Monthly Archives: June 2011

Tuh-May-Toh

For those of you betting against me keeping my tomato plant alive – ha!

We had them in our dinner the other night. And they were yummy!

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I came home to some presents the other day. It was a very sweet gesture as it was a terrible day and I know Brad was coming from a good place. How many other girls get gifts like a sausage stuffer and digital scale to help with a bad day? And how many of them appreciate it?

Since getting my Charcuterie book, Brad has talked about little else than sausage. For me, it was the bacon, for him, it’s sausage. Well, Sunday consisted of making sausage. I must admit, I’ve never thought much of sausage and it’s never anything I would order from a menu, but I’m starting to have a new love for this cased, tubed form of meat [insert joke here]. Salami and summer sausage, sure, I’d eat it all day with some cheese and crackers; but your regular run of the mill sausage, ehhhh. But as with everything, the more you read, the more you plan and focus on something and the minute you make it yourself, heaven. We had sausage for dinner and it was fabulous!

In no particular order (because I am feeling pretty lazy), here are some pictures.

Hog casing – the suggestion is 2 feet for every pound of meat. Perhaps our sausages were a little on the fat side, but we had leftover casing.

The digital scale – I can now be a drug dealer, if I am so inclined. They also say it’s important to measure the weights of ingredients… I didn’t really enjoy turning the pepper mill until I got ten grams of pepper, but what are you going to do?

Grinding the meat… they suggested grinding twice, but we only did it once because it takes a while. Remember, the meat should stay be as cold as possible and should go into a bowl sitting in ice.

The finished product: garlic, sage and red wine sausage!

I would suggest reading the recipe all the way through. I tend to forget to do this and it always bites me in the butt. There are a lot of steps in sausage-making, including soaking the casings, chilling the meat and other ingredients, chopping, gathering, conjuring up spells… it was work. But well worth it.


Denver, We Have a Can!

I haven’t liked summer since I stopped getting summer vacations… and since that has been about 6 years, let’s just say it’s been tough. The Santa Barbara farmer’s markets have been a big help and during my “working summers” I’ve learned to love tomatoes. Not only are they absolutely amazing in summer, the possibilities with them are endless. I am currently still in search of some good farmer’s markets here in Denver but until I find them, I did get this little guy:

My very own tomato plant. Here’s hoping he doesn’t die and provides some really awesome tomatoes. With my fresh tomato cravings and Brad’s homemade salsa kick, this little plant better produce. In the meantime, we have found some really great markets and I will buy tomatoes until my guy makes good. Here is Brad’s homemade salsa:

ignore the meat, that was for something else

Tomatoes

Onion

Garlic

3 Jalapenos

Cilantro

Lime

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

(cider vinegar if you are going to can)

He is still perfecting this and as you can see, it doesn’t have a “kick” to it (which is actually fine with me). But it is the perfect taste of summer and so yummy with chips. Roast your tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapenos – either the grill or oven, and then mix with remaining ingredients. To can, simmer in a pot and then proceed to can. I am paraphrasing, see a “real” recipe here.

On an improptu trip to BBB, I found this:

Which is perfect, because in my “Urabn Farm” magazine I found a recipe for freezer jam but have been unable to make because I haven’t been able to find pectin. So not only did I find pectin, I found a canning kit – awesome! I haven’t made the jam yet, but we did the salsa last night. Who knew canning was so easy! Gram, I hope you are impressed!