Syrup straight from the tree |

Syrup straight from the tree

Sam Bauman
For the Nevada Appeal

I was getting ready to make pancakes when I discovered that I was out of maple syrup. No big deal, I finished my two-minute electric toothbrush session and hied off to Smith’s to pick up a flask.

No problem, there were a shelf of maple syrups, not inexpensive but there.

Back home I had the pancakes with maple syrup and enjoyed them. But I also was caught up in a web memories dating back to my preteens when I discovered how maple syrup was made.

I flashed back to my youth when I was ready for breakfast but had no syrup.

Nothing daunted, my mother bundled us up and we drove a small stand of maples in the middle of a vacant cornfield. A sign read, “For sale, maple syrup.”

Maple trees, each with a V notch in the trunk, were stuck with fresh wooden sticks, from which dripped maple tree sap into a bucket.

We moved down a rutted lane amid maple trees, each with a bucket to catch the sap. An old horse was ahead of us and stopped just right so that a worker in bib overalls could empty a bucket of sap into a larger one.

Lines of maples were so adorned. We followed the horse back to a wooden whack with smoke coming out of a chimney.

Inside was a line of metal troughs linked together, starting about six feet above the floor. There a man was pouring maple tree sap into a funnel at the top. It trickled down the chutes which were heated by wood fires heating the chutes and slowly exporting the sap. The lower end the maple syrup oozed out slowly.

And that was my memory of the process of making maple syrup. Don’t know if maple syrup is still made that way but that’s how I remember it. Nowadays most maple syrup comes from Canada where there are plenty of maples and a tight monopoly on production. But it’s still just maple syrup, costly but uniquely delicious.

Please pass the bottle.


In case you’ve been under a rock, actor Kevin Spacey became a bit of a liability for Ridley Scott’s new film “All the Money in the World,” so the director didn’t hesitate: he recast the role of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty with Christopher Plummer, reshot all of Spacey’s scenes in 10 days and made the planned holiday release with ease. On Halloween he had finished the movie and had never met Plummer. On Thanksgiving they were working again, and by Christmas they both had Golden Globe nominations. That has to be some kind of a record.

The movie offers a fresh insight into the world of billionaires. Scenes show J. Paul Getty debating for the release of the kidnap victim.

It’s almost embarrassing to see billionaire Getty trying to figure out a tax dodge for the ransom money he has to contribute to free the youth.

Here’s the synopsis: “All the Money in the World” follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom. When Getty Sr. refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal. With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s adviser (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.

Some brutal scenes including the amputation of an ear to show how far the captors will go to get their ransom money.

This is the world of the super rich and how their views, morals and desires are fashioned by money. At one point someone asks Getty how hard it was to make a million.

Not hard at all, he says. “What’s hard is keeping it.” A complaint before new tax code went into effect.

An interesting view of the effect big money has on people.

If you’re interested in seeing this film and it’s good enough to spend the $6.50 admission fee on Tuesdays which can go up to $8.50 depending on which theater the film is showing in. Big crowds on Tuesdays which shows how much Carson people enjoy a cheaper ticket.

Meanwhile, I tried the free caption reader that the Galaxy offers. It works well but do prep before the film with minor problems, chief of which is getting it set up before watching/reading the film. Users have to fit the small flowerpot holder into the drink hole with can be tricky.

Other problem is going from caption reader to film picture, which requires different focus of eyes. But it works and it’s free (you lave your driver’s license as security).