My tree-tapping haiku…ahem…

Keith just tapped the trees

Forgetting to include me.

I still get syrup!

I love that we tap our own (and the good neighbor’s) Maple trees. I personally think the syrup tastes better. It has this “bright” flavor.

Ok, seriously, did you believe that? What does “bright” taste like? I’ve heard the tv chefs say that word as a descriptor when using anything green in a dish. Puh-leeze. Our syrup does have a distinctive flavor. Sort of like a tang. Not Tang, the orange-powder we grew up on strictly because the astronauts were pushers. (I just made myself giggle, although I have never touched the stuff, I did grow up in the 80’s and have watched movies and so just pictured a guy in an astronaut helmet using a razor to make orange lines of Tang on a mirror. C’mon, thats funny.)

Where was I? Right, syrup. It has only been three days since he drilled the holes in the Maples, installed the spout (tap) and hung the buckets, but, already, there’s only a few inches left before they overflow with sap. Have you tried sap? You know, the whole sugar-on-snow thing? I did once, at a sugar shack in Vermont in the Paul Bunyon days (be prepared for a weird bad hair experience if you visit a sugar shack when they’re boiling. It’s a big steam sauna with guys in plaid and shit-kicker boots, (MUCKS!)) Sugar-on-snow is overrated. You can’t really avoid getting forest scraps in the bowl when you scoop snow off the ground. Forest scraps are bug parts. No doubt about it. Then, the bug-part-flecked snow is drowned in water (sap) that, also, is full of black flecks. (What did I say those were? Riiiight.)

Mr. Flannel tells you (at least you think he’s telling you, if you understand him properly through the Vermont accent) it is supposed to be sweet and delicious. I didn’t taste anything sweet at all. Nothing. Maybe a chill on my filling, that was it.

Did I miss something? Was this some sort of experience that should have been more positive? Am I that much of a cynic that I blew the opportunity to enjoy an early Spring New England delicacy. Methinks not. I was eating a bowl of cold, slushy, bug parts. I kept that on the inside, but outwardly, I smiled at Mr. Flannel and said, “Thank you, how fun!”

Maybe I’ll try it again. If we can avoid the yellow snow created by Miss Daisy Mae.

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