Just a little creative outlet for a poor Minnesota boy who found himself with a wife, three kids, two goats, a dog, two cats, house and hobby farm in Japan. Don't really know how it happened, but I like it :)
I love maple syrup. But the price of it gives me some serious sticker shock. We could buy artificial flavor, indeed, we have in the past. But I just feel safer with something natural.
When I was a boy, my Grandfather tapped some local sugar maple trees one year and made some syrup. I wished that I had planted some sugar maples years ago, and went on wishing for syrup.
Then it struck me- my house is surrounded by Momiji- Japanese maples. Some of them two feet in diameter... So I decided to give it a try this year. I cut some bamboo pipes, cut a small flap in the top of a large plastic soda bottle, and bored a hole near the base of a momiji. Sure enough, out came a steady drip drip drip of sap. I tapped in the pipe, fastened a screw above the hole to hold the bottle on, and let it flow. In about 2 hours, it had about 400ml of sap! How about that!?! It was clear as water, and smelled a bit like watermelons. I brought it back to the house, put it in a pot on the stove, and boiled it down. I ended up with about 10ml of momiji syrup. It was fantastic! Sweet, and nutty- kind of tasted like hazelnuts.
Then I took the baby upstairs to put him to bed. While I was upstairs, MY WIFE THREW OUT THE SYRUP IN THE MEASURING CUP!!!!!
To be fair, it didn't look like much, and she didn't know it was syrup. Was still a heck of a shock though.