Making Maple Syrup Traditions in Our Kitchen

Wolf-Stove-Farmhouse-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.

White-Farmhouse-Kitchen

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!).

Wolf-Stove-Farm-House-Kitchen copy

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?

Wolf-Stove-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.

Wolf-Stove-White-Kitchen

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.

Canning-Jars-Maple-Syrup

And so we continue to boil and can our beautiful syrup so we are ready.

Canning-Maple-Syrup

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.

 THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS OVER AND COMMENTS ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTED – THANKS!

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No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

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d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 4/1/13 – 4/30/13

Be sure to visit the Sub-Zero and Wolf brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

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Welcome to Finding Home Farms where we share our favorite DIY and decorating ideas and inspiration. We believe your home should be a reflection of you and your family. Our blog is the story of our journey - and what we find along the way. Thanks for joining us!

133 thoughts on “Making Maple Syrup Traditions in Our Kitchen”

Comments

  1. I see so many people tap trees but have never done that myself. We have a tree up front that is leaking as the boys tell me so I have no clue what that is.
    LOVE that stove!! The red knobs are awesome!! sigh….. only in my dreams.

  2. All the kitchens were lovely…of course I was drawn to one with lots of white and gorgeous light.

  3. I voted for one of the kitchens because I loved the curved design of the counters and the marble finish.

  4. I voted for a kitchen with a curved island because I think it looks unusual but is very functional.

  5. I voted for a kitchen with the adorable bench/booth like seating at the end of the island counter. Loved the lighting with the lampshade effect. Really hard to choose a favorite, all are huge and beautiful kitchens.

    Loved your post and the sense of humor regarding the syrup mess. Now you will have a story to tell every year. …remember the time the syrup boiled over and the mess we cleaned up! We had an elderly neighbor who tapped the trees every year. Spent one afternoon telling us the process as I snapped pics. Now that they are moving into an apartment and can no longer make syrup, I cherish those pics and memories.

  6. I voted for the one with the retro black ice cream parlor type chairs and the glass pendant lights….so pretty. It was my #1 choice and the others had a lot of white and beautiful lighting too.

  7. I narrowed it down to five kitchens but was particularly drawn to the one with the library ladder — so cool! I have very tall cabinets and how awesome would it be to have that functional and funky ladder?!

    BTW…I absolutely love your range — those red knobs had me at “hello!” I’m actually in the market for a new cook top and double ovens and am doing my research — I will definitely check out Wolf’s options, but unfortunately, I can’t get the one with the cute red knobs…I have the “drop-in” variety and will have to stick with that to save on expenses.

    Thanks for the fun post…Have a great day, Laura!

  8. I voted for the first picture. I love love love the white clean look! It looks so open and I love the modern look.

  9. I have never known anyone who made their own maple syrup although its something I have wanted to do. I am big on the back to nature movement.
    I only picked 3 to vote on. Honestly most of them seemed cold to me but there were 3 that seemed like a real family kitchen. I was raised that the kitchen was the center of the home and most of those seemed more like showplaces than homes.

  10. The one I chose appeals to my sense of design and aesthetics. The steel, glass, exotic woods and gray tiling all combine in a pleasing way.

  11. I have already voted for my favorite kitchen….and wanted to say how fantastic it is to have such an old family tradition…That stove is definitely a beauty….I get my Wolf stove fix when I visit my next door neighbor…and everytime I am there with the hubby, I make a point to “point out that gorgeous stove”….Loved your “sticky story”

  12. I voted for my top 5. I liked ones that had more modern appearances (the one with the see thru fridge door was pretty innovative) and also welcomed lots of light.

  13. I love your stove!! I want/need one…so bad. We have a gas stove top but I would love one like yours.
    There is nothing like real maple syrup…I have never tapped a tree or made it myself. Kudos to you! We live in Southern Ontario so it’s been going on all around us. One day I’d love to try it.
    (Not a US resident, so this is not an entry…I just had to comment on this post!)
    Debbie 🙂

  14. I don’t know the name of the design I voted for, but it was lovely with the hard wood floors, matching hard wood cabinets, the island, and soft lighting and off-white paint. Felt homey and comfortable, for a kitchen, and a kitchen I would want to be in all the time.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  15. On the site I voted for 5 kitchens; one with a French looking plaster hood over the range, one with a library ladder, one with a giant butcher’s block center island, one with smart looking black hardware and one with cool looking soda fountain stools. I did this really because all of those things in one form or another are things that I would like to do in my own kitchen.

  16. I voted for the kitchen with the maple colored cabinets towards the center. I like the warm look to this kitchen.
    Thanks so much.

  17. One of the kitchens I picked had a large, curved counter space! I loved the look of it and all the room to work 🙂 My current kitchen is a tiny box with ZERO counter space, so all that room and style was dreamy 🙂

  18. All 5 kitchens I chose had white cabinets because I love the crisp clean look. I wish the pics were numbered so I could tell you a number but my favorite was a white kitchen with 2 beautiul light fixtures hanging from the ceiling with white drum shades. The extra large refrigerator was disquised as a large cabinet and I also loved the one glass cabinet door that displayed beautiful dishes for a little pop of color

  19. I didn’t see which number I voted for but it had a curved doorway in the background and a vented hood with a pretty flower design in the back. I like it best because it isn’t so modern like a lot of the other ones.

  20. I love your stove. I like a more traditional look so I voted for the kitchen with the oak cabinets.

  21. My favorites each had a breakfast bar with great pendant lighting! Also, they had an open concept with high ceilings.

  22. I voted for the kitchen with the blue lights and blue shelves. I just loved the colors the wood and the style
    was perfect.

  23. I did not see a number to say which one I voted for but I voted for the middle kitchen on the seventh row down because of the warm colors and design

  24. Voted for the one with the bench seat built into the side of the island!! Love that its functional and family friendly!!

    Shiebs24[at]gmail[dot]com

  25. I chose the kitchen with wood cabinets, black countertops, and huge windows with a beautiful view of the trees.

  26. I voted for the one with stone and the large exhaust fan b/c it looks european

    mjf926 at gmail dot com

  27. I’m in the middle of a kitchen reno and the one I voted for has the same lights over their bar as the ones I chose.

  28. i voted for one that looked very traditional with oak cabinets – They actually all looked amazing – this one just fit with my personal preference

  29. My favorite one was the one in the middle of the 11th row. I love the white cupboards and the contrasting color of the bar chairs.

  30. I voted for the more rustic look kitchen. I love the openness. The kitchen is the center of our gatherings as a family.

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  31. oh…it is totally awesome to make your own maple syrup! Wish I can do that too…and I adore your Wolf! I voted for the design because of the chic style and simplicity.
    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  32. I voted for a kitchen with a simplistic layout, very modern and sleek lines. White and gray color scheme, with a little pop of color!

  33. I voted for the kitchen with the island with brown wooden drawers, sink and three seats because it’s functionality for cooking with guest or kids and easy access to clean up with the sink and plenty of storage

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  34. It was difficult to narrow it down to 5. My selections were impractical (all stainless steal – no kids or pets in that house) but gorgeous.

  35. It was difficult to narrow it down to 5. My selections were impractical (all stainless steal – no kids or pets in that house) but gorgeous.

  36. It was difficult to narrow it down to 5. My selections were impractical (all stainless steal – no kids or pets in that house) but gorgeous.

  37. My top 5 choices were all oak or maple cabinetry with great center islands and lots of storage space.

  38. My top 5 choices were all oak or maple cabinetry with great center islands and lots of storage space.

  39. I’m so inspired by the story about processing their own maple syrup! I believe made from home is so much better for us that things we get from the store that have been processed in a factory — as I work on my kitchen redesign, I’ll also be thinking about how I expand my garden for more fresh produce that I can freeze, can and preserve for use all year long.

  40. I voted for the almost all white kitchen with black countertops because it looks like a family kitchen and cozy.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  41. I voted for the almost all white kitchen with black countertops because it looks like a family kitchen and cozy.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  42. the fave aspect of the kitchen i voted for was the dark-wood pantry that took up an entire wall. i’m a sucker for dark wood and tons of storage 🙂

  43. the fave aspect of the kitchen i voted for was the dark-wood pantry that took up an entire wall. i’m a sucker for dark wood and tons of storage 🙂

  44. I love #17 with all the rustic looking wood. Love the island with the stained glass cabinet doors.

  45. I love #17 with all the rustic looking wood. Love the island with the stained glass cabinet doors.

  46. I like #23 because it looks warm and inviting and would accomodate my large family easily.

  47. I voted for the 5 favs. All of them had the following in common with each other: modern, sleek, uncluttered, but also sometimes kitschy or vintage or even urban farm in style. LOVED them!

  48. I voted for the 5 favs. All of them had the following in common with each other: modern, sleek, uncluttered, but also sometimes kitschy or vintage or even urban farm in style. LOVED them!

  49. i voted for the kitchen with the huge window because i love the natural light coming in!

    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

  50. i voted for the kitchen with the huge window because i love the natural light coming in!

    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

  51. the one I voted for was warm and not as modern looking as many of the others. I voted for the design I did because the colors and style fit my dream home perfectly! I will have that one day!

  52. I was drawn to the warm colored kitchens as they make me want to stay there.
    I’d love to make my own maple syrup some day.

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