March 29, 2008

Sugar snow

Sugar snow

We almost always get some heavy, wet snow in late March. Some farmers call it a sugar snow because these cold nights and sunny days make for a longer run of maple sap. In some groves, farmers still hang buckets from the taps on maple trees, collecting gallons of maple sap to boil into sweet syrup. On other farms, plastic tubes, less romantic but more efficient, snake from the taps into a bigger container. In late March, the sugar houses are busy, frantically making a year's worth of syrup that will get poured over pancakes and ice cream.

When we talking in class about the sugar snow, one student shook her head and said, "Sugar snow? I'm calling it bullshit snow. As in .... why is it still snowing when it's supposed to be spring?"

10 comments:

YourFireAnt said...

Isn't it also called Chinook snow? Whatever it is, it doesn't last.

Already the ground is baring itself again over here. Chin up.

FA

Katerina said...

I agree with your student. Last year, it snowed in April. If it does it again this year, I just may scream.

Patti said...

We go through a gallon a year. 2 of us. And I did scream last year when it snowed in April.

concretegodmother said...

but mmmmm, maple syrup. this beautiful snow and your post make me think of back when i used to read the little house on the prairie books and they'd make snow candy by gathering a panful of fresh snow and drizzling maple syrup on it. having never actually repeated laura ingalls wilder's recipe, i am amazed at how strong a taste "memory" i have of this.

thanks for sharing this, even though you're frustrated.

jo(e) said...

Concretegodmother: I love the whole chapter about the sugaring-off party in Little House in Big Woods. I think that's where I first heard the expression "sugar snow."

When I was a teenager, we did actually tap our trees once, based mostly on knowledge from the Little House books. It was fun, but unfortunately, the syrup retained the taste of the plastic jugs we used.

purple_kangaroo said...

I've always wanted to harvest maple syrup. I read about it first in the Little House books, too, I'm sure.

Gawdess said...

I love that kind of snow, like frosting from a cake a very nice picture.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Very pretty. I am tired of winter, but it still is pretty! :-D

Almost Earth hour, gotta shut down! Have a fun hour!

Yankee, Transferred said...

A million years ago, when I was a kid, we used to pour maple syrup on snow!

zhoen said...

My D laughed and laughed at "Bullshit snow", until he started weeping uncontrollably.

Snowing here, and we don't even have maple trees.