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Archive for April 2016

A Trainee Outdoor Writer’s First Assignment

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          He writes an article about my use of this rifle as his first outdoor-writing assignment.

            You can do the same by writing about my adventures with Young Blunderbuss.

 

As an outdoor writer, one task that I take seriously  is to help train younger writers to take the place of us older writers who are facing our mortality.  To this end, for the past three years I have taught a  one-day introductory course, Becoming an Outdoor Communicator, at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, Georgia. I now have a Kickstarter project that ends on April 30 to enable me to continue to hold this event. Because many young people who might otherwise want to take advantage of this event could not come because of jobs, families and financial stress, I will occasionally work with would-be writers by correspondence.

One such, I will call John. He lives  500-miles away from me, has two young children and holds down a job in law enforcement where he is on-call. He wanted to attend my seminar, but could not. He had written and published two recipe-type articles in different outdoor magazines,  but realized that he needed additional skills to sell articles to this demanding market.

My task was to take him from producing high-school level content to the post-graduate level where he could write compelling stories for today’s editors.

The Assignment

Those of you who know me realize that for several years I have been working with an obscure .75-caliber rifle produced by the  British military  that had a brief period of use in the 1850s in Europe, on the high seas and in British colonies. This was the two-groove Brunswick rifle that was also made by Nepalese workmen in their shops in Nepal for use by Nepalese troops who were allies of the British during the Sepoy Rebellion.

I have 30-odd YouTube videos showing me working with two of these rifles. One was cleaned and used to take a deer at Hard Labor State Park in Georgia on a population reduction hunt, and the other was restocked from a broken “parts gun” whose barrel was better rifled than the barrel of complete rifle that I owned.

John’s assignment was to look at these videos and write a 1,500-word article as if he had sat down with me for an interview.  The title of the piece was to be, “One Man’s Gun: The .75-Caliber Brunswick Rifle,” or something similar. Once the article was completed, I would supply him with the needed photography to submit to potential publishers.

This was a challenging assignment, and I gave him  30 days to complete it.  He let a friend review it before sending me his second attempt at the assignment. His first was written in question-answer interview fashion, which I told him no editor I knew would publish. This type of format is often published in celebrity interviews usually done by a magazine staff writer on deadline. What outdoor magazine editors wanted, I informed him, were things in story form that were told in an interesting manner, revealed something of both the interviewer and interviewee and told his readers about something that they did not know.

The second attempt was to full length, sent well before the deadline and adequately reflected my suggested changes in approach. Its problems were more in the mechanics of putting it together and use of quotes, than his selection of content or how the piece was arranged. I had to deconstruct and rewrite only one paragraph. There were also some cases of agreement of verbs or of verbs and subjects that I had to correct. I also changed the word order in a few sentences.

Although John had used my middle name Hovey, by which I am usually called, in the piece; I changed these 30 entries to the more formal Smith. Using the last name after the first use of the full name is the way second references to names are rendered in news writing.

John’s article was a heroic effort, considering where he started from and the amount of material he had to digest, organize and render into only 1,500 words. Thomas Jefferson once famously wrote, “I am sorry for the long letter. I did not have time to write you a short one.” This assignment would have been much easier to produce as a 3,000-word piece than one half that length.

If you think that you want to be an outdoor writer, I give you the same assignment using my videos about the blunderbuss, which I also built from scratch and used on game in several states.  If I am not bombarded with too many pieces, I will correct them and send them back with comments. In return, I would like a pledge of any amount you can afford to my Kickstarter project by April 30, 2016 at:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hoveysmith/becoming-an-outdoor-communicator-seminar.

You have 15 days to make your  pledge and 30 to complete the assignments. If you read this long after April 30, and still want to do it or learn if the seminars will be continued, contact me at hoveysmith@bellsouth.net.

 

 

 

 

Written by hoveysmith

April 14, 2016 at 3:28 pm

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Hovey’s Knives of China Pepper and Small Veggy Knife Makes Tacos

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I make tacos using my unusually versatile Hovey’s Knives of China™ Pepper and Small Veggy Knife. A much longer posting about this knife is to be found on my Hovey’s Knives of China™ Blog which exclusively contains content about the history, development and uses of these new knives  based on ancient patterns.

I will exhibit these knives and have blanks cut from T-410 steel available at the International Blade Show held at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia, June 3-5. I am seeking to license partners to produce these knives worldwide, make accessory wooden and fabric items and help me promote these innovative kitchen knives based on proven patterns with up to `1.7 million years of prior use.

If you wish to contact me about making these and others of Hovey’s knives under a 5% royalty arrangement contact me at http://www.hoveysknivesofchina.com. The blades may be forged or I will also sell blanks to licensed makers who will keep 95% of the proceeds, less the cost of the blanks. If they pass my quality tests, I will refer orders to them for fulfillment.

Written by hoveysmith

April 13, 2016 at 9:05 am

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Hovey’s Pepper and Small Veggy Knife makes Salsa and Guacamole

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An identical post has been made on my new blog “Hovey’s Knives of China Blog” which will carry content exclusively about Hovey’s knives, their manufacture, introduction and use. A website, Hovey’s Knives of China, is under construction and will be the E-order platform for these knives and contain photos and descriptions of each. Orders may be placed electronically and paid via PayPal using your credit card. As soon as pricing information is posted, advanced orders will be accepted with delivery times for custom knives starting at about three months. A Kickstarter campaign will be started later this month. As a “reward” for pledging a 40% discount will be offered on all knives that Hovey’s Knives of China will produce. These may be redeemed at any time for any product the company will ever sell. This is the ONLY time in the life of the company that this discount will be offered. 

Common Mexican dishes like salsa and guacamole are now so Americanized that there are few who do not frequently eat them. Hovey’s Knives of China’s™  Pepper and Small Veggy Knife is a  broad-bladed, single-edge-grind knife with a truncated point that has considerable versatility in processing the peppers, avocado  pears and Roma tomatoes used to make these classic dishes.

The 8-inch long, 2-inch wide blade serves not only to cut the vegetables, but also acts as a spatula to hold the cuttings and as a putty blade to spread or crush the peppers and pickled okra used in the dishes. A special quality or both of these dishes was the use of crushed peppers, which has a different quality to the bite than conventional ground pepper. More expensive vinegars might have been used, but I elected to use ordinary white vinegar and a little from the pepper sauce to season the salsa.

Incorporating a  beyond-use-date  yellow bell pepper, allowed me to show how to clean a less-than-perfect pepper and imparted an unusual sweetness to the salsa. This was somewhat unexpected, but not unpleasant. Had the salsa been too peppery for taste, a can of nibblet corn could have been added. The use of corns in salsas is common in Mexico, but not often seen in the U.S. Should you take a bite of a burning-hot salsa, the usual remedy is to cool the mouth with water and/or beer, but a pad of butter on a cracker often works faster to capture the pepper and remove it from the mouth.

As always, I advocate making the cooking experience as individual and interesting as possible by using new knives, ingredients and techniques to produce a meal of quality that is fun to prepare and eat.

My hound dog food testing committee, Diana, Hera and Cassey, enjoyed these dishes with tail-wagging enthusiasm and wanted more. Unknown to most people, dogs like some peppery spice in their food. Most will eat cooked chili, guacamole and chips and lettuce coated with these foods with glee. However, feed these to your dogs very sparingly, as a dessert-like treats. These hot peppers will cause digestive upset and runny stool if fed to dogs with delicate stomachs and discomfort to others. It is even possible that a heavy dose of salsa, or the like,  might be fatal to tiny dogs. If any is given to dogs, follow or precede with a regular meal of dog food.

If you are either a commercial or custom knife maker and wish to produce these knives for sale, I will license the use of my name and trademark for 5% of your retail price. You may make as many or as few as you like and charge any price that your work demands. If you send me a sample of each pattern, I will review them on blogs, videos and display them at my tables at trade events, such as The Annual International Blade Show at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia.  This year I will be at the Show June 3-5 at table 16 U. If things go as planned, I will have water-jet blanks cut from T-410 steel for sale and bulk orders for these blanks may be placed for drop shipment from the fabricator in Atlanta.

To make prior arrangements you may contact me at hoveysmith@bellsouth.net.

Written by hoveysmith

April 12, 2016 at 2:15 pm

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Hovey’s Knives of China Launches First Five Models

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Hovey’s Knives of China™ policy of introducing new cooking knives based on ancient patterns has produced five prototype knives that will be introduced at the International Blade Show at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta  June 3-5. These knives trace their linage from the Acheulean hand axes of 1.7 million years ago to bronze knives made more than 2,000 years ago during the Waring States Period in China.

The Point Square is a one piece all-steel knife with a pencil-shaped point and a short length of double ground blade. It is a palm knife in that it is held in the palm with the index finger resting on the top of the knife to direct the cutting point. Although the small length of blade can do limited amounts of slicing, the sharp point does the real work of the knife in cutting dough, pressed meat or designs in soft materials.

The largest of the series is the Cabbage and Duck Chopper which has a blade more than a foot long, a raked pencil point, strongly up-swept oval ring grip and deep blade slightly over 2-inches thick. This is designed after choppers originally made as all-metal bronze knives and used to process large vegetables, like cabbage and cut ducks, bones and all, into fragments for soups, stews and savory meat dishes that somewhat resemble barbecue.  Because bronze tends fail when subjected to repeated impact stress, these knives depended on pressure and leverage exerted on top of the long blade to cut through these tough materials, rather than the force of a chop, as exerted by a modern cleaver. This is a big, imposing knife best used by a large individual who is tired of being forced to use ordinary cutlery that was always too small for comfort.

The most versatile of these knives is the Bok Choy which has a profile similar to the larger Cabbage and Duck Chopper, but in a smaller size. It is ideal for processing medium-sized vegetables, such as bok choy, hence the name. This has the same oval-ringed up-swept grip, but made to a size to fit a medium-sized individual. The prototype is produced with a pencil-shaped point, but is also available with a squared-off point for safety reasons. This is an ideal tool for chopping vegetables, but its distinctive strongly down-swept point also gives it much of the versatility of The Point series for cutting dough and similar uses. The point on the Bok Choy is also useful for being able to reach down and spear a vegetable or piece of fruit from a container on the floor and bringing it up to the work surface without having to put down the knife and pick it up again.

Peppers and small vegetables are worked with The Pepper and Veggy Knife which has a straight oval-ring grip and a deeper 2-inch thick blade that is 8-inches long and has a truncated point. It is used to efficiently clean and chop either fresh or dried peppers and small-diameter vegetables, like carrots or even work medium-sized balls of  cheese. This knife is typically shipped with an edge that is ground on only one side, although a double ground edge is also available. The single ground blade allows more precise vertical cuts. A choice of blade grinds is also available on all of the company’s Signature Grade custom knives.

Designed particularly for home cooks and caterers,  the Small Fruit Utility Knife has the distinctive oval-ringed handle, but this handle is straight and attached to a 5-inch up-swept blade with a scooped top truncated point. This knife is designed for smaller individuals who desire a general purpose blade to do a variety of kitchen chores.  It is particularly adapted for caterers who might want to take a small knife without a point to their distant jobs in case they need to do some last-minute preparations or make something on the spot. Even those who might occasionally participate in group cooking events would find that this very distinctive knife would not  be confused with anyone else’s knives. This knife would also be a distinctive and appreciated gift to anyone in the catering profession in appreciation of an outstanding event.

It is my intention that these are Open Source designs that anyone may use. Either commercial or custom knife makers may make and sell these knives as they wish with the use of my name and trademark for a 5% royalty on their retail price. If examples are sent to me I will assist in marketing them by giving them on-line reviews on my blogs, exposures in my videos and exhibit them at events like The International Blade Show in Atlanta.

More than 15 designs are in progress. I will have these four designs at the  Atlanta Blade Show and am making plans to have some pattern blanks made of T-410 steel available for individual purchase at my table. Volume orders will be drop shipped from the fabricator in Atlanta.

I have produced a series of videos showing these knives in use that may  be seen on Pinterest, listed under Hovey’s Knives of China,™ and also on YouTube under the same name. Often, there will be copies of these videos on my hoveysknivesofchinablog.co  along with descriptive materials, histories and explanations. Any Google search of “Hovey’s Knives of China.” will also key into these materials wherever they are on the web.

For additional information on becoming a licensed maker of these knives you may contact me via E-mail at: hovey@hoveysknivesofchina.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by hoveysmith

April 11, 2016 at 12:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized