Thursday, July 12, 2007

Musing on Making Sausage

I’d like to welcome you to my blog. It won’t always be about sausage, or even meat, but it just so happens that I had that boudin story all ready to go, so I ran with that first. Kimmie and I have lots of things, food-wise, that we are interested in. We travel in Europe a lot because of our work there, and we love France in particular, but we also love the other places we have been lucky enough to visit and sing for our suppers. I hope you enjoy what you find here in future days; it is my pure pleasure to share the joy of the table and the road with you. Laissez Bon Ton Roulet!!! Joe Gracey

Delores Bonin

(Kimmie Rhodes)

My Enterprise sausage stuffer arrived today! Now I can be a real honest-to-God sausage man. Delores Bonin at Bonin’s Boudin has one; any farm wife from Pennsylvania (where the Enterprise was manufactured) to Lompoc who was serious about pressing fruit, or making lard at boucherie time, or grapes for wine, or filling the hog casings with a forcemeat for sausage, had one.

Patented in 1906, the Enterprise press is all-business. Made of black cast-iron with a plate that crawls down a central screw, it holds four quarts of material and has an optional basket full of holes for pressing fruit for jams or jellies or bits of pork skin and fat for pure homemade lard. At the bottom is the spout with a removable tube for stuffing hog casings.

Next stop now will be Fiesta Market for pork liver so I can make a mess of boudin. Then, I plan to make some good Toulouse sausage for Cassoulet and some Boudin Blanc, a French sausage made with chicken and cream and pork fatback.

Sausage-making, and charcuterie in general, carries the same sense of satisfaction as mowing the lawn, or loading up a gun and closing the magazine – snick – or painting a room. Seeing a big coil of freshly made sausage that you cut, seasoned, aged overnight, ground, and stuffed is a feeling of palpable accomplishment. And, to make it seem more like a game, there is the elusive pursuit of perfection- the perfect seasonings in the perfect amount, the perfect grind, the perfect consistency. The chase never ends, which is what makes it such fun.