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gardening

Place the chopstick with wick over the top of your container, centering the wick in the middle. The bottom of the wick should just touch the bottom of the container. If it is too long, wind up the wick on the stick. Pour wax into the container. When cool, cut the container off of the candle. Trim wick to 2 inches. Never leave your wax unattended, even when it’s cooling! My girlfriend and I once picked a batch of bayberries to make candles, and I had the job of simmering them to remove the wax. With the berries cooked, I went out to my veggie garden to pick some dinner. My three daughters were always very helpful and loved to cook with me. In the house, one of them (who will remain nameless) decided to help me clean up. Thinking mom had burnt dinner, she dumped my bayberries and wax down the sink. Of course, the wax immediately hardened when it hit the plumbing . . .

aroma. Christians believe that the light of a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve will invite the Christ-child into the home. If you run out of BB’s for your BB gun, the waxy berries are great substitutes, but they don’t go as far. The bayberry candle is smokeless after snuffing. An old folklore adage: “A bayberry candle burnt to the socket, brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket.”

Medicinal Values The leaves and roots were used for medicinal purposes. Bayberry tea has been used for sore throats, spongy gums, and jaundice. Poultices made with the root bark are said to heal ulcers, cuts, bruises, and insect bites. Leaves in your bathwater add a nice scent and seem to soften your skin . . . Folklore and Tidbits 5,000 years ago Egyptians scented their candles and bath water with herbal and floral oils that are still used today. When colonial families settled here they could use 200 to 400 candles in a year. Back then, tallow was rendered from animal fat to make candles. When the women discovered the sweet scent and waxy properties of the bayberry, they started making bayberry candles. These candles burned longer and cleaner than those made with animal tallow, and were so special they were usually saved for Christmas time. Burn a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve and you will have health, wealth, and prosperity in the coming year. If sweethearts who are apart at Christmas time light bayberry candles they will be united by the sweet

BAYBERRY newportnaked.com • winter 2013 / 2014 61

Newport Naked Winter 2013  

Think Hwang

Newport Naked Winter 2013  

Think Hwang