Well, you’ve gotten past the first few dates, and prospects are looking really good. The object of your recent affection is coming over to spend a frosty winter’s night indoors so you’d like to set the mood properly. A blazing fire seems like a good idea, and you start throwing logs on willy-nilly like an obsessed pyromaniac. Whoa! Slow down, friend, there’s no need to burn the place down, because then you’ll be right back where you started, out in the cold. While such an occurrence may earn you a healthy helping of sympathy points, there’s no reason you can’t have a successful, disaster-free evening with a bit of effort. Follow some of these strategies to learn how to build the perfect fire to cap off your night.
Creating a setting that you and your partner can enjoy in snug comfort is crucial. Fires are one of the oldest tools in humanity’s arsenal, and they’re often underestimated in terms of maintenance and seductive power. Learning to create a proper fire will keep you from having to get up too much, so you can enjoy your couch snuggle sessions, and if you do things right, you can let it burn until morning so you and your lover don’t wake up cold.
Any good fire starts with its structure and environment. You don’t need to have a PhD in mechanical sciences or engineering, again, this is caveman technology. Fire requires heat, oxygen and fuel, and here’s how to bring each portion into play:
Cleaning your fireplace, pit or wood-stove of soot and dust from old failed romantic endeavors and the fires that accompanied them is a good way to maximize burn potential and avoid sooty smoke. Ensure that your flue or vent is open so that you can feel a small amount of air flow over your hand when you stick it in the empty fireplace.
Wood used in fireplaces must be aged. While you may wish to impress your love with your awesome, Paul Bunyan-like tree felling skills right then and there, don’t get ahead of yourself. For one, a blue ox may not blow over well with animal rights activists, and more importantly, fresh trees are no good. In order to burn, they need to sit around for a while, or be seasoned, until the moisture inside dries out. Ensure your supply of wood isn’t too green before you proceed to leave some by the fireplace so you don’t have to open the door to the cold when you start running out.
Now that you’ve got a nice convenient source of well-seasoned fodder, you can make Lincoln log-style stacks of wood ensure that air flows well through the recesses of that blazing inferno you plan to create even as combustion causes the lower pieces of wood to disintegrate.
Because you were so diligent about making a neat stack in the beginning, you can easily get your fire set up to light. You’ll need something easy to light, and some bits of small wood pieces along with a block of special firestarter wood or some newspaper will come in handy when placed in the open space in the center of the stack. Strike a long fireplace match, and voilà! You’ve lit the perfect romantic fire. Control the burn rate with the flue, add more wood as needed, maintaining the general shape and poke things around every now and then to really make it look like you know what you’re doing. Now, even if the date is a total flop, at least you won’t be cold.