Ever heard of candles made from orange rinds? Or candles made from clementine rinds? Great idea right, especially now that Tu B'Shevat (Feb. 8th) is right around the corner! Basically, according to the original source, one carefully removes the fruit, leaving the two halves intact, and when you are careful not to sever the stem that's connected to the top inside of the peel, you can actually use this as a wick once olive oil is poured into the rind.
Well my friends, this little idea sounds great, but just didn't work for me, since maybe the stem was too moist or not soaked enough in oil. (Another post suggested leaving the half rind and stem to dry overnight, but who has time for that?) So I got just a little creative with this one and got out the round floating wicks which work perfectly here! Fill your empty half-citrus shell with olive oil, add a floating wick, light it and voila!
Now, while my orange and lemon and clementine rinds look great with little wicks floating in them, I just couldn't stop until I had also tried making a beautifully carved cover with the top half of the rind. (I kind of felt like I was making up for all those pumpkins I never carve?)
And I must say, the carved tops look gorgeous, but once again I came upon another problem, the top started to burn. Now I did read that one should make sure to make the hole in the top big enough so it doesn't burn, but I had the same burning problem even when the hole was huge. So, if you have some extra time, go ahead and carve a top or two, and experiment, or better yet, enjoy my photos and just skip it all together?
The assortment of citrus halves do look lovely just as they are. Don't you think? And while my family won't be surprised when I actually do this on Tu B'Shevat, yours certainly can be!
For complete instructions, see the original post on this subject on Apartment Therapy and entitled How To Make A Clementine Candle. You can also choose to watch their How To Make A Clementine Candle Video, which I'd advise if you want to work through all the kinks that I encountered. And as far as working with lemons and oranges I removed the fruit by cutting around the perimeter as one would when eating a grapefruit. Have fun with this one!
Note: In case you are not familiar with the floating wicks that you see in my photos, they are widely available in any Judaica store world wide, and possibly in the Jewish foods sections of major super markets with a Jewish clientele. (They are generally used for lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles using olive oil, and come in little boxes slightly bigger than matchboxes.) Or you can always order them online, even through Amazon! Just google "round floating wicks" and you'll find lots of sources. Oh, and in my last photo you can see the "large" size and the "regular" size, which refers to the size of the little round cork floater. Okay enough about floating wicks, you'll love them!