Thursday, February 9, 2012

Let's Try This Again...

I'm not one to give up easily.  There, it's been said.  I am super stubborn (just ask my husband), and if I think I can find a way to do something, I will try again and again until I figure it out.  That's probably a good quality for a homesteader, no?  Half the things we try work, and the other half doesn't.  If we gave up right away, we'd never accomplish anything.  So, no, I'm not a quitter.

The sap's been building up in the basement for days since my last debacle with the fire boil-down.  On Monday, I boiled down in a big pot on the stove--only three gallons--and made more syrup in an attempt to keep on top of the gallons and gallons I get every day.  It worked fine, but I did have to crack open the window and the door to keep the steam to a minimum.  I'm glad I have no wallpaper in this kitchen, because I can see how it would take it right down.  This boil-down was just fine, and I got nice syrup from it, but it was so silly.  The sap sat for hours on the stove, which is a ridiculous use of electricity, and I don't think it was as fast as it could have been.

So another solution was to be found.  I said "turkey fryer", and many of you said yes!!  Several people had said that a turkey fryer would work (thank you!), and that confirmed what I thought.  A direct jet of heat at the bottom of the pot has to do good things, no?  Oh yes, my friends, oh yes.  As I do not have a turkey fryer, my husband borrowed one from a friend at work (thank you!!) and I hooked it up today.

I know the pot says "soap".  Don't worry about that, read on. I'll explain in a minute.

Does it work??

Is Rome in Italy?

Oh baby, it works!!!!!

Though my pot only holds a gallon and a half at a time, it got it up to the rolling boil in 1/2 an hour.  And not just a boil, but a BOIL!  I've not gotten that type of action any time I've tried this before.  Wow!  So today, I will do my chores outside, tending to the pot as needed to be refilled, and loving the fact that this might just work.  If it does, I'll need to get a turkey fryer for myself, and it will make this whole process just SO much easier.  Yippee!

Stay tuned, and we'll see how this goes. 

Oh, and about the pot--it says "soap".  Originally, I bought it at a discount shop to make soap in.  But when I got it home and looked at the recipes I was making, the amount of soap would have been lost in that big pot, so it was impractical.  Then I thought about it some more, and I think that the pot is made of aluminum, which is a big no-no when dealing with lye.  So it's never had soap in it.  Just sap.  And for that it works just fine.
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