Thi picture is from day one in my first ever attempt to make summer sausage. It was my dad’s favorite snack, and my mom included the recipe for it in a family cookbook my daughter put together for our big reunion in 2000. Since it takes three days to make it, not many people try. But, being me, and not really having that many bran cells left, naturally I just had to make it at least once in my lifetime. So, with five pounds of ground beef (or beast, as I call the animal), and a supply of other ingredients, I mixed this stuff up, enclosed it with plastic wrap, and shoved it in the fridge.
Day two I took it out and did a remix, freezing my fingers in the process. Mom started making it after I married and left home, so I didn’t know about the cold fingers part. As I said before, limited brain cells. Re-covered the meat mix and put back in fridge.
Day three, I got smarter. I wore rubber gloves to mix the stuff. Recipe said to roll into logs and put on broiler pan. Oops! I don’t have a broiler pan. Trip to K-Mart. I looked at broiler pans and they were pretty, but for one use? I’ve never used one before. Probably won’t use one ever again. Then I saw this pan. Broiler pan–$25. Disposable pan–$4. No contest. I bought it, brought it home. Poked holes in bottom for grease to drain out. Placed on baking racks on cookie sheet covered with foil. Voila! Instant broiler pan. This is the sausage at the halfway point, where I had to turn the logs. Mom’s always looked a lot neater than these. But the pan worked. I had my very own jerry rigged broiler pan. I still have part of a brain after all.
It takes six hours to cook this stuff. SIX hours! Very low heat. But I can say, well worth the effort. I have tried some of it already. I think maybe it shows where I cut the end of the top one off. Wouldn’t want to serve any of it to someone and poison them now, would I? To tell the truth, as I’m writing this that roll is about two inches shorter than in the picture.
And this is my “broiler pan”. I’m still trying to make up my mind if I really want to throw it away or clean it up and try for more perfect logs in the future. Practice DOES make perfect. And that sure is a great snack. And really, how hard would it be to clean this up? I’m kidding myself, right? No, I really want to make another batch, and why not clean it up and re-use it. After all, now I know to use rubber gloves to keep my fingers warm. And clean. Oh, wait! It’s my sister who doesn’t like to get her hands dirty when she’s cooking. I’m the one who likes to plunge them in to the bottom of the deepest bowl and let all that good stuff cling to them. I’m also the one who forgets to have a pan of soapy water to wash them off in after they get greasy and doughy.
Now, what to do tomorrow? Cherries on sale at the grocery, so maybe I’ll make cherry syrup. And maybe I’ll just play Sol. Or just….
This really isn’t a cooking blog. I just happen to be cooking right now. Soon I’ll be doing something else. Don’t know what. Don’t really care right now. As long as I can, I’ll do. Oh, almost forgot. I borrowed a large pot from my mom last week to use when I make my fruit syrups. Ray took one look at it and called it the “dumpling pot”. I almost forgot, that was the pot I used to use when making loads and loads of dumplings for the family when they all came home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It would be so nice to put that pot back to its original use again, but I don’t think any of us need dumplings any more. Well, nobody “needs” dumplings. We just love dumplings. But that’s a whole nother story.
Angie…I still don’t use my hands to mix things! That is why God let us invent big spoons and forks!
But we were given hands first, and the fun is getting them in there and getting them dirty. Try it sometime. It’s fun!