We are in the midst of monsoon season here in Middle Tennessee. It has rained for at least part of every day for about two weeks now. Temperature makes no difference. If it's cold enough they simply refer to the precipitation as a "wintery mix", which means anything from stinging sleet, to slushy snow, to an out and out ice storm, interspersed, of course, with regular old rain. It's the hardest part of the year to get through around here (worse even than the blisteringly hot and impossibly dry middle of summer) and the best thing to do is keep as busy as possible to avoid dropping off into SADS depression.
A few nights ago though, there was a few hours break in the rain. So while I finished off the slow cooking of a batch of tomato and eggplant risotto, the guys used some brush that we needed to dispose of to start a small fire in the garden (the ashes will be great for the soil). We then sat in our Crazy Creek chairs with our hot bowls of risotto and fed both the fire and our hungry bellies.
When we were finished with our supper, someone decided to put a piece of steel bar stock in the fire to see how hot we could get it. That's how it all began.
The challenge was on and soon a piece of steel pipe had been brought out (for blowing on the coals to intensify the heat of the fire) as well as a few tools for pounding.
So if you've ever wondered what it takes to make a simple blade, now you know. It just takes a good fire and a bit of forgery!