~ ingredients ~
At the last farm, heat was provided by a couple of stoves…one was a black, round, potbelly stove that was used for coal and the other stove was a stove using wood. Dave always liked “fat wood” to start his fires while I, being the cheapskate, liked to make and use fire starters. Fat wood is, basically, smaller pieces of high resin wood that is expensive and ignites easily and quickly.
Now I have propane gas logs but still use fire starters at the fire pit. When I remember. (ahem) A couple of weeks ago friends were here and we roasted hot dogs and made s’mores down at the fire pit but did I remember the fire starters which were only steps away? No, I did not! So we relied on the time honored method of huffing and puffing to get the fire started.
My fire starters begin with what’s at hand…some old but still scented potpourri, fresh cut rosemary, pinon incense , pine cones and paper that a store used to wrap breakables. The second photo is a few pieces of cinnamon sticks in lieu of the pinon incense and others will have fresh rosemary twigs. I use what I can find by strolling around the woods and then adding scent to make it more appealing. If you have newspapers, by all means use newspapers or other trash, clear paper you want to burn.
~ pinon incense ~
Some years ago we visited the Southwest and I bought pinon incense which has become a favorite. Every now and again on the farm, I catch a passing scent of pine which is close enough to pinon to bring back wonderful memories. It’s a different pine, of course, but still close to trick my memory. Research tells me there are about twenty varieties of pine trees producing edible pine nuts but, unfortunately, none on this farm.
WHOOPS! Just back from the rabbit hole where I found how pine nuts are harvested…first you have to win a permit from the government and then stake your claim. You read about it here and listen to the Darlins sing because I’ve got to get back to the fire starters.
The bundles are wrapped like a sandwich then tied with twine I bought on a trip to Northern Ireland.
A small bag is labeled, stuffed with five or six fire starter packages and ready to be handed out to family and friends who use fire pits. Most of us have reached an age where we simply don’t need more “stuff” so I try and give small, useful gifts. One year it was bamboo back scratchers bought for ninety-nine cents and are still in use today another year homemade cookies and homemade caramel nuts are also on the list.
Easy and inexpensive to make, using what you have on hand and extremely useful. What more can one ask except…
What do you give as small, inexpensive gifts?