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January 16, 2005

last night i spun string around wooden sticks to use to tie the sausage off. those have been soaking in vinegar water overnight. dad made the seasonings for different lots of the ground from grandma's recipe. they've modified it over the years to cut back on some of the salt. bright and early we got started mixing the meat. almost half of the ground goes into a large sleaed box and the spices + broth + wine go in. we all stand around and squish it together so it gets juicy and mixed up. then we all stand around and make large meatballs out of it. while we're doing this, grandma is insdie rehydrating the sheep intestine. the sheep intestine comes salted in a box, where it is all dried out and brittle. she runs it under the sink and clips it to the length we need (3 sausages~ per strand, near 1lb each) then puts it into a small pot of warm water + vinegar. after the meat is balled, and the intestines flexi we begin the squeezing of meat into gut. a hand cranked table mounted sausage stuffer. i turned the crank the majority of the time, spelled twice by my little cousin. an end of intestine is hooked over the long stuffer snout and the meat is pressed intot he hopper with one hand, cranked with the other. the quality and stuffedness of the sausage is determined by both people so you have to work as a team to get it right. a team of 6 or so sausage tyers wait for the sausage to start piling up, then they grab the string prepared the night before to tie it. a square knot with a loop is put on one end, then square knots every 4inches or so allow the sausage to be supported by the string, not the casing so they wont rip when curing and drying. after they are tied off they are hung up on a ceiling mounted scale to be added to a weight based lot. for instance, ern and i are getting 25lbs which is a little under 23 strings. the preparing/stuffing/tying goes on until all the meat is processed. usually we break in the middle for a big reject-sausage lunch where we eat all the casings that split or didnt tie properly. this year though, we just powered through all the meat by noonish, then had lunch. after lunch ern and i packed up and skittered out of town. i got a triple espresso on the way out 'cause we got up ultra earlya nd making sausage (especially cranking) is tiring. we got back into rosa around 6 and i was ready to go to bed then.


Posted by: pthree on January 19, 2005 09:36 AM


Posted by: pthree on January 19, 2005 09:41 AM

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