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Maple syrup season calls for good planning

Now that spring is just around the corner, many people have maple syrup on the brain. The good news is this can be fixed if you are a little more careful pouring it.

For maple syrup producers, this is obviously the busiest and most exciting time of year. My personal hope is that they get the conditions they need and that the sap runs steadily. I say this because I have great respect for those who put in all the hours and do all the hard work to create maple syrup. And, I’m not just saying this, because I am looking for the family discount.

Having sung their praises, I’d like to also point out this is the time of year everyone writes about maple syrup producers and their operations. That’s fine, but I think it’s also high time we wrote about the other important part of the equation: the maple syrup consumer.

I happen to run a very successful maple syrup consumer operation and have been doing so for years. Heck, if I can sneak in a second helping of  pancakes on Saturday and Sunday, I might even go so far as to say I run one of the biggest operations in the area.

This takes a lot of hard work and, naturally, a lot of people ask me how to get into maple syrup consumption. I’m happy to say, it’s not that complicated.

The most important thing is waiting until the conditions are just right. For maple syrup consumption, this means it should probably be a morning when temperatures aren’t too cold or too hot in the kitchen.  The morning should also be relaxed with enough time to make a large stack of pancakes. For most of us that means weekends.

Once the pancakes are made you have to make sure the syrup is running. The biggest obstacle most maple syrup consumers face is a bottle cap that is cemented on by dried syrup. There are many ways to deal with this, but I prefer handing the bottle to someone with better grip strength than me. If not, hot water on a cloth helps.

You are probably wondering how you get those bottles of maple syrup in the first place? This is perhaps the most difficult part of the operation. You need to get onto a local maple syrup producer’s list and then order a reasonable amount, which seems easy until you realize how much overtime you need to work to afford 300 litres of the stuff.

At this point, you can do one of two things, you can either decide to scale down your consumption or get a second job. Obviously, one of those choices takes far too much effort. But, don’t kid yourself, getting a second job is not exactly easy either.

The other thing that’s important in the maple syrup consumption business is knowing a few important phrases like, “Sorry kids, I think we ran out of syrup” or  “If you think that’s good, you should really try this store brand corn syrup. Go on, have as much as you like.”

Lastly, it never hurts to send your maple syrup producer nice notes throughout the year just to let them know you are thinking about them and, if you are low on the list, perhaps a few dozen roses or a vintage bottle of wine. The notes should be complimentary, full of admiration and sentimentality. The only thing I wouldn’t do is make them sappy. Sap is the last thing they want to deal with in the offseason.

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