Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Long time no see

Wow, it's been a long time since I've blogged. What can I say? Not only is life busy but I do tend to be a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to sitting down and relaxing. Funny that, I think it's a woman thing: lots of time to take care of everything and everybody else, cleaning, cooking, etc., but time for yourself is in short supply. Perhaps I should change that. The only problem is, I can't just sit down and write or read a good book knowing that things are messy, it would drive me crazy!

Tomorrow I'm going to make sausages from scratch. Why bother, you might ask? It's really not all that difficult to do, I get to control the ingredients and can make sure there are no fillers or other creepy ingredients in there. We've made them for a couple of years, usually doing a yearly "Sausage Making Party" with some friends. Initially we started off with lean ground pork and added our seasonings, but we found that you need fat in sausages in order to make it taste good. Lean pork sausages ended up tasting kind of  sandy and the spices didn't blend well into it.

The next year we used regular ground pork, marinated in spice mixtures overnight. This turned out way better flavour-wise, but we found in putting it through the grinder (old style metal hand cranked one, from my Mom) and into the casings (pork ones, soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes prior to stuffing), the consistency was more pasty than we liked.

So this year when I saw whole pork shoulder come on sale for 97 cents a pound, we bought 2 (about 32 pounds in total), stuck them in the freezer until we needed them. Given that we have a small freezer, and that I tend to stock up on stuff when it comes on sale like an East German during Communist times, I needed the space. Took one out, got my hubby to do the messy job of deboning it and chopping it up into cubes, ending up with close to 15 pounds of cubed pork meat. Most recipes for sausages I've come across use 5 pounds of meat, so we have about 3 batches to make. This time, at the request of my hon, I've made up 3 spicy marinade blends: one Thai Chiang Mai, one Indian Curry, and one Portuguese Chorizo. Although the spice blends all smell yummy, I have no idea how they are going to taste! If it all works out I'll post pictures and recipes of them. Right now they are marinating all day and overnight to fully blend the flavours before we start grinding and stuffing.

FYI: regarding one of my last posts about the raspberry liqueur (like Chambord) that I made in the summer, it turned out really yummy! The raspberry flavour comes through with hints of vanilla and orange peel. I'll try it again this summer, however I'm going to cut down the sugar by half because I'm just not a fan of sweet drinks. I shared it with friends one night, and they pretty much finished the bottle! I think I'll try doing the same with a variety of fruits as they come into season, along with all the jam and pickling that I'm going to do.