October 26, 2011

Home Alone, Part Two

Apple Sage Sausage
Spaghetti with Browned-Butter Sage Sauce, Mizithra Cheese and Winter Squash
Once I got over my little seed tantrum, the rest of my home alone day was so nurturing, so satisfying and so productive. The discipline of the seeds reminded me of my favorite job I ever had, which was being a stay-at-home mom to my three children. I had convinced myself then that I was doing it for them, but in retrospect, it was mostly for me. I adored taking special care of people I love, the sense of creating a home, and the sense of organization and order that exists when that is the job of one person in the house. As those happy recollections flooded my heart, can you guess what they inspired?
Bonus points to you if you guessed clean and organized kitchen drawers!

 And get ready for an aaaaahh moment...

I came across the silver baby spoon of my youngest child. Yes, twenty-three years ago my very little chubby-cheeked John enjoyed his sweet potatoes and smashed peas from this spoon. The happiest of memories poured over my soul as I thought of him and his older brother and sister, and my home alone day took on a new glow.
Latent efficiencies took over and on I moved to my dual-spiced sausage-making plans. I've been making Italian sausage at home this year to great result, and was ready to expand my horizons. In the past, I've used ground pork from the market. This time, I used pork shoulder and let the food processor do the grinding. I used the format from Martha Stewart Living, October 2011, but made a change or two. Rather than repeat the entire recipe which is quite simple, I'll just note those changes and recommendations here:
  • For apple sage sausage, divide the 4 lbs. of pork in half. With one half (2 lbs.), make the herbed pork in the Martha recipe, adding 1/2 of a chopped peeled apple to the food processor. You will only need 1/2 of the herbs and spices called for, because you will only be using half of the pork. We are lucky with this one, as I used sage, thyme and apple from our own garden and orchard.
  • For hot Italian sausage, with the other half (2 lbs.) of the pork, add twice as many herbs and spices as called for in my blog post about hot Italian sausages here. The original recipe is intended for only one pound of pork.
  • Be kind to yourself and follow the directions about giving the cut cubes of meat a gentle freeze before attempting to chop them in the food processor. Especially the fatty bits turn out with a much better texture when they are very cold first. I learned this the hard way so you don't have to! If you cut your meat chunks first and pop them into the freezer, they will be ready by the time you have the rest of your ingredients prepped.
For nearly the same amount of effort, I had given myself eight chubby 1/2 lb. packages of two varieties of sausage.  Seven of the packages went into the freezer. The remaining 1/2 pound went in to our evening's dinner, browned in patties, served alongside spaghetti in browned-butter sage sauce tossed with tangy Mizithra cheese and chunks of the roasted Kabocha squash I'd also worked on during the day.
I only wish my schedule allowed for more home alone days!

9 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to make sausage from scratch so therefore - I love this post! Thanks for the recipes, ideas and hints.

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  2. Never made homemade sausage. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Wow! I never made sausage before, and I'm German! Looks like a wonderful set of recipes. I'm certain to get inspired :)

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  4. Homemade sausage it is! I've never done it and was just too lazy to look up a recipe. Thanks for making it easy for me.

    Now, just to find the time soon enough so I can enjoy some before I get distracted and forget.

    Jason

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  5. Making sausage is on my list of things I want to try. I love your photo of the wrapped varieties all lined up and labeled. Looks like you have a well stocked home...with super tidy kitchen drawers.

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  6. Making sausage is something I have to admit I am a little afraid of. Not to mention I really don't eat it that much, but my other half would LOVE it if I did haha. Looks great, nice job on the drawers!

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  7. Wow! You were quite productive! Homemade sausage... sounds like fun! Your dinner that night looks really delish :-)

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  8. I never thought about the 20 years I was a stay at home mother before, but you are right. My husbands gift to me. I loved my working days (getting 5 kids through college), but staying at home, making at least 2 new recipes a week were great too. I need a little more of that now. You may just inspire me. Aunt Juanita

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  9. I am inspired to make my own sausage, grinding my own meat. I didn't realize I could do it in the food processor. Meal looks so comforting and flavorful.

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