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The Food of WWII

Discussion in 'WWII Activities and Hobbies' started by Jack B, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    It's rather simple but time consuming. After collecting the sap you boil it down until the temperature reaches 7 degrees above the boiling point, generally 219 degrees F or 107 C. The "correct" way is to closely watch the boiling point - depending on the conditions water will boil anywhere between 210 and 214 degrees, as the sap condenses the temp will rise (slowly) and once the sap has reached the correct consistency, 219*, you have Maple syrup.
    Also it MUST be filtered along the way. This helps takes out the heavier particles that turn into Niter. I boil down from two large pots until I can then pour the almost syrup through a pre-filter (basically a very large coffee filter) into a smaller pot. Then using a candy thermometer sit and stare at the line creeping up to the 219 mark. Once it hits 219 let it continue to boil for a minute or two then pour the finished syrup through another final filtering using a pre-filter inside a Orlon cloth filter. I work in stages so once I have this I take the finished pot into the house and bring the syrup back up to 180 degrees and pour into bottles.

    When I first started making Maple syrup there was a little 'Trial & Error' . The amount of steam that comes off the pan can literally peel the paint off the walls so they suggest to do all the boiling outside. The sap is 'sticky' straight from the tree and the steam if not exhausted turns a closed area into a sweet smelling tacky Sauna. Plus sitting outside in the elements adds to the 'Old-Time' feel of Doing It The Way they did in the Old Days. Not wanting to go through the hassle of building a wood burning fire pit outside and preferring comfort over nostalgia (it can be miserable weather outside in April up here), I use an electric stove which I am fortunate to have in our old cabin I turned into a storage/workshop clutter gathering place.
    You can continue to boil after the temperature reaches the syrup stage to get a slightly thicker syrup but to me there's not a lot of difference. And if you go too high the "Niter" in the syrup can cause a sugar-sand that can show up in the bottle. It doesn't hurt the taste or have any detrimental effect but looks odd to see sugar crystals floating around. Oh and if the candy thermometer has one of those plastic sleeves with the recommended temps for different things don't believe the 230 degree for syrup. I've tried to explain to someone that is for making sugar syrup and Not Maple syrup. But they wanted thicker syrup and then they complained about the chunks of sugar sand filling their bottles ?

    This is kind of long-winded but the basics are all here :rolleyes:
     
  2. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Wow. So I also have to assume that you also have to be careful that you don’t burn. I have made a lot of candies and I know when you make toffee if you don’t watch the bottom It sticks, it burns, it stinks and then you start over. Thanks for the steps. I never knew how much went into making it but it sounds like you have it down. I guess in the old days they just did it right out in the open by the trees.
     
  3. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Syrup2020.JPG

    A good roiling boil evaporates the sap at a good clip and you do have to keep an eye on the level of fluid. I always keep the level no less than an inch and a half. I've been fortunate or just down right lucky, but so far each batch has come out great.

    Tomorrow I'll post a picture of the finished product :D

    You can see the mess it makes !
     
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  4. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    But worth it!
     
  5. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Absolutely worth it ! Something I forgot to mention was checking the density of the syrup with a hydrometer. For "official" Maple Syrup it must have a reading of 32 degrees Baume with the syrup checked at 211degrees F. This last batch was boiled to 220-221 degrees and when I tested with the hydrometer it was a little 'light', just over 31 Baume. I could have boiled it more but I'll use the last batch first and it won't last long enough to worry about sugar sand or storage problems.
    The bottle on the left is from the first batch this year and the right is the last batch. Shows how the sap begins to change as the leaves start to bud.

    syrup2020c.JPG syrup2020b.JPG
     
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  6. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Now back to our regular "The Foods of WWII" Programming.
     
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  7. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Very cool. I just learned something new. Ty
     
  8. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    So one of the things that seem to be hard to get around New Jersey during the coranvirus lockdown is yeast. So I was wondering if during the war years if yeast was one of those items that was hard to get. I started making my own sourdough yeast mix. It usually takes 5-7 days for the batch to be completely active. From there you either feed it every day if it stay out on your counter or feed it once a week if it is left in the refrigerator. It works just like regular yeast, just takes longer to activate. The beauty of this is that as long as you replace what you you, you never run out.
    I think Jack also is a believer.
     
  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Excuse me if this has already come up in the thread, but there's now a show on the History Channel called"Eating History."

    One episode I watched had them trying out a 75 year old can of WWII ration fruitcake. Priceless! It tasted so bad they thought they were going to die, so it still tasted just like it did in Normandy.

    Eating History Full Episodes, Video & More | HISTORY

    .
     
  10. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I had seen the promos but have not caught up any of the shows. Definitely will have to watch
     

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