Roasted Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Roasted Cauliflower Rice Recipe

The cauliflower rice craze continues to spread and I love it.  Touted as the new kale, it remains a trendy and healthy veggie often prepared as a substitute for rice in recipes. It has also found its rightful place as an alternative ingredient in many gluten-free recipes and even pizza crust!

I am pretty happy preparing it as an alternative to rice, as I attempt to avoid bad carbs and stick with healthy veggies instead. Like rice, the cauliflower morsels will soak up the flavor of the surrounding seasonings making it very flavorful. There is nothing too fancy about this recipe, but everyone needs a tried and true recipe now and then, and this roasted cauliflower rice can be made just how you like it. Best of all, it is not mushy because instead of it being sautéed in a pan, you roast it in the oven to the desired crispness!

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (16 oz.) – Cauliflower Rice
  • ¼ cup – Garlic Infused Olive Oil or use whatever flavor you like!
  • Fresh Tarragon
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 lemon juiced

Preparation

Preheat to 425 degrees convection roast. For those of you who are true cooking enthusiasts, you may want to make your own cauliflower rice by ricing the florets in your food processor. But if you are like me and looking for the easy route, use the already riced Cauliflower you can find at Costco and other stores.

In mixing bowl, combine cauliflower rice, infused olive oil (Trader Joe’s), salt and pepper. Stir. Spread the mixture on a foiled cookie sheet. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then stir it around a bit. If you like crispy cauliflower rice, continue to roast to desired crispness. Take it out of the oven and add 2T chopped fresh tarragon to the top.  Fresh tarragon is really worth it, so make the extra effort to purchase it. Transfer your roasted cauliflower rice to a serving bowl and add the juice of 1 lemon and stir. Serve.

I like to double the recipe so that I have extra available to add to other goodies I find in my fridge. I will add it to other roasted vegetables, or add some rotisserie chicken to it to create another meal. I even mix it in with my less trendy kale salad!

Summertime Care for Your Butcher Block Starts with Mineral Oil!

Summertime Care for Your Butcher Block Starts with Mineral Oil!

Whether you have a traditional end-grain butcher block, a butcher block countertop, or a cutting board version, it is critical this summer that you apply mineral oil to your butcher block.

Moisturize – Butcher Block with an oil finish needs to be re-oiled with mineral oil to keep it from drying and cracking.

Summertime is here!  Temperature and humidity changes could cause your butcher block to dry and crack. Exposure to extremes in humidity can swell and shrink a butcher block enough to cause checks in its surface. And high temperatures certainly can dry out the wood and cause cracks. What is the remedy? Oil your butcher block with food-grade mineral oil!

You can extend the beauty and life of any butcher block with a natural oil finish by reapplying butcher block mineral oil NOW and every 4 weeks.

If you use your block every day, moisturize more often. This will help prevent it from drying out and cracking.

Apply a generous amount of mineral oil to the butcher block surface then spread it evenly using a plastic grocery bag. (This is preferred to using a cloth, which will absorb too much oil). Smooth it over the entire top and sides of the block. Allow it to stand overnight. In the morning, remove any excess oil with a paper towel.

Protect – Reapply a board cream to lock in moisture and provide a protective barrier.

An especially effective maintenance regimen involves the use of both block oil and board cream. We recommend you first apply a coat of John Boos Mystery Oil (their proprietary mineral oil based product) following the instructions above. The mineral oil will penetrate deep into the block moisturizing the wood. Then apply John Boos Beeswax Board Cream to lock in the moisture and leave a silky, wax barrier on the surface of the wood. Mineral Oil and Cream


Avoid Sun and Water – Store your butcher block and cutting boards out of direct sunlight and keep them away from standing water.

Direct sunlight on wood is a no-no. When possible, move your wood blocks, cutting boards, and even wooden utensils out of direct sunlight.  And always wipe up spills on butcher block right away. Any standing water on a butcher block, especially one that is not moisturized and sealed, can cause damage.

Given the cost of butcher block can be significant, caring for your butcher block will protect your investment down the road. 

More Butcher Block Care

These helpful tips are applicable any time of year, not just summertime. So, remember to keep your butcher block healthy and protect your investment with a little tender loving mineral oil care.  If you seek more information, reference our Complete Butcher Block Care and Repair Guide.

 

National Week of Making – Learn How John Boos Makes Their Renowned Butcher Blocks

National Week of Making – Learn How John Boos Makes Their Renowned Butcher Blocks

June 16-22, 2017 marks the National Week of Making, dedicated to “celebrating the innovation, ingenuity and creativity of Makers.”

Trees are sustainably harvested and taken to the lumberyard, where it all begins.

With that in mind, Butcher Block Co. is pleased to share with you how John Boos & Co. makes its famous Boos Blocks.
Step 1 – Harvesting

It all begins with the procurement of high-quality raw material harvested from North American hardwood forests. Boos & Co. sources hardwood only from forests which are certified as followers of sustainable forest management practices. Thanks to vigilant oversight by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA), since the 1940s, U.S. forests have added more new growth each year than the country has consumed.

Lumber is stored then dried in a kiln to the optimum moisture content prior to production.

Step 2 – Drying

Harvested hardwood is stored in an outdoor staging area for several weeks before it is moved into a huge kiln, where it is dried for up to four weeks. The boilers used to heat Boos’ wood-fired kilns are fueled by burning scrap wood and sawdust – byproducts of the butcher-block-making process.

Dried wood planks are passed through a planer and sander prior to being ripped down into rails.

Step 3 – Sanding & Sawing

Wood planks transferred from a kiln to the manufacturing plant are first planed and sanded, then rip-sawed into rails 1-3/4 inches wide. Inspectors use fluorescent markers to identify defects in the wood rails, enabling a scanning & sawing tool to cut rails void of major defects. Lower-quality rails are set aside for use in industrial-grade countertops, in which imperfections are likely to show.

Industrial-grade glue is applied to wood rails to bond them together.

Step 4 – Block Construction

In making an edge-grain butcher block, Boos uses industrial-strength glue to bond together any number of rails cut to the same length. That block is subjected to heat and pressure for a specified period of time in order to ensure thermo-bonding is thorough and complete.

Multiple edge-grain blocks are glued on top of each other to create a classic, end-grain block.

An end-grain butcher block – easily recognizable due to its checkerboard cutting surface – is actually constructed of multiple edge-grain blocks. In making an end-grain block, glue is applied to the surfaces of edge-grain blocks which are then stacked atop one another.

The resulting composite block is then placed in a giant vice called a screw press, which applies pressure over time. Once set and dry, the block is rotated 90 degrees so one of its two “checkerboard” surfaces faces up. This surface shows the cut ends of the wood rails used in its making; that’s why it’s called an “end-grain” block.

A liberal amount of Boos Beeswax Board Cream is brushed onto this end-grain butcher block.

Step 5 – Finishing

Next, the butcher block is machine and hand-sanded to provide a smooth finish. Finally, a coating of food-safe Boos Beeswax Board Cream with beeswax is applied to the entire surface of the block. It’s important to keep a butcher block well-oiled in order to protect it from drying out and cracking and to extend its useful life.

As the premier online dealer for John Boos butcher blocks, Butcher Block Co. is proud to highlight John Boos & Co. during the National Week of Making. Visit our website to browse John Boos standing butcher blocks, countertops, tables, carts, cutting boards and more.

Enter our John Boos Standing Butcher Block Giveaway!

Enter our John Boos Standing Butcher Block Giveaway!

Butcher Block Co. Announces June Standing Butcher Block Giveaway

The Grand Prize Is an Authentic John Boos Butcher Block Worth up to $1000.

Online etailer Butcher Block Co. today announced a sweepstakes event that will run the entire month of June 2017. From time to time the company runs such promotional events to educate consumers about the beauty and utility of butcher blocks and to remind food service professionals of the heritage, prominence and trustworthiness of the John Boos brand.

Standing butcher blocks are a favorite among high-end home designers, amateur gourmets, culinary enthusiasts and professional chefs. The earliest Boos Blocks were made more than a century ago and used primarily by blacksmiths before John Boos discovered that his massive wooden blocks supported by sturdy wood legs could also satisfy the unmet needs of butchers in meat shops throughout the Midwest. From there his eponymous blocks made their way into workplaces of all types and sizes, into the kitchens of diners and restaurants, and eventually into homes.

Today the company’s line of standing blocks is expansive. It includes end-grain blocks made from Hard Rock Maple, American Cherry and Black Walnut, in thicknesses of 4, 6, 10 and 16 inches. To this day end-grain blocks are considered by many to be the only true replicas of the original butcher’s block.

Not only do end-grain blocks reveal wood’s intricate end-grain patterns and deliver the checkerboard look they are famous for, they also provide the toughest surface for cutting, slicing, chopping and pounding. That’s because millions of microscopic wood fibers comprise the cutting surface of an end-grain block. These fibers are both resilient and forgiving. They yield just enough to reliably absorb sharp knife or hatchet blades without causing them to dull prematurely. As a result, knives used on end-grain chopping blocks, cutting boards and countertops tend to stay sharper longer and to last longer.

Standing blocks are also gaining popularity among interior designers; presumably more for their aesthetics and functionality over their resilient cutting surfaces. As Americans increasingly yearn to simplify their lives and to reconnect with nature they are seeking beautiful pieces of wooden furniture that are both highly functional and works of art worth showing off. Toward this end, Boos & Co. makes many of its classic blocks available on colored bases. As many as thirteen color options are offered on some of their creations. Painted or stained legs (and table aprons, as applicable) can help direct attention to the piece’s real focal point – its gorgeous wood top; and can help the piece complement its environs, regardless of whether it’s situated in a kitchen, a breakfast nook or dining room or even in a foyer.

Consumers can enter the John Boos Standing Butcher Block Giveaway by visiting BBC’s Facebook page by June 30, 2017.

Enter Now for your chance to win in our exclusive John Boos Standing Butcher Block Giveaway!

For more information, please visit https://butcherblockco.com

Contact Info:
Name: Kathleen Grodsky
Organization: Butcher Block Co.
Address: 10448 N 21st Pl Phoenix, Arizona 85028

Celebrate National Limerick Day with Butcher Block Co.

Celebrate National Limerick Day with Butcher Block Co.

National Limerick Day is observed annually on May 12. It celebrates the birthday of English author and poet Edward Lear, who was known for his literary nonsense in poetry and limericks.

Do you recall learning to write a limerick when you were in grade school?

At Butcher Block Co. we get to write a limerick just for the fun of it. Read through our limericks, let us know what you think and share a limerick with us. Make it a great National Limerick Day!

Limerick customer service

If you act like a whirling dervish,
And buying online makes you nervous,
Cover bets in case, you’re at the right place.
Because we’re number one in service.

Limerick cooking

For high-quality goods you are looking,
Specially those that are made just for cooking.
Then please check us out, promise we’ll not tout,
Endless orders we now are booking.

Limerick standard size countertops

You have been wondering if you could,
Replace old tile counters with wood,
Just listen to us, it’s hardly a fuss,
So yes, you absolutely should!

Limerick customer countertops

Want counters that match your décor?
Easy to maintain and to restore?
Made-to-order or stock, we won’t put you in hock,
Wood tops family and friends will adore!

Limerick Countertops

Wood islands are sure great for greeting
Family for chatting or eating,
Maple or cherry, grain patterns vary.
You just have to provide the seating.

Limerick Portable Islands

Our kitchen islands are sortable,
You will find one that is courtable.
Want lots of store space, or one you can race,
Choose one with wheels so it’s portable.

Limerick Carving Boards

Want a cutting board made for carving,
Just want to spend only a farthing?
We sell just the best, so look to the rest.
We’re sorry if we leave you starving.

Limerick Boos Cutting Boards

If a very dear friend needs a lift,
Or at you she is possibly miffed.
You need an idea, so she will see ya,
Try a Boos cutting board as a gift.

Butcher Block Furniture for your Kitchen Design Style

Butcher Block Furniture for your Kitchen Design Style

Perhaps you know exactly what your design style is. I don’t think I have one particular design style that I follow in my home. Maybe it is because I have lived in my house for 20 years and did not have the luxury of buying all my furniture at one time. So, instead, my furnishings reflect my taste when I acquired the pieces and when I was in that particular phase of my life. However, overall, I would say it ties together and it would likely be described as a Mid-Century Modern design.

I do admire many design styles, especially when they are well thought out. Whether I am browsing through furniture showrooms or visiting friends’ homes, I tend to really love a well-designed space. I think coastal design is perfect for summer cottages. I appreciate the charm and comfort of a farmhouse design. I love the simplicity of arts and crafts furniture. And oddly, I find the industrial look to be very intriguing and almost nostalgic. But bottom line, I am most comfortable in my home because it is streamlined and uncluttered, with warm wood tones and natural accents like stone and copper.

Given we all tend to spend much of our free time in the kitchen, gathering with friends and family, it is no wonder that the kitchen has become a natural extension of our living room. And as part of this extension, it has become trendy for kitchen furniture and design touches to complement the furniture and design styles in the rest of our home. 

Whatever your design style, there is butcher block kitchen furniture that can easily complement your home.

Here are ten popular styles and some butcher block furnishings that could complement that particular design space.

Arts & Crafts – simple forms often showing how pieces and materials were put together.

arts and crafts design style

John Boos “C” Country Work Table

Coastal – inspired by the ocean, light and breezy feel, accessorized with nautical themes.

coastal design style

John Boos Walnut Gathering Block III and Grazzi Table Kitchen Island

Contemporary – sleek clean lines, often accented with metal frames and straight legs.

Contemporary design style

John Boos Walnut Trestle Table and Metropolitan Maple & Stainless Steel Table

Country – or farmhouse, has a rustic elegant look, with natural wood and/or white bases.

Country design style

John Boos “C Classic” Maple Table and Saratoga Farm Maple Butcher Block

Eclectic – evokes a sense of imagination, with lots of color, shapes, textures and patterns.

Eclectic design style

Johh Boos Maple Tuscan Isle and Maple Elliptical Butcher Block Tables

French – ornate and decorative in style, with an antique furniture look.

French design style

John Boos Maple Calais and Cherry Le Rustica Butcher Block Tables

Mid-Century Modern – style characterized by simplicity, functionality and natural shapes.

Mid-Century Modern design style

John Boos Cherry Le Classique Butcher Block Table and Holly & Martin’s Parkhills 3-Piece Breakfast Set

Modern – a clean, minimalistic style, often incorporating polished or metal surfaces.

Modern Design Style

Johh Boos Cucina Milano Stainless Steel Table and Metro Station Butcher Block on Stainless Steel Frame

Shabby Chic – antique looking furniture, featuring a painted, distressed look.

Shabby Chic design style

John Boos Maple Jasmine and Maple Gathering Block I Butcher Blocks

Industrial – rustic and mature looking with the use of wood and exposed steel.

Industrial design style

John Boos Cucina Classico Walnut & Stainless Steel and Cucina Mariner Stainless Steel Tables

Why We Love Wood.

Why We Love Wood.

Why is it that so many people love wood?  Whether it be fine wood furniture, wooden vases and bowls, hardwood floors, barn wood beams, reclaimed wood bar tops, butcher block countertops, we seek it out. Perhaps we love wood because it connects us to the natural world and allows us to bring a bit of the outdoors inside. But for me, it is more than that.

First, I love the forest. I grew up in Sherwood Forest, with a huge wooded area right across the street from my house. I spent most of my youth exploring the forest and playing with my siblings and neighbors from sunrise to sunset. We built forts, went on treasure hunts, and played hide and seek in the woods. As I grew older, I found that I was drawn to the forest as less of an adventure and more of a peaceful escape. A place to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, to regroup and re-energize. Fortunately, I live in Arizona and can venture to Oak Creek Canyon often to hike and just sit and look at the trees.  I am just amazed at how they grow, how much history stands before me, how they survive with the weather, and how beautiful they are in aggregate. I could stare at them for hours, gently blowing in the breeze. Forests have continued to be a part of my life’s story. My husband actually proposed to me in the middle of the Coconino National Forest 27 years ago. And I just now returned from visiting my favorite place on earth, the Bamboo Forest, at the end of the road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii.

The reason I love wood is likely a natural extension of my love for trees. Wood can overload your senses, from the look, feel and smell of it.

Wood has a feeling of life, because it came from something living. And wood seems to have a story to tell. Certainly, the grain indicates the years of its life and the character of the grain can show a bit about the conditions it was grown under. Wood grain has a “visual texture” to it that I am drawn to.  Some wood species, like hickory and ash, have such pronounced and unique grain patterns. And walnut has these delightful twists in the grain and significant color variation between dark brown heartwood and creamy blond sapwood. There is much character in the feel of wood too, such that I find myself always running my hand along the top of wood, regardless of its finish.  I like to feel the rough texture of weathered barn board, the curves and dents of hand-scraped planks, the silky surface of finely sanded raw wood, and the smooth surface of fine furniture. And wood can have some glorious scents that evoke special memories: cedar wood’s unique and powerful aroma reminds me of my parents’ cedar chest and fresh cut pine always takes me to Christmastime. In Arizona, the smell of burning mesquite wood in the winter months is very common and brings back memories of camping in the woods.

Finally, I love wood because it can be crafted into functional and beautiful homes, pieces of furniture, tools, art, décor, and more. Because wood varies so much, no two pieces of furniture are identical when made of the same wood species. And so much of what we build from wood can last lifetimes.  What a wonderful tribute it is to a tree, that can grow for centuries and then be fashioned into something else that can live on for another century.

Select Your Butcher Block by Wood Hardness and Aesthetics

Select Your Butcher Block by Wood Hardness and Aesthetics

With 15 different species of wood to choose from for your butcher block, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by so many great-looking options. The purpose of this article is to help you filter your options using two important criteria: the wood hardness and the aesthetics of each wood species.

Comparing Wood Hardness

First, let’s address hardness. It’s a critically important variable to weigh when choosing a material for kitchen, commercial or industrial countertops. Your consideration set might well vary depending on whether you will be installing these countertops in a residential or a commercial kitchen; in an office or a garage workshop; in a commercial showroom or a manufacturing plant.

If you’re the type of chef who prefers a cutting board for cutting, slicing and chopping and will rely on your countertop for less aggressive tasks such as rolling and kneading dough and cutting out cookies for baking, or if the most rugged work you will do atop these counters is pushing papers or giving customers change, you will have the option of considering even soft woods, giving you many more options you might want to consider.

On the other hand, if you will be doing serious cutting, chopping and pounding, or operating power tools and maneuvering heavy hammers and wrenches for example, then of course it will make more sense to stick with a wood hardness that is less likely to suffer dings, dents and gouges. Fortunately, there’s a standardized test that’s used to measure a wood’s hardness, making it easy to compare hardness ratings different species.

The Janka Test Measures the Hardness of Different Woods

The Janka Hardness Test involves forcing a steel ball – 11.28 mm in diameter – into a piece of wood to the depth of half its diameter. The amount of force required to accomplish this feat, as measured in pounds-force (or lbf) tells us a lot about a wood’s resistance – a proxy measure for its hardness.

The wood hardness of different types of wood will vary depending upon the orientation of the wood sample being tested. For example, testing hardness on the surface of a plank (i.e., perpendicular to its grain) provides a measure of the wood’s side hardness; whereas testing on either end of the plank measures its end hardness. Moreover, there can be variation in hardness across wood harvested from different trees of the same species and even across specimens collected from a single tree. The point of all this is that you should not view Janka readings too literally. Rather, consider them as measures of  wood hardness relative to others.

The chart below shows the wood hardness, i.e., Janka scores, for all 15 species of wood that Butcher Block Co. uses in making butcher block and plank countertops.

First, note that based on Janka scores, Brazilian Cherry is about FIVE times more resilient than Poplar. wood hardness chart

Hardest – As you can see, Brazilian Cherry is far and away the hardest of the wood types we use at BBC. It earns a Janka hardness rating in excess of 2500 pounds-force. Hickory comes in second, scoring just under 2000 lbf.

Very Hard – Next in order comes a cluster of six hardwood stalwarts: Maple, White Oak, Ash, Beech, Birch and Red Oak. All achieve Janka scores between 1200 to 1500 lbf.

Hard – Tier three includes Walnut, American Cherry and Mahogany, each registering about 1000 lbf.

Not so Hard – Softest among the bunch are Spanish Cedar, Knotty Alder, Knotty Pine and Poplar, at 500 to 700 lbf.

Considering Aesthetics

Of course, there’s more to consider than wood hardness when choosing a wood for new countertops. Odds are you’re searching for a wood that will look great regardless of its destination. Are you interested in a counter or island top that matches the room’s décor; one that slightly contrasts with surrounding cabinetry; or one that accents the room?

Of course, there’s no equivalent to the Janka score to help us standardize along the dimension of beauty, but we’re happy to share with you our own way of thinking about the aesthetic dimensions that distinguish any species from others.

In the image below we arranged samples of all fifteen woods along two dimensions; one of which is wood hardness, as already discussed. Along the horizontal axis wood samples are lined up in accordance with their relative hardness (although not to scale). And they are arrayed vertically into four tiers according to their respective visual impact. wood hardness vs aesthetics chart Most Visually Striking: Mahogany, Walnut and Brazilian Cherry

Attention-Getting: Spanish Cedar, American Cherry, Red Oak and Hickory

Subtle but Elegant: Knotty Pine, Knotty Alder, Beech, Ash, White Oak and Maple

Most Neutral – Poplar and Birch.

So for instance, if you are seeking a wood that’s harder than most AND visually interesting but not overpowering, you might want to consider one among the quartet of Beech, Ash, White Oak and Maple. On the other hand, if you do most of your food prep on a cutting board and don’t have kids on hand who are prone to toss around backpacks or laptops, you might feel comfortable sacrificing a bit of hardness (remember, it’s all relative) in order to achieve the look of your dreams exemplified by Spanish Cedar or American Cherry.

At Butcher Block Co. we appreciate the magnitude of the decision you face. We hope this guide will help you think through the decision-making process and find the wood that’s perfect for your new countertops.

During the month of April, Butcher Block Co. is offering our biggest-ever savings opportunity on BBC-brand butcher block and plank-style countertops: 10% OFF. Enter code: 10BBCCT. Good through April 30, 2017.

 

Kitchen Tips – How To Clean Butcher Block

Kitchen Tips – How To Clean Butcher Block

I have admitted this before…I am actually one of those people who enjoys cleaning!  I find the process to be relaxing and almost cathartic. And for me it is very rewarding because I can usually see a huge difference in a short amount of time – instant gratification so to speak! While most people don’t enjoy it the way I do, I would guess that nearly everyone would admit that after they are done cleaning they feel better, maybe “lighter,” happier, or just plain glad it is over.

Springtime brings with it a new energy. A zestfulness. And for many, the willpower to tackle some household chores that they have been putting off during the winter season. For us at Butcher Block Co., springtime is a good time to remind our customers how to take care of their Butcher Block investment.

So, let’s review some best practices and how to clean butcher block cutting boards, standing blocks, tables or countertops…

Daily Cleaning – Clean butcher block after every use.

  • Scrape – Gently remove any food particles with a scraper or spatula. If you happen to have a varnish surface, remove food particles with a sponge so as not to scratch the surface (remember, you shouldn’t be cutting directly on a varnish finish).
  • Wash – To clean butcher block, wipe the surface with a clean wash cloth dipped in hot water and mild dish soap. Rinse the wash cloth and wipe the butcher block again. (Never submerge your butcher block in water).
  • Dry – Using a paper towel or dish towel, dry the surface of your butcher block thoroughly. Store your cutting boards on edge to dry both sides completely, and to save counter space.

Deodorizing – Keep your butcher block smelling fresh.

  • Neutralize odors before they arise.
  • Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar.
  • From time to time, after you prepare food on your butcher block, clean the butcher block then spray vinegar onto it.
  • Allow it to stand for a least 30 seconds before rinsing and drying.

 Disinfecting – Occasionally disinfect your butcher block, especially after prepping raw meat, fish or poultry.

  • Clean butcher block first following the steps above.
  • It’s necessary to kill germs, not just reduce their count. You’ll need a disinfecting solution that destroys ALL microbes in 10 minutes.
  • Use a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. You can blend your own solution using 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide by mixing one part with 11 parts of water.
  • Pour the hydrogen peroxide onto the butcher block, spread it around using a clean sponge or cloth and let it stand for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse the solution off of the butcher block surface by wiping with a clean, wet cloth. Then dry the butcher block thoroughly with a paper towel or dish cloth.
  • Follow the steps below to moisturize your butcher block.

Moisturizing – Butcher Block with an oil finish needs to be re-oiled to keep it from drying and cracking.

  • At least once a month (more often if used heavily), oil your butcher block.
  • Use a food-grade mineral oil like John Boos Mystery Oil. Apply the oil with a plastic grocery bag, spreading the oil over all surfaces. Let the oil stand over night to penetrate the wood.
  • The next morning, wipe off any excess oil using a paper towel.
  • Whereas oil penetrates the surface of wood to moisturize it, a good board cream will leave a silky, wax barrier. Seal in the moisture with John Boos Board Cream. Apply the cream over the butcher block like you would apply a moisturizing lotion. Let it sit for a few hours or over night. Wipe off any excess with a paper towel.
  • Note – Butcher Block with a varnish surface does not need to be moisturized with oil or cream.

These helpful tips are applicable any time of year, not just springtime. So remember to clean butcher block to keep it healthy and to protect your investment. All it takes is a little tender loving butcher block care.  For more information, check out our Complete Butcher Block Care and Repair Guide.

Ever Wonder Why Basketball Is Played On Maple Hardwood?

Ever Wonder Why Basketball Is Played On Maple Hardwood?

Everyone Knows March Madness Is Played on Hardwood. Ever Wonder Which Hardwood?

In 1891 parents in Springfield, Massachusetts challenged Dr. James Naismith to invent an indoor game that would condition and tire out kids during the long, cold New England winters. Famously, he nailed two peach baskets to the railing of the balcony in the YMCA gymnasium and changed history. The gym’s wooden floor was made of hard maple (acer saccharum).

More than a century later, rock maple remains the hardwood used by local Ys, the NCAA and all but one NBA team.(1)

 

So Why Rock Maple?

Maple flooring gained popularity in late-nineteenth-century America. Among other things, it was relatively abundant and hence, affordable. Plus, maple was known to be strong, durable and stable. Less likely to expand and contract in response to changes in temperature and humidity, maple is largely resistant to splintering. Measured on the Janka scale(2), rock maple is North America’s most resilient hardwood.

Moreover, maple’s exceptionally tight grain(3) prevents dirt and dust particles from seeping in between the wood’s fibers, making it an easy wood to clean and maintain. Finally, maple can be easily restored to look new again. These are all traits equally important for sports courts.

The ideal playing surface must be solid and consistent throughout to ensure that a basketball will bounce exactly the same (i.e., without recoil or dampening) when dribbled anywhere on the court, since even small differences can impact the game. But the ideal surface must also provide some degree of shock resistance or bounce-back, in order to minimize players’ fatigue and damage to their joints. Also, maple’s coloration is perfect for basketball, given the contrast between the game’s orange ball and the floor’s light to medium tans and browns. This helps make it easy for players to spot the ball on the court. The lightness of maple also aids in brightening arenas via the reflection of light off the floor.

 A Professional-Grade Basketball Court Will Set You Back $80 to $100k

The actual playing area of courts used by the NCAA and NBA measures 94 feet by 50 feet, but most incorporate a large perimeter, bringing overall floor dimensions to about 140 feet by 70 feet. The hard rock maple planks used are typically slightly thicker than ¾ of an inch, so it takes 80 to 100 trees to construct a single hardwood court. By the way, the NBA requires teams to replace their floor every 10 years.

The Big Dance Floor Will Be Offered to the Winner

Connor Sports (Elk Grove Village, IL) made the basketball courts used for 13 different NCAA conference championships. The modules that comprise these portable courts are shipped to regional tournament sites where they are assembled and eventually disassembled after play. Connor has also supplied the floors used in the Men’s and Women’s Final Four since 2005. These floors are also modular, but one-off custom designs that are offered for purchase to the winning schools who often display portions of the floor or cut the modules into smaller segments that can be sold to alumni or collectors via fundraisers.

The manufacturing process is remarkable; it even involves riding sander machines! Click the image below to watch this video on Youtube.

Here’s another time-lapse video showing workers installing the 2015 Final Four court – made of Northern rock maple harvested from Wisconsin – at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The Smartest Bet This March Madness Is on the Floor, Not the Brackets

It’s estimated that $10.4 billion will be wagered on 70 million brackets this time around (only 3% of those bets will be legal). Be smart and bet safe: for certain, all games will be played on North American rock maple!

(1) The famed Boston Garden features red oak in a distinctive parquet design, instead of maple.

(2) The Janka Hardness Scale measures the amount of pressure required to mar a wood sample.

(3) “Grain” typically means the physical structure and appearance of a wood surface and traces to the orientation of the wood’s cellulose fibers – the remnants of once-living longitudinal cells.