[Oops! We accidentally posted Thursday’s post today–Wednesday. Please don’t miss our regular scheduled Wednesday podcast, below.]
As readers of this blog and our books know, I’m a big fan of little vegetable oil lamps–the type that can be easily improvised with any shallow vessel, from sea shells to Altoid tins. If the tabletop aesthetic of oyster shells and recyclables doesn’t quite appeal to you, may I interest you in diyas?
Diyas are little clay lamps used in India. They usually burn ghee, but any vegetable oil works well in them, too. I just found them being sold at our local Indian supermarket. There, the fancy molded ones, like the one pictured above (one of many shapes) were 3 for $1.00. The simplest ones, which are basically teardrop shaped pinch pots, go for 5 for a dollar.
That’s a lot of fun for a dollar, and a good way to light up a party with a hundred warm little lights–if you can keep your guests from catching themselves on fire! (For more info, see my post at the first link above for all the deets on making and using a vegetable oil lamp.)
Also, it occurs to me that it would be a great lesson for kids to make a pinch pot out of clay dug from the ground, and then make some ghee and a wick, and then see how prettily butter burns. (And whenever I say something would be a good lesson for kids, this means it’s something I want to do myself.)