Much more so than strolling through Bangkok in a pale flared Pierre Cardin suit and smoking Sobranie cocktail cigarettes, making sausages has always defined exoticism for me. There’s been a sausage shaped hole in my life and on the weekend, I filled it – in abundance.
Simple principle – everyone brings their favourite meat mix, we make sausages and we eat them. The fact that no-one, including myself had ever made them before was no impediment. I had 30 metres of pig casings soaking, a kenwood mincer attachment and a long red funnel thing. The golden rule is fat – Vince Garreffa says 20% minimum and you listen to Vince. Roll the casings onto the funnel – like you might for an ambitious condom purchase, tie a knot in the end, pop a couple of holes in to let the air out, crank the mincer up and twist every sausage length in opposite directions.
And it’s great. It’s such an earthy thing to do. It’s sex, it’s death; it’s shit, it’s food; it’s delicate, it’s brute force. It’s like Pasolini in pork. Bits of meat everywhere; someone pointing out that ‘an animals been shitting in that all its life; instructions to roll as a man,not as a lady; the firming of flesh – it’s not for the weak of heart or the repressed of spirit. I think we made about twelve kilograms of sausages with nearly as many different mixes. Sausages were cooked, enjoyed and magpies hung around our house for the next week.
Given that amateur sausage is a dying art for the amateur, I’m thinking that with quite a few kids around on the day, that at least that one of them might get me through to the next century as ‘the person that made their own sausages’. It’s the quiet hope of a mortality addressing near-forty year old. I also hope they remember the completely awesome birthday cake.