Last Spring Jeremiah and his dad, Pappy J, built a small sugar camp. Ryder has had an interest in making maple syrup for several years. Several days ago, Ryder and two of his friends made syrup over an open campfire. They ended up with about a quart of syrup.
All the talk of boiling got Jeremiah fired up to make some syrup as well. He contacted a friend of his who has a local sugar camp. He was able to get sap from him. Jeremiah and Ryder got the sugar camp set up and went to pick up the sap. The next morning, Jeremiah and Pappy J got to work boiling. I took Ryder back after he was done with his classes at our local homeschool group. When it is complete, we will have about 4 gallons of syrup.
Growing up I only ever had real maple syrup. When Jeremiah and I married we switched to buying the store stuff because it was cheaper. I thought it was so good...nothing better than the gooey, liquid that came out of a lady-shaped, plastic bottle! Jeremiah got hooked on the real thing several years ago and we haven't gone back to the imitation. It took a bit for me to transition back to natural sweetness but it has been good. I had some of the imitation syrup over Christmas and I could hardly believe I used to enjoy that flavor!
How about you, which is your favorite? Real or imitation?