When we went looking for a house a few years ago, I didn’t worry about what color the walls were painted or what kind of refrigerator was in the kitchen. Those are all things that can be changed, tailored to your own liking. But what I did look for, what I had to have in any house we might buy, was a fireplace.
The winters get cold here, and occasionally we have storms big enough to knock out the electricity, sometimes for a couple of days. So a fireplace is a practical thing. But more than that, it’s just something I love. Growing up, my childhood home had a massive woodstove set into the fireplace that kept the whole house cozy and warm.
We’ve fallen into the habit of lighting a fire on chilly winter mornings, letting the crackle of the flames and the scent of wood ease us into our day. And one of my favorite ways to get the fire going is by using scented pine cones as fire starters.
You can, of course, buy scented pine cones, but if you have a ready supply near your house, making your own is so simple that you’ll never go back to store bought.
Things to do:
1. Gather up a bagful of pine cones and give them a quick rinse in the sink. Lay them out on a cookie sheet and dry them in a low oven (200 degrees or lower) until they are totally dry.
2. Place as many pine cones as you can in the bag while still being able to zip it closed.
3. Shake 5-8 drops of oil into the bag and zip closed. Leave in a cool dry place for a week before using.
*These pine cones can also be used as an air freshener by setting them out in a bowl near a heater vent (the heat helps release the scent) if you are fireplace-less!*