It's getting chilly here in New York...and by chilly I mean fffreeeeezzzzingggggg. It's supposed to drop to 9 degrees tonight! Ack! However, one of the best things about this cold winter weather is staying inside and getting cozy by a fire, ideally in an adorable cabin, while it snows outside, but we'll take what we can get! If you are lucky enough to have your own fireplace, here is an easy way to make that cozy fire, even cozier - a simple, aromatic fire starter. They are a natural alternative to those chemical-y starter logs with an added bonus of smelling great too!
This fire starters are so easy to make, that you will start adding this to your wintertime routine each year. Plus, you can make a bunch at a time in the beginning of winter and leave them out next to the fireplace to use all winter long. You can make them with almost any dried herbs, depending what smells you love and what you have lying around the house. We used leftover pine from our Christmas tree and rosemary, thyme and grapefruit skin leftover from making cocktails. It would be fun to experiment with sage, cinnamon sticks, basil or pinecones.
All you do is add your dried herbs, pine and a dried citrus peel to the middle of a piece of kraft paper or newspaper and wrap it together tightly, securing each end with natural string or twine. That's all there is to it! Be sure that the citrus peel is dry or else it will cause the fire to pop.
The fire starter is a great, natural kindling and adds a fresh and "wintery" fragrance to an already cozy room. To use it - place your finished fire starter underneath your logs and light the ends of the paper, it will burn through the herbs and help the log catch fire, all while creating a wonderful aroma!
(all photos, Jamie Grill Photography)