DIY





Fruit Light: Make a Tangerine Lantern

Perform some careful work with a paring knife and you can turn a tangerine skin into a softly glowing fruit light.

| November/December 1980

Family holiday traditions are a joy to share. And one of my personal favorites — which has always delighted our children and their friends — is my clan's Christmas practice of turning tangerines into colorful little lamps.

This particular tradition was established in our family shortly after the turn of the century, when my grandfather was helping to build Greece's railroads. As he told it, the people in the village tavern would — as evening came on — eat the tangy-sweet fruit and transform the leftover skins into small lanterns. By the time full darkness fell, the establishment would be all aglow with the light from dozens of tiny shining globes.

Though Grandpa soon left Greece, the festive practice stayed with him and became part of our family's holiday customs. I've passed the miniature fruit light "craft" on to my children, who adore making them on Christmas Eve ... or during any other cozy, holiday-season evening.

Have a "Light" Snack!

Our small Christmas creations require nothing more special than a little oil (preferably olive, though any salad oil will do), some matches, some tangerines, and glasses to set them on. Better yet, when you make a "citrus candle," you get to eat the tasty part of your craft material (and should you want a second little lamp, you get to eat another fruit ... and so on).



To fashion your own tangerine lantern, set a tangerine stem side up and gently slice through the skin — all the way around the orange "ball" — at a point just above its midline. This shallow cut should divide the bottom and top of the skin, but leave the fruit intact. Carefully now, remove the top (or stem) half of the peel in one piece. Then — again being sure not to tear the tangerine's covering — loosen one tasty wedge from the bottom and work it out. After the first fruit section is free, you'll find it an easy matter to remove the rest of the slices. However, be sure to leave — attached to the skin — at least part of the stringy, pithy "vein" that grows up through the center of the fruit.

When you've removed all the sections, twist the pith to form a wick, then pour in a little oil and rub it all over the inside of the skin (that way — when the wick is lit — the globe will be evenly translucent). If there's not enough oil left after this step to form a very shallow puddle in the bottom of the citrus skin, add a little more. Now light your lamp. It'll probably take several attempts before the heat from the burning match dries the wick enough for the flame to take hold and burn cheerily.

Carolyn Speigner
1/28/2012 5:26:57 PM

The tangerine oil lamp looks like a fun thing to incorporate in our holiday celebrations. Since we live in Florida and have a tangerine tree in our yard it is definitely a craft we will try with the Grandchildren. It is always helpful to have picture illustrations of the process with the directions. Thank you.







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: September 14-16, 2018
Seven Springs, PA

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard