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A Meatloaf Oil Lamp

As a stay-at-home dad, occasionally I felt the need to reach beyond the realm of diapers and sippy-cups and remind myself of my ultimate survivability.  This night’s meatloaf project was my latest excursion into super-masculinity (my wife gave me a few strange looks!)

1. I started with the drippings from my Top Secret Meatloaf Recipe.

2. We didn’t have any soup cans available, so I cut an aluminum soda can in half. *Note that the sharp edges are folded over.  A larger can would have been a big improvement but remember I was in “Cave-man improvise”mode.3. Next I filled my improvised metal container with drippings.4. I added wicking material – a piece of cotton or other flammable fabric would also have worked.5. I used a small piece of a skewer to hold the wick in place as the drippings hardened into tallow.6. The next morning I had an oil lamp!7. As Harry Potter would say, “Incendio!”  It works!

So I am feeling much more manly today.  If a tropical storm or hurricane knocks our power out, I will be able to change diapers by the light of my new improvised lamp.

**Update!!  In the spirit of “work smarter not harder,” I made the following discovery after Taco Night at our house:

For a small amount of drippings, a smaller aluminum can works just fine.  Note that the pop-top is just turned around to hold the wick (no need for a skewer or to wait for the tallow to harden.)  It also works!

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