Come on MAR, Light My Fire!

If you have a fireplace in your home, you know just how wonderful and romantic they can be around this time of year. The aroma of fire burning brings back fond memories and always reminds me of those lazy nestling days gone by. My friends and schnauzer will tell you that I light my fireplace whenever possible from November to MARch, as all I need is a chill in the air as an excuse to begin the process of setting a fire.

At Rosebrook Gardens not one cold winter day will pass without the nostalgic fireplace experience.  Whether at a home or not; if I discover a fireplace while traveling it doesn’t take long for me to ask “How about if we light a fire?”

Truth be told I’m known for making the perfect roaring fire that can last over two good hours without the need to stoke, poke or prod.  How is this even possible, you may ask? The answer is simple and called; Duraflame Stax.

You might ask, “A Duraflame? That’s cheating!” 

This is the next generation of fire that is better than nature intended.  Made from 100% renewable resources, for less pollutants than a wood fire and uses fewer resources than a typical wood fire. 

And the best part is the all-natural crackling fire sound they make — no one will ever know it’s a Duraflame unless you tell them.  And why wouldn’t you?  This is worth sharing the news as its good for the environment, convenient and easy to use. 

I put this to the test as recently I was entertaining in my home and my dear friend Martha commented on how beautiful my roaring fire was, and asked if it was fueled by gas. Her own experiences with a fire centered on constantly tending to it, and adding more wood. She quickly took me aside and asked “Mar, from the moment we arrived we noticed the amazing fire. We were served cocktails, orderves and as the night went on the fire was just as amazing as the moment we arrived.  So Mar, what gives?”  

Of course I shared what I’d done. Later that week, I would receive a lovely call thanking me on how much firewood I was saving her.  So there you have it, once again the experience became an article that I would thereafter write one Sunday morning while doing what I do best relaxing by my own fire. 

It’s really quite simple as I combine both modern conveniences with the traditional techniques.  By combining both I can enjoy a hassle free fire with uninterrupted ambiance, keeping my heads clean and available for tending to my guest. If I want more time, all I need is to add a third log after an hour — but no other priming or prodding. My tips for a successful fire are simple once you know the secret. 

The best part about this is you can prepare for your “fire experience” hours before a party or even days ahead, or if you’re like me five minutes before your guest arrive.    

Regardless how your schedule your time, I always begin by placing a Duraflame Stax on a flat grate. It eliminates the need for both kindling and accelerants you might be tempted to add as a way to keep stubborn wood alight. (Is there anything worse than a wood log that just won’t “take” and light up?)

Use Stax logs just like firewood, except there is no need for paper or kindling.  (Unlike the traditional Duraflame logs, these were designed to be used more than one at a time without getting too hot.) The package has a lighting strip that starts easily with one match.  Yes: one match!  Duraflame also recommends that you start with two logs, to give it the look and feel of real wood burning.   

Again, no need for priming the fire with paper or other materials. You just decide “I want a fire” and you’ll have one — it couldn’t be easier. I can’t say enough good things. Once you discover Duraflame Stax you will never go back.

Mar’s fireplace tips:

  • Open your fireplace flue only when you’re ready to engage in a fire and not before.
  • There is no need to keep flue open during the cold months unless you’re ready to have a fire and never close it until you know the fire is out!
  • Smoke in the house? One of the best tips I could offer is to open an adjacent door or window to create cross ventilation before you light your fire.  I find no matter how great your fireplace is built this guarantees your fire to light quickly and draw up and out, not up and in. There is nothing worse than back smoke in the house as this kills the mood and makes the overall experience unpleasant and a chore to vent out.
  • Fireplaces are the perfect accent in a home and when used correctly can offer endless amounts of enjoyment.  Memories are created and conversation will begin and, yes, even some romance. It’s hard to avoid the benefits and delight it can bring to a home.   
  • Here in the United States a fireplace is many times a requirement for many home buyers, and adding one or having one can increase your home’s appeal and add both value and style to your home.  My once-gas fireplace was quickly converted to a wood burning faster than it took for my furniture to arrive.  If I was to only have one fireplace in my Connecticut home it needed to be wood burning. Lighting a wood burning fire will always light my fire!

And there you have it. 

 *Remember safety first, and never leave a fire unattended.