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Two frugal firestarter recipes

January 5th, 2008 at 03:51 pm

So we were eating breakfast at the Library Cafe this morning when the owner decided to crank up the woodburning stove. DH and I knew what would happen when the owner stuffed it with newspaper. Sure enough - smouldering smoke from the soy ink and it just didn't catch the first time. Or worse, the newspaper would burn just dandy, leaving the wood all nicely unburnt and dry.

We had that problem ourselves with our fireplace when our wood worker friend turned us on to his solution:

Firestarter Recipe 1

old style dixie cups - small, waxy paper kind. NO PLASTIC!
candle wax
saucepan you do not care about

Think back to your college days when you were making jello shots. Big Grin Set up your dixie cups on a tray. Fill dixie cups 1/3 - 1/2 way with sawdust.

Warm the used candle wax gently in the saucepan. When pourable, pour the wax into the dixie cups, filling to 1/2 to 2/3. Let cool.

Don't over fill; the dixie cups stack better if they are underfilled and the rim of the dixie cup is a feature here.

To use, stack the wood as usual. In between the spaces, shove the dixie cups rim side out. Light the rim. We've found that it will take 2, tops 3, dixie cups strategically placed to start a decent fire.

Now since we weren't woodworkers, a dependable sawdust supply was a problem. DH came up with this twist:

Firestarter Recipe 2:

old style dixie cups - small, waxy paper kind. NO PLASTIC!
dryer lint
candle wax
saucepan you do not care about

Just like recipe 1, only put a small bit of dryer lint in the dixie cups instead of the sawdust.

6 Responses to “Two frugal firestarter recipes”

  1. nance Says:

    I live where there are lots of pine cones, so I melt used candles, and dip the pine cones in the wax. I dip them numerous times. They make great gifts for people with wood burning fireplaces, too.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Only natural fibers dryer lint?

  3. baselle Says:

    nance - ooh, pine cones. We hadn't thought of that. We're in the land of conifers here. I'll bet it works with dried needles too.

    Joan - come to think of it...yes. We hadn't really thought about it but we don't wear a ton of synthetics. However I don't think you have to worry if a little bit of synthetics got into your lint. Just make sure the damper's at the appropriate setting!

  4. SMB Says:

    This is great. We have a woodburning stove, and have not had much luck starting fires. I'll try these "recipes."

    Glad to hear you like The Library Cafe. We go there nearly every weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. The new owner is trying really hard! I only wish they hadn't gotten rid of the veggie burger, but the veggie panini is nearly as good.

  5. baselle Says:

    Saturdays for us @ 11:30 or so.

    Oh I know - I wish they hadn't gotten rid of the yogurt granola fruit plate. That's where the steel cut oats teaching moment came from. Oh please, please, please don't get bought out and disappear. Big Grin (we usually ate at the Ballard Denny's)

  6. genice Says:

    instead of dixie cups try a cardboard egg carton. most people have them anyway and this is a great way to recycle them. my suggestion is to pour before you cut the "egg cradles" but i'm sure you'll find your strategy after a couple of tries.

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