I come from a family of five kids, and one thing my mom never missed a beat on was birthdays.
The birthday party pack in the Shreeves household was a card signed by my OG BFFs (my siblings), AT LEAST three sticker sheets, and a candle lit cake on the day of your birthday, with an inaugural song and a call from Grandmommy. NO EXCEPTIONS.
2014 was my first birthday as a zero waster, and I was a little saddened by the idea that I may not be able to have a birthday cake with candles to make a wish, because we all know birthday wishes with out the smokey whiffs isn't a wish at all. And regular candles are pretty damn wasteful.
Luckily, I was working with a bunch of retired science teachers at a nature center, and a few weeks before my birthday, one described a candle trick she played on her students with a potato and a nut, which is full of oil making it flammable.
Like to hear about about? Here goes.
You will need
nuts (pecans or slivered almonds)
straight pins** (optional)
To start, decide on what shape you want to cut your candles into (numbers or traditional cylinders) then eyeball a strategy for manipulating the potato into the shape you desire.
Let me say this nicely, don't fuk up, b.
Use your knife to cut out the shape.
Then, cut the nuts into long and thin pieces. These are your wicks. Nuts are naturally full of oil, and so they are flammable making for great candle wicks.
Take your candles and poke a small 'x' at the top of you candles.
Guide the wicks into the candles until they fit.
With the wick attached to the candles, ignite the wick.
Then, place on the cake.
**straight pins are great if you find it difficult to get the candles to stand up in your cake; acting as support between the candle and the cake.
The potato gets watery so move fast or it will start to make your dessert soggy.
I found that pecans are much easier to cut and burn better. I would go with pecans over all nuts, but almonds definitely work also.