One match to light the coal pot. You’d think I’d discovered fire but no…I simply lit our coal stove with one match. Yesterday we went to Gutz’s house to fry potatoes and plantains on his coal pot. We gathered around to watch how to light it properly since for us it usually involves copious amounts of plastic, kerosene, matches, and fanning cardboard.

He made a crater in his coals and tied half a plastic bag into two loose knots. He lit one end, coaxing the flame gently, and then buried it lightly in the middle of the coals, piling pieces all around the flame. After a few minutes we could see the bright glowing embers of lit coals smoking at the heart of the coal pile. A few more moments and the heat began to rise in earnest.

Today, a PCV guest in our midst, we decided to cook breakfast. I volunteered to start the coal pot, wanting to try out Gutz’s trick. So I tied my “wick” as I’d seen him do it, piled my coals up in the pot and struck a match. It took and the plastic burned almost invisibly for a few seconds. I buried it lightly in the pile of coal and waited.

A few moments passed and soon heat rose off of glowing orange coals.

One match…well, technically the first match crumbled when I struck it against the side of the box to light it so I don’t count that…but I do count that one match that actually ignited itself and my wick to start a fire for French toast. And what lovely French toast it was…one match’s worth.

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1 Comment on one match

  1. Kyla says:


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