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Biltong ‘sweets’.

I love savoury thing. Now and then I have the urge for something to munch at and I always regret not having savoury ‘sweets’. I know some of you guys will jump and say: just have a packet of crisps but, you can’t suck on crisps. On the other hand you can do it on a well dry biltong. So I decided to make a Biltong ‘sweets’.


you will need:

Fruit Dehydrator (don’t be like me and buy cheap one).

Safari biltong mix.

Cellophane paper (may sure it is the real one that once you bend / twist it, it will remain it’s new shape).

1kg Top side beef joint.

What to do:

Trim all the fat and gristle from the meat, then cut the meat to 4x2mm cubes. Put everything in a bowl.

Measure 45gr of the biltong mix and mix it well with the meat. Leave covered in the fridge over night.

Biltung sweets
Biltong Sweets
Biltong Sweets

Next morning, arrange the meat on the dehydrator shelves. Turn on the machine and let it work for around fifteen hours. You want the meat to be dry but to leave some moisture in the middle. That way it will feel like real sweet sweet , i.e. dry enough to suck on to begin with and then more chewable toward the end. By now the meat cubes shrink to half its size, perfect the size of normal humbug sweet. You can now cut the rough corners of the meat to make it more symmetrical.

Biltong Sweets
biltong sweets

Cut the cellophane to rectangular sheets the size of 120x90mm. put one piece of dry meat at one end of the cellophane and roll it all the way to the other end. Hold it, with your two hands and twist both ends in opposite direction at the same time. Yes I know that my explanation is not that good, but it’s not really rocket science.

biltong sweets

Now put all the individual ‘sweets’ in a bag and store it in the fridge. You can keep it there for two weeks or you can frizz it for longer. Bon appétit.


biltong sweets

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Pork stew with mushrooms

Simple but very reassuring (especially in the winter time) pork stew with mushrooms. Not a lot to say about it, just cook it and see for yourself. I can’t remember how many people it will feed but, if you use a 1.5 kg meat and you consider 250gr per person than, it will feed six people or four hungry one.

You will need i.e. ingredient :

1.5kg Pork shoulder cut into cubes roughly 1”x1”.
3 Medium size onions sliced, not to thin.
2 celery stalk roughly sliced.
300gr chestnuts mushrooms, halved.
Few parsley stalks chopped.
500ml Chicken stock.
400ml Coconuts milk.
1.5 teaspoon coriander powder.
50gr Butter.
1.5 Tablespoon olive oil.
Black pepper and salt.

How to cook it:

Use heavy pan, preferably cast iron one. In it melt some butter and the oil, brown the meat on all sides for several minutes than, add the onions and the celery and sallow fry (sauté rather) the all lot for fifteen minutes or there about, until the vegetables are soft but make sure they are not over cooked to become sort of slimy mix.
Add the mushrooms and keep frying for two more minutes. Add the stock and the coconuts milk and gently mix. Bring to gentle boil then lower the heat and keep it on the fire for fife more minutes.
Take it out of the hob (remember to turn off the fire) and put it in 170 degrees C in a  pre heat oven.
after one hour check the stew to see if it’s getting too dry, if so add more boiling water.
You can now lower the temp’ to 150 degrees for another one hour +. Some time you will have to leave it  in for another half an hour or so but that is to do with your experience and not set in stone.

Scattered the parsley on top of the stew and cover back. Let it rest for ten minutes. and it’s ready.

Try it and if good (or not) comment about it in the blog.
Bon appétit.

RonenShare this post FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Primitive but effective knife sharpener.

Hi everybody

It just occur to me (actually it’s not truth) that I don’t really need to write anything, as nobody read it anyway.

However, this blog, is a way for me, of keeping archive of my work and, maybe one day my children will read it and, will think about me.

But enough with that cheerful thinking. I just recently finish to build a knife sharpener (prototype). It is base on design that I saw on the internet and I can’t remember the author name. so if it is you, please let me know and I will give a due credit.

As most of my knife have a distil taper on them, it is very difficult to fix them to good old knife sharpening system that hold the blade in one spot. My kit is fixing the blade in two location and that does the trick. It is very, but very effective piece of kit. Plus with that system it’s easy to swap blade sides as you progress to finer grit sharpening stone.

By the way you can read all about distil taper knife in article by Steve Shackleford from August the first 2017 in Blade Magazine (see below link).

Problem is that I am going to visit my family in Israel tomorrow so, I don’t have time to write a full post. When I be back I will. So now you have something worth waiting for, Ha Ha.

Until next time.

RonenShare this post FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

‘In the next post (hopefully next week) I will show you how I did the leatherwork.’ That how I finished my last post.

It was about how I built a fire starter steel. It was some three months  ago. As you can see I was bit optimistic. I won’t bore you with the risen for that, but just to say life is too short,  so I add to prioritize.

Alas. Today is the day that I stop procrastinating  (a word that I used a lot) and so, here is the post about how I made the leatherwork for the fire starter steel.

Instead of going into depth, describing what I do, I will use some of the profession terminology , so you can look at it on the internet for better understanding.

I used a 2.5mm thick vegetable tan leather. I figure out (after lot of trial and error) that I need piece of leather measure 5.5 x 3.5 cm.

I used a Compass for Leather Craft to mark the location for the stitches and to decorate the narrow edge of the leather.  I marked it 3mm from the edge.

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

I work with number 3 Edge Beveler on the long side of the leather piece, but only on the side that going to touch the fire steel. Don’t do it (as in the photo) on the narrow side of the work piece. Wet the narrow side with water and  burnish the leather edges.

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

Wet the narrow side with water and  burnish the leather edges.

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

Now I used a Leather Sewing Overstitch Wheel 4mm for marking the stitches holes.

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel I then used Sewing Diamond Awl that I made myself from O1 steel left over. I used it to do to holes for the needle work. As you can see from the photo below, I did the holes in the leather by following the wheel marks, pushing the awl tilted in  45 degrees to the surface of the leather so, the holes goes in from the top surface of the leather to out near the bottom edge rather the other side of the piece (the photo show plane needle awl, but trust me, I used the diamond shape one that I made).

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

At this stage I needed to tan the leather (I use Fiebing’s Leather Dye) on all sides of the work piece. Problem was that at a time I run out of the dye. So I didn’t.

Now it’s the time to mould the leather around the steel. Soak the leather in water, worm or cold? I try both but can’t tell if one better than the other. If you discover which,  do let me know. Soak it  for few minutes until the piece is saturated and pat it dry.

Leatherwork to my fire starter steel

Spray the steel with DW40 and rap it with cling foil. Put the steel, loos, in a vice, insert piece of wood inside the steel on top of the vice jaws, put the dump leather under the steel above the wood then, press hard the top of the steel against the wood and clump it.

How to leatherwork

Put the steel, loos, in a vice, insert piece of wood inside the steel on top of the vice jaws, put the dump leather under the steel above the wood then, press hard the top of the steel against the wood and clump it.


Using a protective wood, clump the sides of the leather tight.  Use piece of wood with rounded edge to fold tight the leather edge around the steel. Hopefully you masseur the leather right so both edge meat each other.


Remove the wood from the steel and use a string to wrap around the leather to tighten it to the steel. And leave it until the leather is completely dry.


Remove the string. Loosen the leather and remove the foil. If you remove the leather piece from the steel for that, make sure you return it in the same position as it was. If like me you run out of dye. Get one and dye the leather now. Inside and out.

It’s about time to do some needle work. I use artificial sinew string and No’ 22-24 tapestry needles.

I used the Saddle Stitch method for the stitching. Here there is a video on haw to do it . I double look the ends and burn the loos ends.

How to stitch leather

That it basically. All you have to do now is to use a ordinary shoe polish to polish the leather.


So, here you have it, as promised, three month later.  On the other end as my wife ask me (when I say that I must do the post), how many  people read your blog? well… I guess not many if at all, but I do it for myself.

Anyway, enjoy.


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How to make a fire starter steel.

How  to make a fire starter steel.

Apologies to my  non millions followers. I didn’t post anything in the last several months. Partly procrastinating  and partly the luck of time.  Since return from a trip to New Zealand I bee chasing my own tail (as the phrase goes), to finish things.

Alas, finally I got the time to publish a new post.

After realising that bush crafter don’t by expensive knife (maybe rightly so) and that my knives style are not so desire by them. I decided to do some objects that may  stand a chance to be bought.

Not long ago I add a student doing my knife making course and he light the gas stove, for making coffee with his fire starter steel. He suggested that I will try and do some to sale in bush craft events.

So I did.

The first thing I found was that in order to do it efficiently, one need a jig.  Also what you really want is not to forge it but to construct it out of cut to size stripes of steel.

However, truth to myself I decided to save some money and forge the fire starter out of abounded springs from car suspension that I have in my work shop.  The steel is of the 5160 family and have a 0.6 – 0.7  present of carbon in it. presumably the more carbon the better the sparks. Any way the sparks that steel produce is good enough  to light a char fabric or better still a 000 grad steel wool.

Fire starter steel

I start by making the jig.

Fire starter steel

First I cut all the jig’s part and then obviously connect them together by welding them.

how to make fire starter steelHow to make a fire starter steel





How to make a fire starter steelHow to make a fire starter steel






Now I starting by straighten the suspension coil.

How to make a fire starter steelHow to make a fire starter steel





ones it is straight enough I start to shape it to size ( In my fire starters case it is 7mm by 4mm) , making sure it is straight all the way trough by squeezing it on both dimensions in a vise wile it’s still red hot.


How to make fire starter steelHow to make a fire starter steel





when the steel get cold I cut it to 180mm segments.

How to make a fire starter steel

Now the fun part begin. I heat the steel in my forge attached it on to the jig and bend it. first one side  then the other end.  I guess that if you have a little (or big) helper you can bend it complete all in one heat.

How to make a fire starter steelHow to make a fire starter steel





How to make a fire starter steel

temper the steel  it will make any deferent for   spark production. It didn’t and tempered or not, the After making number of pieces,   I very roughly  heat treat them . How to make a fire starter steel

I did try to check if by steel produce the same amount of sparks. But I temper it just for good measure.

As I the design of  the fire steel is very simple I decided to wrapped them with leather to give It a good holding grip for the fingers.

So here is the finished result.

How to makea fire tarter steel

In the next post (hopefully next week) I will show you how I did the leatherwork.

Happy forging


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