posts » Beer Can Magic

Beer can magic

I moved into my new home in Paris yesterday. It has a paucity of lights - although this seems to be fairly common in the French homes that I've been in so far: there is a tendancy to have free-standing lights. Moreover, it's unfurnished. In this country, that means two things: one, you get a lease for 3 years (minimum); and two, there's nothing in the house - no bed, shelves, tables, chairs or any of the things you'd imagine, but also nothing in the kitchen. Yep, that means: no fridge, no freezer, and no oven or stove.

But, it's amazing what you can do with a beer can...

While riding to Barcelona last summer with my friend, we met a guy from Serbia who showed us how to make an alcohol stove out of a beer can. It was a pretty simple and ingenious design, actually. You basically cut the top out of the can (i.e the bit where the ring pull is). Then you cut the main body of the can, separating off the top and bottom inches. Discard the middle piece (or, if you're wise, save for later for another use) and gently crinkle the upper piece before placing into the residual 'bottom' and, hey presto! You have a stove.

This is what mine looked like in action:

Beer can stove with pot and visible flame Beer can stove with pot in the light

The first meal I cooked was pasta with pesto, crème fraîche and tomatoes (as anyone who knows me will tell you, a staple of mine). This is what it looked like (you can see the stove alongside):

Beer can stove with dinner in pot

Actually, I messed up along the way: I realised after I'd started cooking that I'd bought a non-stick pan, but only had metal implements. Hence why the knife is upside down: I was using the plastic handle to stir so as not to scratch the pan. I also didn't have any good means of draining the water as there was no lid and I don't yet have any plates. Instead, I used the remaining middle piece of the beer can to help me retain the pasta while pouring out the water.

And, as I mentioned before, there aren't so many lights in my flat: there's one in the kitchen, and also in the bathroom, toilet and hallway, but neither the bedroom nor the main sitting room have any illumination. So I bought some candles - and am using the middle section of beer can (divided in two) as mats so that the wax doesn't drip all over the floor.