It’s that time again. The air is crisp, bugs have put on their mysterious invisible cloak, and Jack Frost paints my windows each night (I wish I could make him stay away…). The LL Bean Wicked Good slippers have re-emerged and flannel sheets are set. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Winter! It has arrived.
One thing that I always look forward to in the winter is that first fire. The relaxing sound of the crackle and pop of the wood in the fireplace. The hot air taking off the chill of the evening. It is definitely something to look forward to.
I grew up with a woodstove heating our home and a fireplace was definitely on our “must have” list when we bought our house. The problem with a wood burning fireplace is that it takes some extra work. A woodstove isn’t like a gas fireplace. There is no “on” button. Fires have to be made the old fashioned way. Gasoline and a match! Just kidding.
The best way to start a fire is with a firestarter. A homemade firestarter of course!
Here is what you need. Wood and wax. If you are burning wood, then you already have 90% most of the ingredients for a firestarter. Wood. When I cut firewood with my chainsaw, I put a tarp underneath of the tree to collect the sawdust. It doesn’t take much. Sawdust from one tree will last you years. Store it in an old garbage can and you’ll be set for a while.
As for the wax? Go buy the cheapest bang for your buck candle that you can find.
If you are cutting a tree like hickory, then you can use the sawdust for smoking meat. I love smoking me a pork loin. Mmm.
Mix ‘em up
To make the firestarters, you’ll mix the sawdust with melted wax. Throw the candle into your best kitchen pot (ok, any pot. You’re just melting wax!) Melt the wax until it is nice and liquified.
Once you have the melted wax, mix in the sawdust until it looks like you have moistened sawdust. You shouldn’t see any liquid floating around. If so, add in some more sawdust.
Mold Your Firestarters
Now comes time to mold the hot wax/sawdust mixture into firestarters. I find that an egg carton works perfectly for this. Put all of the mixture into the egg carton, pack down the sawdust, then let them cool. My candle made 36 firestarters. And I still have LOTS of sawdust left. Like I said earlier, it goes a LONG way.
Burn Baby Burn!
What’s left? Let’s light up the firestarters and make a fire!