Archive for April, 2007

From the Culinary X-Files — Birch Tree Syrup

This is my weirdest culinary experiment so far…

I pruned a birch tree in my backyard last week, and imediately sap started pouring out of this tree, I didn’t think much of it other than it seemed like a waste that this sap was pouring out of the tree and that I was going to have to power wash the deck after the sap stopped flowing. if it weren’t for my friend Mike who mentioned that you could make syrup from birch sap I wouldn’t be writing this, Mike also helped me immensely trimming the trees. Then my wife put a bucket under the tree to catch the run off and the next thing I know I’m dumping the bucket onto the stove and making syrup. I originally thought making birch syrup was like making maple syrup (which I’ve done many moons ago) but that’s not the case, it turns out making the syrup is a rather delicate process, so I burned my first batch. So far the second and third batches have worked out, and the syrup has a great fresh taste like maple syrup fresh out of the kettle. The other thing that should be noted: you need to reduce the syrup by a ratio of 80 to 1 which means I’ll only be making a few ounces but it’s been a learning exercise, I’m not wasting a natural resource and the syrup is pretty damn tasty.

For more on birch syrup see this rather authoritative page.

Working Through the backlog

I’ve been super busy lately, but I’m carving out some time to work through my backlog. So there will be many more updates coming shortly. It’s just about time for grilling season, so lots of grilled and BBQ’d dishes are on their way. Also the duck prosciutto worked out, we’re still alive, but I’ll do an entire post on that shortly. One of the nice things about using’s blogging software, is that the tag library acts as a great spell checker for those more obscure words like prosciutto.