I learned how to make a fire in the fireplace. First you gather the wood, a few sheets of newspaper and some fat wood. I try to use a newspaper that is old and that everyone else has already read. Discarded mail such as coupon flyers and such does not burn well and can cause a lot of smoldering and even smoke. If you are very careful measuring, baking is often a quite satisfying activity. It requires your full attention and others can enjoy the results.