Making Maple Syrup Traditions in Our Kitchen
Ten years after living in our house, we decided to do some renovations. They started out small, as they always do – and then the domino effect took place. One of the major updates we made was to our kitchen. It was a total gut and we worked with a kitchen designer to create a space that worked better for our family.
One of the first decisions we made was to upgrade our stove to a larger size with six burners. Now, I would like to say that we made that decision because every night of the week I am in the kitchen cooking an amazing healthy meal that requires 6 burners.
But let’s be realistic here.
Life is busy and sometimes when it comes to meal time, I am just not that creative.
The main reason we made the decision for a larger stove was because every year we make our own maple syrup.
We tap all of the trees in the neighborhood, which is around 100, and each year we make several gallons of syrup. We boil it for many hours outside but we finish it inside, which sometimes means many pots at one time.
So, we went in search of a stove that could handle making syrup as well as our day to day cooking (which is sometimes creative!).
Once we started shopping, I did a lot of research – and the answer became quite clear that our choice was going to be a Wolf range. It had all the functionality we needed, a fully sealed top and really – who can resist the pretty red knobs?
The nature of blogging is that we show you only the pretty pictures, most of the time. Because the reality is – in the bad moments, you are not going to stop and take pictures.
Well, in between these pictures being taken, there were some bad moments.
See the image below – that is my sweet hubby watching the thermometer to make sure the syrup didn’t overcook – or worse, boil over.
You see, syrup sometimes behaves strangely. And badly.
And on this particular day, while everyone had stepped out of the kitchen for “just a moment”, the syrup boiled over.
And it was bad, really bad.
Like if I hadn’t gotten there as quickly as I did, it may have caught on fire. With the fire crisis averted – imagine your beautiful shiny stove now covered in burned, sticky “almost” maple syrup. It was not pretty. These are not the moments you stop to take pictures.
And although tempers might have burned nearly as hot as the syrup for a bit, we were able to save most of the syrup, clean up the stove and start right up again.
Because, for us, all the work is worth it, even the extra scrubbing.
Because it is about tradition – and this is now our family tradition and my husband grew up with it being his family tradition. The pan we use outside to boil was his Grandfather’s and he learned everything he knows growing up on his family farm in NH. They still run a large maple sugaring operation.
This is the time of the year where we are outside, no matter how cold, and the neighbors gather around the fire and socialize. Where it is not uncommon for a large potluck dinner to take place in our kitchen with 20 people.
And so we continue to boil and can our beautiful syrup so we are ready.
Because every so often, the doorbell rings and there is a child holding an empty canning jar. No words are needed, we just go get a full one and make the exchange.
And if you are interested in Wolf or Sub-Zero and kitchen design…
Sub-Zero and Wolf Celebrate Delicious Design
At Sub-Zero and Wolf, they believe in celebrating kitchen designs that are innovative, fresh, and quite frankly, delicious. The Kitchen Design Contest (KDC) is their way of celebrating fabulous designers and their awe-inspiring kitchen designs. To celebrate the 10th Kitchen Design Contest, Sub-Zero and Wolf is giving away over $140,000 in cash prizes to winning design professionals – the largest amount of cash prizes to date. Categories for the 2010-2012 Kitchen Design Contest include Traditional, Contemporary, Online Designer’s Choice, Student Entries, and new this year, an online People’s Choice Award. To enter to win a $100 Visa gift card simply cast your People's Choice Award vote for best design here and then leave a comment below telling me why you chose that design!
This post is sponsored by Sub-Zero and Wolf, but all opinions and maple syrup near-disasters are all mine.
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