A Cheezy solution to starting the wood stove

Contrarian reader Silas Barss Donham [Disclosure: Gee, that name seems familiar] can put up with most of the steps required to heat his Orangedale house with wood: the cutting, hauling, splitting (or paying someone to), the stacking outside to dry, tossing into the basement, re-stacking inside, carrying upstairs to the fireplace, and the constant sweeping of ashes, bark, and furch.

But he grows weary of making “the daily, just-so crumple of old newspaper to light the fire.”

Not being a daily newspaper reader, I have to go from store to store to collect enough expired papers (avoiding the new Globe and Mail with its fire-retarding glossy first pages) and then try not to make the crumple too tight, or too loose, or too whatever to catch properly and light the kindling.  When the fire finally does catch I have to wash my greasy black hands clean of newspaper ink.

Lighting a fire once in a while is a charmingly manly job; doing it every day gets to be a chore.

So Silas’s ears perked up when a recent radio piece about Cheezies mentioned that it’s possible to light them with a match.

I did a little experimenting and now I have a new method for lighting fires:  I shake about a cup of Cheezies (or Cheetos, or Cheese Puffs, or even potato chips) into a paper bag…

light the crumpled bag…

and stack my kindling as the flames spread.

No more crumpling, no more greasy black hands, just a slight aroma of roasted cheese powder as the fire lights.

And the thought that if something is greasy enough to light a fire, perhaps one shouldn’t eat it.