Turning sap to syrup at Audubon

Guests learned how to make maple syrup March 16.

Patrick L. Sullivan

Turning sap to syrup at Audubon

SHARON — Visitors to Sharon Audubon Center in Sharon Saturday, March 16, took walking tours, stocked up on baked treats, and got a look at how maple syrup is made.

Wendy Miller, who is the education program manager at Sharon Audubon, was alone in the sugar shack waiting for the first group of visitors.

She fed logs into the large, wood-fired apparatus and asked a visitor, “Is it steamy enough in here?”

It was. The first group filed in, blinking a bit at the clouds of fragrant steam issuing from the bubbling sap.

Miller explained how maple sap is turned into maple syrup. It takes roughly 40 gallons of sap to get a gallon of syrup, she explained: “All we need to do is boil it. It turns into syrup by itself.”

The goal is to get the sap, which is 3% sugar, to turn into syrup — at 67% sugar — so the sugarers need to be on their toes.

If it boils too long, the result is solid and granular, definitely palatable but not practical if you’re thinking about pouring it on pancakes or waffles.

When the syrup reaches a temperature of 219 degrees Fahrenheit, it is almost finished. A hydrometer is then used to determine the sugar content.

If that is satisfactory, the almost-syrup is processed through a press that has seven filters, to remove what is known as “sugar sand” — minerals, mostly, plus any bugs that eluded previous screenings.

Latest News

Robert J. Pallone

NORFOLK — Robert J. Pallone, 69, of Perkins St. passed away April 12, 2024, at St. Vincent Medical Center. He was a loving, eccentric CPA. He was kind and compassionate. If you ever needed anything, Bob would be right there. He touched many lives and even saved one.

Bob was born Feb. 5, 1955 in Torrington, the son of the late Joesph and Elizabeth Pallone.

Keep ReadingShow less
The artistic life of Joelle Sander

"Flowers" by the late artist and writer Joelle Sander.

Cornwall Library

The Cornwall Library unveiled its latest art exhibition, “Live It Up!,” showcasing the work of the late West Cornwall resident Joelle Sander on Saturday, April 13. The twenty works on canvas on display were curated in partnership with the library with the help of her son, Jason Sander, from the collection of paintings she left behind to him. Clearly enamored with nature in all its seasons, Sander, who split time between her home in New York City and her country house in Litchfield County, took inspiration from the distinctive white bark trunks of the area’s many birch trees, the swirling snow of Connecticut’s wintery woods, and even the scenic view of the Audubon in Sharon. The sole painting to depict fauna is a melancholy near-abstract outline of a cow, rootless in a miasma haze of plum and Persian blue paint. Her most prominently displayed painting, “Flowers,” effectively builds up layers of paint so that her flurry of petals takes on a three-dimensional texture in their rough application, reminiscent of another Cornwall artist, Don Bracken.

Keep ReadingShow less
A Seder to savor in Sheffield

Rabbi Zach Fredman

Zivar Amrami

On April 23, Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield will host “Feast of Mystics,” a Passover Seder that promises to provide ecstasy for the senses.

“’The Feast of Mystics’ was a title we used for events back when I was running The New Shul,” said Rabbi Zach Fredman of his time at the independent creative community in the West Village in New York City.

Keep ReadingShow less