Mandarins – a dryer variety, (imperials work best, and the older the better)
Matches or a lighter
Making candles out of the skins of mandarins is our new winter solstice tradition. They’re so easy to make and so joyful to watch burn during the shortest day of the year. Once you’ve finished using them as candles, you can leave them somewhere warm and dry to dehydrate – then they’re terrific as fire lighters. It’s a waste free fruit!
Carefully score the skin of the mandarin around the middle. Starting with the top (stem end), use your fingers to gently peel the skin away from the side of the fruit. Next, carefully twist the skin and pull away from the fruit, this will allow the inner stem to remain intact and that is what you use for the wick!
Repeat this process for the other half of the skin. Once it has come away from the fruit, use a small sharp knife to cut a shape in the top, to act as a chimney – we like doing stars.
Pour a little bit of oil over the wick and let it pool in the bottom of the skin, this will act as your fuel.
Lighting your candle might take a few goes, have patience, once it’s caught it will glow for as long as you feed it oil.
Please remember to never leave candles unattended. Happy winter solstice.