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Snow’s Coming Time to Fire Up Your Schwedenfakel!

As  the cold weather rolls back in after the January thaw, we can either hunker down inside with a cup of tea and book next to the fireplace, or we can bundle up and explore all that the great outdoors has to offer. 
Drag out those lawn chairs and circle them around your Schwedenfakel.  Heat up some spiced cider or fondue, toast a marshmallow and watch the stars come out in the clear winter sky.
 Note: We fired ours up before the snow!

A Schwedenfakel or Swedish Torch is attributed to the Swedish army.  As they moved through the woods they needed a simple and easy way to heat food and themselves without creating a giant bonfire that would alert the enemy.  Now, I question that they had a chain saw handy so this could also probably be made with an axe if you were so inclined. 
Choose a log that is flat on both ends so it will sit square on the ground and support a pot.  The log should be no smaller in diameter than 18 inches and a couple of feet tall/long.  A white birch is particularly attractive.
With the log sitting squarely on the ground use a small chain saw to cut it into pie-wedges.  First into quarters then eighths.  Take care not to cut all the way to the ground, leave several inches uncut but make all the cuts the same length.
Once you are ready to light the log, collect up leaves, pine needles and small twigs.  You can also shave a bit of starter from one of those fireplace starter bricks.  Place the twigs and such on top of the log in the center of the “pie”.  Push some of the material down into the well formed by the cuts in the log.
Carefully light the starter materials and fan the flames gently.  Once the fire gets going the slits in the log will act as vents and the fire will drop down into the log causing it to burn from the inside.
Place a pot of spiced cider on the top and within minutes you will have a steamy brew.
Because the log burns from the inside and vents itself, you can sit back and enjoy.  The log should be placed in the snow or on a dirt area, not on your deck.  Do not leave it unattended.  If it is still burning when you wish to retire inside, pour a small amount of water over the log to extinguish.
One log will burn for several hours and provide lots of heat.

4 comments on “Snow’s Coming Time to Fire Up Your Schwedenfakel!

  1. Paula Somero says:

    I always wondered what the burned up stump in the backyard was….. 🙂

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