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National Maple Syrup Day!

Today we celebrate Maple Syrup.  This day is observed annually on December 17th.

Maple syrup is a famous breakfast condiment that everyone who loves pancakes will definitely use syrup.  You can also have maple syrup on Waffles or French Toast.  Thank you maple tree for that sap that makes breakfast delicious.  It can also be used as an ingredient in banking and as a sweetener or flavoring agent.

Maple syrup is a syrup made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species. During the cold climates, maple trees store starch in their trunks and roots before winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in late winter and early spring. Maple trees are tapped by drilling holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap, which is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.

Maple syrup is the famous and largest product in North America because most Americans eat pancakes at any time of the day and each time served with Maple syrup and butter.  The Canadian province of Quebec is by far the largest producer, responsible for 70 percent of the world’s output; Canadian exports of maple syrup in 2016 were C$487 million (about US$360 million), with Quebec accounting for some 90 percent of this total.

Indigenous peoples living in northeastern North America were the first groups known to have produced maple syrup and maple sugar. According to aboriginal oral traditions, as well as archaeological evidence, maple tree sap was being processed into syrup long before Europeans arrived in the region.

So, today, celebrate this day by making yourself some pancakes or waffles and serve it with some Maple syrup to enjoy.  My favorite is Bananas Foster with a little drizzle of warm maple syrup.  Share on social media your favorite using #MapleSyrupDay.

2003 Third and final “Lord of the Rings” movie opens

On December 17, 2003, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the final film in the trilogy based on the best-selling fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, opens in theaters. The film was a huge box-office success and won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, for Peter Jackson. The Lord of the Rings trilogy became one of the highest-grossing franchises in movie history, netting billions of dollars worldwide in box-office proceeds and related merchandise.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in Blomfontein, South Africa, and raised primarily in England. He graduated from Oxford, served in World War I and went on to become a linguist and professor at Oxford. One day when Tolkien was grading exam papers, he reportedly was inspired in a moment of boredom to write across the top of one page, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” From there, he began developing the story into his novel The Hobbit, which was first published in 1937. A sequel, The Lord of the Rings, was published in three volumes between 1954 and 1955. The books are set in a place called Middle Earth and revolve around the adventures of a hobbit named Frodo Baggins, who must destroy a powerful ring and save the world from evil.

(excerpted from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/third-and-final-lord-of-the-rings-movie-opens)