Big Stone Bounty

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Our son "Earnest" holding the Boxelder Syrup we made

Yesterday the boys and I went to Big Stone State Park for our first adventures in collecting Box Elder sap for syrup. It was chilly and rainy, but Joanne (ranger extraordinaire) took us out to see the trees she had tapped, showed us how to tap a tree, and let us collect 3.5 gallons of syrup. At home we boiled the 3.5 gallons down to one golden, delicously sweet and buttery cup of Boxelder Syrup. Compared to Maple Syrup, the Boxelder is milder- almost marshmellowy. I hope I can do this every year from now on.

Do you have any suggestions for very special dessert on which to use this syrup?

The Big Stone Bounty isn't only this amazingly delicious syrup, it's the generousity of time, talent, and spirt that led Joanne to make this possible for us.

16 Comments

Ok-- I just have to add this comment to my own blog. That Box Elder syrup is one of the most delicious things I've tasted in my life. I drank the raw sap-- it tasted mineraly, like well water with a bit of soil mixed in. I wasn't hopeful for the syrup- but I'm telling you this is one of the top 2 taste experiences of my life. And I'm a taster!

What a remarkable find. Who knew Box Elder Syrup from Big Stone County Minnesota would be the essence of trees, soil, water and divine!!!!
Kathy

thats awesome kathy! yummy yummy yummy!

I'm sure your top taste is dirt. I do remeber you telling me that if you could have total clean soil you would eat it! Well enjoy your hard work in the syrup and let those kids just eat it on anything.

Kathy, I see you are helping "Earnest" hold the jar of precious syrup. No chance of that falling and breaking!! Hopefully (weather permitting), the Girl Scouts can go out there tomorrow. I am bringing my kettle in hopes to bring some sap home. If not, can I stick a finger in to taste yours? I'd put it on ice cream. You are right about Joanne's generosity! She is willing to assist a troop of girls. Keep on writing. I sure enjoy your blog.

How about bread pudding? For some reason that was the first thing that popped into my mind. OK...so can you draw a diagram on how you do the tapping, or is it too late for the Dodge County Box Elders?...I spose I could check at Oxbow and see if they would show me how..

Ooooo Bread pudding would be perfect. There's also this cranberry pudding that my aunt Carolyn bakes in a can.

Lori-- a great idea to bring the Girl Scouts. And thanks to Joanne for hosting them. I might slip out this afternoon to join you all.

Anon-- it may be too late to get the tapping supplies and tap the trees. I think they peaked in the last few days. I'm definitely gearing up for next year!! This is too good to pass up.

Oh,too bad. I thought maybe this would be some sort of compensation for putting up with the box elder bugs that have been alive all winter...(a big batch of them fell in when I opened the west door last week.)

And the syrup tastes nothing like the bugs

And I thought those nasty trees on our farm were only a big nuisance...Who would have thunk it!!Syrup!! I am wondering who first discovered this possiblilty?

My understanding is that the Native Americans used the sap as tonic and that they preferred the Box Elder syrup to Maple syrup. I would agree that the Box Elder is much better than maple.

More Bounty from Big Stone: a group of dedicated scout leaders willing to trompse through the wet woods to show a group of young girls how fun it can be to gather sap and make syrup. Hurrah to Lori, Maria and Kathy!

And extra hurrahs to Kathy for her writing and inspiration. I get such a 'high' from reading this blog. Thank you!

My understanding is that the Native Americans used the sap as tonic and that they preferred the Box Elder syrup to Maple syrup. I would agree that the Box Elder is much better than maple.

At first I did not quite understand what you are talking about, but after reading more thoroughly proved that you wrote this article very helpful for me, thank you very much.

How about bread pudding? For some reason that was the first thing that popped into my mind. OK...so can you draw a diagram on how you do the tapping, or is it too late for the Dodge County Box Elders?...I spose I could check at Oxbow and see if they would show me how..

Ah yes, I love bread pudding!

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on March 21, 2009 6:11 PM.

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