COLORFUL BURNING PINE CONES
To add some color to your fireplace this season, toss a couple of these magical winter warmers on the flames.
What you need:
1 deep glass or plastic bowl
Newspaper or a mesh bag
1 foil-covered cookie sheet
1/2 gallon of hot water
8 ounces of the following chemical depending on the flame color:
for a bright green flame use alum (thallium)
for a bright red flame use strontium chloride
for a deep red flame use boric acid
for a reddish-orange flame use calcium
for a yellowish-orange flame use calcium chloride
for a yellow flame use table salt
for a yellow-green flame use borax (sodium tetraborate)
for a green flame use blue vitriol (copper sulfate) or barium
for a violet flame use saltpeter (potassium nitrate)
or for a white flame use Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)
Use only one salt or compound for color.
Be very careful handling these chemicals and follow the manufacturer's directions. Some compounds can be poisonous if mishandled.
1. Pour 1/2 gallon of hot water into a deep glass or plastic bowl.
2. Dissolve 8 ounces of any one of the chemicals in the water.
3. Soak the pine cones in the solution for 6 hours.
4. Dry them for at least three days in a warm, dry area on newspaper or hang in a mesh bag.
To get the pine cones looking their best, heat them in the oven at 225 degrees F on a foil-covered cookie sheet. They will open all the way and look fuller.