“There is no blue without yellow and without orange.”
~ Vincent Van Gogh
Browsing the Instructables.com site (which is awesome in and of itself), I found this super cool project to make a candle out of an orange (or almost any citrus fruit). We had some oranges left over from Chinese New Year, and this was a great, simple experiment.
Start by cutting the orange in half:
then, remove the meat of the orange, being careful not to tear out the middle membrane, which will be used as the wick (cool, eh?).
Now you have a vessel for your oil, complete with a wick to light. Fill ‘er up! Any kitchen oil will do. I had some red pepper olive oil that was old – but it was kind of a happy accident, because I think the colors made it really nice looking – like a blood orange candle.
Then light it!
Wait. Remember, kids. Anytime you’re playing with fire, always have a fire extinguisher nearby:
The orange fiber wick actually isn’t ready for lighting right away – it’s got to dry out a bit (especially since you probably got orange juice all over it when you were removing the meat!), and the oil has to soak into the orange wick to really give the flame something to burn. I singed the top of the wick to try to dry it out, and then, voilà!
It worked! Here’s what it looks like with less light in the room – it’s cool how you can really see the fibers on the inside of the orange for a bit before the camera adjusts and blows out the light – and then it just looks cool because of how bright the orange glows!
This was a great experiment. Not that we have oranges in our kitchen ALL the time, but it’s neat to know that if there’s a blackout, we can make a long-burning candle in a pinch as long as we have a citrus fruit lying around.