Birthday Knife!

H knows me so well.

Camillus knifeThis morning, for my birthday, he gave me the gift of a knife.

But it’s not just any knife–it’s a Camillus electrician’s knife–the exact same type of knife that I’m constantly stealing from him to use for harvesting in the gardens (and then somehow forgetting to return it for a day or two).

Sure, some women might prefer the gift of jewelry or perfume or some such trifle–but for me, the gift of something I can use every day–something that makes my life easier and my harvest faster and cleaner–is the gift that shows great thought and care.

Though Camillus, one of the USA’s oldest knife manufacturers, close its doors in early 2007, H had thought to buy a back-up of this extra-useful knife after purchasing the original that I’ve nabbed and used for a couple of years now.

What makes this design great for garden work is the high quality steel that makes and holds a keen edge, and the hook-shaped blade makes getting a summer squash (or any other fruit) out without cutting into the surrounding plant much easier.

That a good section of the back of the blade sticks out when the knife is folded also makes it easier to get open when your hands are muddy or wet–and the lock-back makes it safer to use for heavier projects.

I can hardly wait to get out and use it–but it’s raining this morning, and I’m guessing my big birthday project will have more to do with managing enormous piles of papers and junk in my living room than playing in the gardens.

I said on Facebook yesterday that all I really wanted for my birthday was a clean and well-organized house–but maybe that wasn’t entirely true…a new knife is certainly a welcome addition to that birthday list.

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4 responses

  1. this post is as good as any…

    I’m a canning newbie, my jars of tomatoes did not seal after 40 minutes in the water, under a light boil. Perhaps I didn’t leave enough room, or not enough heat?

    Took some juice out for more room, new lids, and I’m getting ready to re-insert into the water.

    Thoughts?

    • I’m guessing you didn’t leave enough headroom. Did you warm the lids before putting them on the jars? That might also be an issue–though with 40 minutes, you’d think they’d seal anyhow. Good luck!

    • Vines–

      My advice for home canners is to pick up a copy of Putting Food By. Not only are there great recipes and sections on canning (BWB and pressure), drying, freezing, and root-cellaring; but there’s some discussion about the science as well–all in a kind of friendly, folksy tone that I really love. PFB is the “Bible” of home food preservation.

      I assume by “air pockets” you mean the headroom above the contents of your jar and below the lid? Yes, that’s the airspace that you need to leave to create the vacuum. If you don’t, your contents will be sucked out of the jar during the canning process, ruining your seal.

      Congratulations on your canning success!

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