Monday, February 27, 2012

Making Sausage

Three days went by and I did very little to prepare for the upcoming tournament besides think about it.  Many thoughts raced through my head about what I would use, and how I would use it.

The rest of my time was occupied with a trip to Northern Kansas for my Aunt's birthday party and making sausage links with Christina's family.

Friday night I had a terrible headache as I left town with our 2 boys and 2 of our nephews.  I picked Christina up along the way.  On the road we decided to stop and eat at The Great Wall Buffet in Great Bend.  Their food is always warm and fresh.  We made it to Gaylord late Friday night.

Saturday morning we got up around 8 to see when we needed to start processing sausage.  Christina's Mom told us that we would be starting around 9.  We got ready and headed to the house that the sausage making was going to take place.

There were several people there to help.  The process of making sausage was pretty neat.  We had a person cutting the meat into small cubes and weighing it out into 10 pounds.  Another person was making up the secret family German spice used to flavor the sausage.  They would take the meat and dump it into a mixer, dump the spice on top then mix the meat so the spice covered the meat.  The meat was then taken to the grinder and ground into sausage.

From there, the sausage was loaded into the stuffer.  It took 2 people to operate the stuffer.  One would turn the crank and the other would handle the casings and sausage as it was put into the casings.  The sausage was then handed to the tiers who would tie off the ends of the sausage and tie the end of the string to hang the sausage.  Then it was handed to the poker, who would poke holes in the casings for smoke to enter the casings during the smoking process.  The sausages were then loaded into a box awaiting the next step.

All of the casings had to be washed prior to using them as well.

Once we got through stuffing all the sausage, we took it to a smokehouse to let it smoke for 2 1/2 hours.  It was smoked with hickory.  The method used was cold smoking.  To do this a the bottom of a small metal box was filled with charcoal and lit.  Once it was going good, hickory chunks were added on top of the charcoal to start smoking.  The box was covered with a vented lid and placed in the smokehouse where the meat hung.

It was quite a fascinating process.  I was able to try out several of the roles of sausage making.  My main duties were to help with the tying and poking of the sausage.

After sausage making, I slipped over to Kirwin Lake to see where I would like to try some early morning fishing on Sunday.  The lake is a lot different than when I used to fish there all the time.  It would be hard to bank fish this time of year.  I tried casting out a few times for wiper.  There wasn't much time with the birthday party coming up so I didn't get many casts.

The birthday party was a huge success and I got to visit with a lot of my family I don't get to see too often. 

Sunday I spent some more time with my family before leaving later than I had originally planned on.  We made it back to Kiowa around 9:00 last night.  It was a very busy weekend.

The whole time we were up North I had a hard time getting information on the bassmaster classic.  The b.a.s.s. website on my phone did not have an updated security certificate, so I could not look information up directly.  I could find some news from papers around anglers hometowns so I was getting some information.  Last night when I got home I finally got to see how the tournament played out.  Congratulations, Chris Lane, on your big win.  Looks like you are off to an extraordinary season and career.

Christina & Gavin at the Tying Station

Getting the Coals lit for the Smokehouse

The Smokehouse

140 pounds of sausage hung and ready for smoke.

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