July 6, 2103
Back at home now; travels to Massachusetts have become history. Even at home, the learning continues. Today’s lesson concerns something called a “Swedish Candle.” I follow a few different internet forums, due to various interests that I have. One of them is hearth.com, on which I learn a lot about heating with wood. On hearth.com, a year or so ago, I read about Swedish Candles. A Swedish Candle is a firewood log (a “round” in wood burners’ vernacular) that has been split into pieces and then re-assembled. You set this split/reassembled log in your firepit vertically, ignite it at the bottom, and – supposedly – it burns upward through the cracks and makes a nice, decorative fire. Well, it seemed like a perfect item to jazz up our family Fourth-of-July celebrations. So, I created a Swedish Candle a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been saving it for our family get-together. I was talking it up all day, and then as we began to settle in for an evening fire, I got everyone anticipating the excitement of our Swedish Candle. I set it up, according to plan, I put some tinder and kindling beneath it, and I set it ablaze. Results? Less than spectacular. To say the least. What I think I learned is that in order for a Swedish Candle to work as advertised, the wood probably needs to be seasoned for longer than a couple of weeks. Or, alternatively, if you want to impress people with something like a Swedish Candle, don’t talk it up. Don’t raise expectations. It might have been more fun if I had just pulled it out and lit it up without having said anything about it ahead of time. Oh well. Live and learn.