Thursday, March 13, 2008


NORTH ANDOVER - This time of year, Paul Boulanger remembers the first time he
made maple syrup. He was 12 and in his mother's kitchen. Boy, was she mad.
could have been doing far worse. But anyone who has ever made maple syrup can
guess what happened: "How do you remove wallpaper?" said Boulanger,
Preparing the golden brown syrup involves a lot of boiling - and a lot of
steam. Boulanger had been cooking away with a gallon pan, entranced, and didn't
notice that his mother's wallpaper was peeling.
"It takes 43 gallons of maple
sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup," he said. "You are boiling away almost all
of it into a sticky wet residue."
Now Boulanger makes all the syrup he wants.
He and his partner, Kathy Gallagher, operate Turtle Lane Maple Farm in North
Andover, where state officials on Friday kicked off Massachusetts Maple Month, a
celebration of New England's sweetest native crop.
One time back in fourth grade, we went on a field trip to a maple farm. We were promised a lunch of pancakes and popcorn. We got some silver dollar pancakes and a Dixie cup full of popcorn. Our stomachs were far from full.

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