Winter’s Here

EC and Major Rhonda Reagor Johnson, New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell NM, 1-3-2016

After a steamy summer season and an autumn just as cool and laid back as the stride of a black man winter finally showed up on my Louisiana door step. First of all the trip to New Mexico was dangerously exciting as the snow storm ripped through the little town and pretty much showed it whose boss. Tiny snowflakes, all beautiful and delicate, proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that size and appearance mean nothing. Those miniature beauties piled one on top the other until we were knee deep in snow. Having endured the rigors of Chicago winters my whole life it was refreshing to see snow again albeit under such conditions. The roads were nothing short of a mess, as if a group of children had taken the opportunity to experiment with slush and dumped it on the tops of buildings that now moaned the loss of roof tops and shingles. Cars were doomed but not even the average pick-up truck could sustain the beast that tore through this small town that is usually not equipped to handle such weather. New Mexico was in a state of emergency and we were smack down in the middle of it. (You risk takers you!) The fog was so thick that you couldn’t see in front of you, like when steam takes over the bathroom after a hot shower and blocks your view of the mirror. We had to slow down and eventually stop on the way over it was so cloudy. You’ve never seen the sky milked like this before.

In any event, by this time last year Shreveport had already seen a splash of snow so we half-heartedly expected to come back to warmer weather. That is until I stepped out the car early this morning, when the sun is still hiding behind the clouds and many of you were calling hogs in your sleep, to the bitterness of the air.

“Well, then. Good morning winter. Nice to see you again.”

DIY: Crisco and Butter Candles

It’s Sunday again and that means another exciting recipe here on The PBS Blog. We’re gonna switch it up a bit for you today though. Instead of cooking up a delicious treat, we’re going to take a look at two ways you can keep your light shinning in the event of an emergency.

How to Make a Candle using Crisco


Did you know that the Crisco Company used to be a candle company? Which means you can use Crisco to make candles.

You will need:
• Any sized tub of Crisco Vegetable Oil (I recommend the large 48 oz tub)
• Candle Wick (10 inches for a 48 oz tub)
• Stick
• Lighter

Take your stick and pierce a hole in the middle of the Crisco all the way down.
Next, take the Wick and use the stick to help stick it down to the bottom of the can. Hold the wick with one hand, and use the stick to work it down the hole with the other hand.
And finally, light the candle.
Yup, it’s that easy. But before we move on, let us establish some safety rules:
If you Google or YouTube Crisco Candle you will get loads of information about it since everybody and everybody’s mothers pretty much know about this by now. But one of the primary pieces of information you will also find in addition to how to make the candle itself is that this candle will burn for 45 days. Stop Here.
First of all,  I’ve never tried to burn it for that long, nor will I attempt to, and nor should you try to either (didn’t ya mama ever teach you not to believe everything on the internet? lol, joke) but seriously, here’s why:
The Crisco Candle is an Emergency Candle for a reason. It is not designed to be a long term source of light, but it could help in emergency situations. The Crisco container is a foil-lined cardboard tube which can definitely catch fire once the melted oil makes its way down into the paper. In the event you must use this option, it’s a good idea to scoop some of the Crisco into a more stable container that has less of a chance of burning through.



As seen in the picture, I collect Candle glasses after the wax has burned down specifically for this purpose—so I can use it in the event I must make my own candle. The Crisco Candle is a great creative source of light for an emergency, but it is not something you leave burning for an extended period of time or that you walk away from.


Butter Candle


This one comes with the same Caution label as the Crisco because of the paper wrapping, but we’ll get to that later.
You’ll need:
• 1 Stick of Butter
• Knife
• Toilet Paper
• Toothpick
• Lighter

Take the stick of butter and slice it in half, that’s right, right down the middle (horizontally of course….please don’t slice the butter down the middle from the top, vertically in other words. It will be no good).
Next, with the toothpick, make your hole in the middle by sticking it down in the middle; this is where your “wick” will go.
Now, you can buy extra wicks for emergencies, but if not, you can make your own. Tear a nice piece of toilet paper, and roll the toilet paper into a tight roll like your rolling a blunt (don’t lick it though).

Now, twist the rolled toilet paper so that it’s nice and tight, and bend it at the end as seen in the picture.
Using the toothpick, stick your toilet paper wick into the butter (the bended end will make it easier to stick it down). Make sure to rub the top of your toilet wick around a bit in the butter before lighting it.
Light it and there you have it, a butter candle!
Now, this is an emergency tip. Like the Crisco, it is not designed to last for long periods of time without taking extra precautions. Instead of having it just in the butter like on these pictures, you can just take some butter and put it into a better container to ensure a longer burn.

Every Tablespoon of butter burns for approximately 1 hour. That means one stick of butter will give you 8 hours of emergency light. Use your time wisely.


warning_answer_1_xlarge WARNING: This post is not from a professional perspective and is not a recommendation from any Fire Department or Medical Professional. Candles should be handled by an adult mature enough to take the precautions necessary to handle fire.