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BY JOHN McLOONE

Sticky business!

This is about to get sticky.

I’m about to speak some serious truth here.

You thought COVID debates were ugly, wait until you read on. I have a stance on something that’s going to send shock waves through the community.

There are too many people cooking their own maple syrup.

Whew…I feel better already getting that off my chest.

This whole fad was started by people who sell maple syrup-producing kits. It’s the home-brewing phase of the 2000s.

It used to be that only Aunt Jemimah made syrup. She’s gone now, but her recipe continues. I saw it on the grocery store shelf the other day. It was like three bucks for enough syrup to give you cavities and a sugar buzz for months to come.

Here’s what maple syrup-making is: It’s the spring version of deer camp. Guys get away from their wives all weekend. They drink beer. They play cards. They throw a few logs on a fire. They could care less if they get more than a thimble of tree sap burned into syrup.

They bring along the kids, some of them at least, and teach them from time to time you need to escape. It’s a primal thing, perhaps. It’s a time of the year when nothing to hunt is in season, except turkeys, and they’re too tough to shoot. The ice is off the lakes, and the fishing opener is weeks away.

So, let’s make some syrup. Throw some hoses down, drill some holes in the trees. Get that stuff running. And hand me a cold one!

Whoever thought this up, I will admit, was pretty genius. An incredibly intricate complicated plan was hatched by one guy who wanted to play cards with his buddies on a Saturday afternoon. Could you imagine if he just asked for permission? “Honey, the fellows and I are going to play poker for four hours today. Sound good?” That would be a hard “no.”

Change that to: “Dear, I think we need to get back to nature. We have three maple trees. I’m going to create an organic masterpiece from them. In mere weeks, I’ll be providing you with several Mason jars of maple syrup. It’s only going to cost hundreds of dollars. The kids will be out of your hair too.”

Genius, perhaps! A craze was born! And I know from the standpoint of the wife, this gives her some flexibility too. She just got weekends of freedom. Everybody’s happy, that is until they have to eat pancakes for every meal and they’re unloading their syrup as Christmas presents.

I’m all for the professionals keeping the syrup economy going. There are people who do it for a living. Let’s support them!

It will be nice enough to fish soon!

April 27, 2022