Then again, maple I won’t

It’s maple syrup season, or as we call it here in Canada, March Madness. Across Quebec and other regions with more trees than sense, maple producers will spend the next several weeks working like beavers – waddling, chewing wood, slapping their tails and posing for cheap gift-shop souvenirs. Their goal? To produce barrels of sweet maple syrup, an essential component of the traditional pancake-based diet that has made Canada what it is today: sticky.

A waffle ain't nothin' but a pancake with potholes.

A waffle ain’t nothin’ but a pancake with potholes.

Syrup is expensive, though, and maple producers justify it by saying their trade is extremely labour-intensive, far too complicated, in fact, for the common fellow. But that’s just beaver talk. The truth is anyone can produce maple syrup. Just follow these easy steps:

First, move to Eastern Canada. Welcome/Bienvenue! Enjoy the fresh air and this complimentary coupon for a free appendectomy.

Second, plant a maple grove.

Third, print this post, place it in a safety deposit box and come back in 25 years.

Hi, welcome back! Time flies when you’re having fundamental rights stripped away by despotic robot governments, eh? Getting good mileage on that new hovercar? How about that Puppet President and his One Funk For All policy? Shor B cray-Z times…

Hail to the wazzup.

Hail to the wazzup.

Now, reconstitute that maple grove that was shrink-rayed in 2024 following the introduction of Prime-Minister-For-Life Harper’s Bill for the Promotion of Energy Consumption and the Making Way for Pipelines All Over the Damn Place. Just look at those trees: so stately and mature with their rough exteriors, crooked limbs and thick trunks just teeming with fluids – they remind me of Madonna during her 2018 “Unsaggable” World Tour.

Okay! Let’s make some maple syrup!

Now that you’re good and drunk – oh wait, I skipped a step…

Down four to nine shots (depending on body weight) of the cheapest rye whiskey you can find while singing traditional Canadian syrup-drinking songs (i.e. “No Sugar Tonight,” “Northwest Tappage,” “To Syrup, With Love,” etc.).

Now that you’re good and drunk, go to sleep for several hours so that you wake with a blinding hangover. As everyone knows, maple trees sense human brain waves, and only by scrambling those brain waves through the ravages of mild alcohol poisoning will you be able to effectively sneak up on those sap-bearing mothertrunkers!

Wearing your special sap suit and transporting the top-grade medical gauze in your vintage leather portmanteau, slither on your belly into the maple grove. Note: only slithering will produce the required effect. Skulking, slinking or oonching may result in injury and the ridicule of the other sap hunters.

Immediately wrap the trees with the gauze. This must be done as quickly as possible and is the most exhausting part of the process, though not as exhausting as maple producers tend to let on, but then you know how maple producers are. “There’s too much syrup on the market.” “There’s not enough syrup on the market.” Never happy, those maple producers!

Once the trees are wrapped, use your machete to lop off the sweetest shoots and branches from the previous year’s growth. To reach the higher branches, be sure to carry the odd small child in your portmanteau. (Note: consult your local laws regarding labour practices involving odd small children.)

Le shaque, c'est where eet's at.

Le shaque, c’est where eet’s at.

Your arms laden with the maple harvest, trundle back to the sugar shack (or as it’s called in French, “le shaque de sugâr”) and place the branches into the large vats teeming with a brine of purified water, yeast, glycerol, acetaminophen and sprigs of lavender. The lavender is to make the air smell pretty. Isn’t that nice?

Soak the sweet maple branches in the brine for 48 hours. Any longer and the concoction will begin to ferment and turn to alcohol, what the Native people used to refer to as “April wine,” and from which we get the name of that classic Canadian rock band, “Gordon Lightfoot.”

After 48 hours of more singing and drinking (traditionally known as “sugaring off the wagon”), the brining action will have broken down the wood tissue into pulp. Despite another blistering hangover, you must now extract the sweet syrup from the pulp, but don’t forget to first skim off the delectable maple curd, famous in beaver-laden gift shops worldwide.

Scoop the dripping heaps of maple pulp into the press. Traditionally, the pulp was pressed by hand but nowadays is pressed by 10:30 a.m.

Some producers opt to leave some pulp in their syrup, but as with orange juice, there are those who don’t like pulp and those who are idiots.

No Pulp

No Pulp

And, voila! Rich, sweet maple syrup, ready to be bottled, drunk directly out of the spigot or foisted on an unsuspecting public.

There now, wasn’t that simple and liver-enlarging? Don’t you feel silly paying $9 a can for something you could so easily do yourself? I know my beaver does.


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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51 Responses to Then again, maple I won’t

  1. Hmmm, I normally enjoy anything that requires getting drunk, but this seems like a lot of work. Especially for an American.

  2. Hysterical!!! I liked coming back twenty five years later to the puppet president!! Haha!

      • My understanding of Canada comes from the Canadian Pavilion in Disney World’s, Epcot (think flannel shirts, Roots and strangely, popcorn) and my new Canadian son-in-law, who has wasted no time in teaching me about Poutine, Tim Hortons, Hockey, and all things Maple. I think that about sums it up, right? Now that I know how to make my own maple syrup I think I’m ready to call the Property Bros and make my move.

  3. Once I return from jolly olde England with Buckminster K. Beaver, our trusty sidekick, I shall immediately put him to work with the gauze and machete. Until then, I’ll just have to read up on, whoever in hell he or she might be. Ta-ra, pip pip, and toodle-oo.

  4. I think we had maple trees in New Hampshire when I was a wee non-french lass…and I thought we extracted maple syrup from them…but I could be having a mis-memory… which is quite possible b/c I was only two. Please send me CANS (you have syrup in CANS?) of maple syrup – I would like to request a maple shaped can and a free tummy tuck instead of the appendectomy. And I shan’t be divulging anything abooooot my beaver.

  5. twindaddy says:

    This sounds like too much work. Can’t I just go to IHOP instead?

  6. El Guapo says:

    After drinking the shots, I accidentally tapped Bryan Adams.
    to be fair, he has a very tree-like rough exterior.
    any advice?

  7. MissFourEyes says:

    Even with so much drinking involved you’d think that everyone would be making their own maple syrup

  8. Now I literally feel raped and can’t even sit, I paid 25Euros for a small bottle of maple syrup that I could easy have made. Now I know, not more raping for me, thanks!

  9. You guys really need Mrs. Buttersworth and Aunt Jamima up there. All that work would kill me! “Do they serve (maple syrup) in hell?”

  10. denmother says:

    Yay, Canada! Yay Canadian work ethic! Yay wonderful maple syrup! Yay Canadian beavers! We have the best of everything.

  11. Kylie says:

    I’ll never look at my maple syrup the same way again.

  12. Nic says:

    But seriously though, lately I’m ALWAYS learning something new when I come over here. It’s fantastic. For instance – I never knew the term “sugar shack” actually came from a legitimate source… I feel like I’ve heard it in a few rap songs but they were talking about like, prostitution or something?

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Not sure about that but in the B-52s’ “Love Shack,” the lyrics “I’ve got me a car, it’s as big as a whale” is definitely a metaphor for something.

  13. Pingback: Xtreme PSA | Drinking Tips for Teens

  14. Pingback: Show ‘em a little sugar | Drinking Tips for Teens

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