Gene Kaczka, winner of the Sugarmaker's Companion Gift Basket at Maple Run Emporium.
POTSDAM – Gene and Carolyn Kaczka of Hannawa Falls, won the drawing for a gift basket at the Michael Farrell book-signing event held at Maple Run Emporium on March 15.
The hardwood basket contained a copy of Farrell's book, The Sugarmaker's Companion, a variety of maple products.
Kaczka, a retired Dean of Clarkson University's Business School, said that his family "has been around maple syrup for years." He has fond memories of taking his two children on "sugar runs for pancakes and maple syrup" when they lived in Amherst, Mass. The Kaczkas' favorite maple syrup is dark amber and cooking grade B.
The Kaczkas have friends that tap trees locally and when they get their syrup each year they always send some to their children who live in states that don't produce maple syrup.
Kaczka said that he and his wife came to the book signing "because we were curious about the process of making syrup and about the different kinds of syrup."
The Kaczkas tasted Farrell's samples of birch syrup, black walnut syrup, and maple-and-walnut syrup. Kaczka said. "We found that birch syrup has a similar taste to balsamic. It would be good in salad dressings."