August 18 1998
"Now about these slimy pork butts..."
Uh, Beavis...

The task of the day:


Today was the great sausage making day. We didn't have too much work to do, in theory. Just two sausage recipes, and a little bit of finishing work from the day before. However, it turned into a mess for no good reason.

* * *

We started cures today for:

  • Breakfast Sausage (links)
  • Chorizo (links)
  • Smoked Scallops
  • Rinsed off our Salmon

* * *

Two sausage recipes aren't too difficult. You chop the meat into pretty big cubes (about and inch and a half per side), grind it, stick it into a mixer, and blend it with some spices. Then you place it into a sausage stuffer, slide the casing onto the stuffer tube, and away you go. But, since that's not fun enough, let's add the following items...

One grinder for five teams, each making two sausages. One mixer per five teams. Two sausage stuffers (oooo, the luxury!). And....(ta da!) Japanese person per team who does not (a) speak English or (b) cook.

I rinsed off the salmon and smoked the scallops. This was pretty trivial. The meats of the sausages only took about five minutes to prepare. The other chef on our team handled the spice preparation, and helped cut up some of the meat. Our third team member chopped up some green onions. On the other side of the room, one of the Japanese people was chopping a regular onion by holding a knife with one hand and hacking (randomly, I guess) towards the cutting board. The only English speaking member of that team was shaking his head in disbelief.

Running the sausage machine was fun, and we did pretty well for a first time. I didn't quite fill the casing full at the start. I was paranoid about overfilling it. Turned out I was a bit too cautious. But after a bit, I got the hang of it. Twisting the links was really cool too. The casings you use really make the process pretty painless. They fill nice and smooth, take alot of abuse, and are pretty easy to fit onto the tube. But there is a downside.

What's a casing, you may ask. Well, it's intestines. Beef, pork, or sheep. They are cleaned, sort of, but still smell something horrible until you rinse them out. The smell also gets all over you hands and takes tons of washing to get rid of. Ick. And they have such pleasant names. Such as "beef bung." Boy, I want some extra of the sausage that's stuffed into that, don't you?

* * *

Tomorrow, our group makes...Hot dogs. Neato! There won't be any jokes about what will go into these, because we get full control. But they go into sheep intestines. Extra 'kraut on mine, please.

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Copyright 1998 Tom Dowdy