done this over an open fire.
We opted for the outdoor grill.
Water will be evaporated off until the syrup stage is reached. We monitor with a candy thermometer.
Hopefully, if all turns out as planned, we will be straining the syrup through jelly bags and canning later this afternoon.
I will certainly let you know how it turns out!


  1. WOW! That's amazing you got two gallons over night.

  2. Hey Joe, we had a total of 5 gallons of sap overnight which yielded us about 1 pint of syrup! :)

  3. I love maple sugar season and cook with it all year long. Great illustrations and pictures. Looks like fun.

  4. OH yummy! I love this time of year. Only made syrup once before, lots of work.

    Love for you to share your stories with us every Tuesday link party at

  5. This is such a great post. I too love Tasha Tudor. We try to recreate her pictures in our life and house.

    You really did it by going out and getting your own syrup. I love that the puppies were out there helping you too! That is great that you got so much in one night.


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