Home-made Aromatic Wax Fire-lighters

in the making
these make a lovely new Christmas Tradition

These homemade wax fire lighters are great at Christmas time. They give off a lovely aroma and also make nice gifts for friends and family that have a real fire. Sadly they are not suitable for log burners, but if you are fortunate enough to have an open fire then you’ll enjoy making and using these.

Whenever, I make these I must admit I always think about the tradition of Yule logs, perhaps, because they would be a rather special way of lighting a Yule log. If you’ve never lit a Yule log, then perhaps this is the year to start, especially if you want to ensure good luck in 2018. Traditionally, a huge log would be selected from a woodland on Christmas Eve. It would then be decorated with ribbons  and dragged back home. This was known as ‘Bringing in the Yule Log‘. The magical properties of the Yule Log even before burning were said to ensure good luck in the coming year to all those who had helped to pull it home.

Once the yule log was brought to the fireplace, a blessing was said over it and it was requested that the blessing be granted forever.  The was then anointed with ale, wine or cider  to make it feel welcome and to honour it. It was then placed on the fire and lit with a torch made from a piece of wood left over from last year’s Yule Log. I always think that this is a wonderful tradition that could do with a little revival and I am sure that any Yule log would feel  most welcome with a home made wax fire lighter snuggled up to it.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb soy wax flakes
  • Selection of small pine cones
  • Other dried woodland floor finds such as pine needles, acorns, sweet chestnut cases
  • 12 bay leaves
  • cinnamon bark
  • 2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon whole dried spices such as cloves, star anise and junier berries
  • 12 1 1/2 pieces of cotton wick
  • 12-case cake tin
  • 12 paper fairy cake liners
  • Old saucepan melting wax

Method:

  1. Line the cake tin with paper liners. Fill each one with 1 bay leaf, 3-4 small pine cones or other forest floor finds, a few pieces of cinnamon bark, and about 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, and a few whole spices. Nestle one of the cotton wicks into the centre of each well.
  2. In an old pan over medium heat, melt the wax flakes. Pour an even amount of wax into each well. If needed, gently press the items down so they are mostly submerged in the wax. (They don’t need to be completely covered – just enough to hold them together.) Allow to cool completely.
  3. Remove the fire starters from the cake tin. Store in an airtight jar or tin, or package individually to give away as gifts.
  4. To use the fire starter, place in the bottom of a fireplace between the logs. Light the wick.

 

top tip

keep dried herbs that are past their best for cooking to use in this recipe, especially rosemary, bay and thyme.



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