11.10.2009

Sausage Fest

sausage fest
In this photo, I look like the world's tallest woman.

When someone asked how my weekend went, they seemed a little dismayed when my enthusiastic reply began with, "Oh! Well, my friend Heather and I purchased a food grinder and $50 worth of pig intestines ..." I guess that's kind of strange, to be 27 and giddy over stuffing pureed meat into hog casings on a Friday night. Sometimes my excitement over such things is overwhelming, and I forget that people who don't really know me do not actually mean it when they ask, "How was your weekend?" They are usually just offering a variation on hello, and I guess pig intestines was more than they bargained for, judging from their curled lip and blank stare. But I mean, this is exciting! For nearly two weeks, we had been planning a literal sausage fest.

I bought this and this attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. Our friends Alex and Heather had acquired a whole, freshly slaughtered pig from Alex's family, raised and fed on the green pastures of their Arkansas farm. We gathered up ingredients: spices, apples, fresh herbs, maple syrup, brown sugar, crushed red pepper and red wine. Then we just went at it - grinding up meat, mixing in flavors, belting out chains of sausages as long as a tractor trailer. We struggled a little at first before discovering that we had a sausage expert right under our noses, watching Terminator in the next room, in fact! Kurt used to work as a meat man at a Chicago Whole Foods. He dropped some serious sausage knowledge. We stood amazed and dumbfounded as he magically twirled a 4 ft. sausage rope into 8 slightly curved, perfectly neat links. I swear, that man is full of surprises.

We each ended up with a rope of spicy Italian, apple/onion sage and maple/brown sugar breakfast links. I will be honest. Although our efforts resulted in beautiful and delicious handcrafted ropes of sausage, the act of sausage making is absolutely uncomfortable, borderline disgusting. I mean, you are basically jerking off a tube of meat for an hour while your partner uses a stick to rapidly stuff pink marshmallowy pork puree down a grinder shaft.

I didn't let these gory details sway me! As Julia Child would say, "Nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should." It was a tasty, worthwhile adventure, and with my fridge stocked with fresh bangers, we're already planning to explore the world of cured and smoked sausage. Hickory Farms has nothing on me.

8 comments:

  1. This is awesome! I get the same looks when people ask how my weekend went and I giddily respond "I made poop tarts from scratch" or whatever. But the pig casings thing is hilarious! If two of the grannies weren't vegetarians, Grandma Club would so be on this.

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  2. Hahahaha - best typo ever..."poop tarts!" Um, I hope you know I meant "pop tarts!"

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  3. HAHA POOP TARTS! hehehe

    I love being an honorary granny. Glad you approve. :)

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  4. Seriously, these sausages were delicious. Want.more.

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  5. This made me laugh. It's funny that the pig came from AR, considering their favorite mascot is the Razorback. :) Although, we Arkansans do eat a lot of pork BBQ! :)

    LOVE our grinder. We use it all of the time.

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  6. This made me laugh. It's funny that the pig came from AR, considering their favorite mascot is the Razorback. :) Although, we Arkansans do eat a lot of pork BBQ! :)

    LOVE our grinder. We use it all of the time.

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