According to my friend Ralph, the symbolic gift for the 12th wedding anniversary is not a precious gem or rich material but something much more ephemeral – sausage. In keeping with this pronouncement, hubby and I spent our anniversary weekend in Ralph and Lisa’s kitchen producing some 45 pounds of sausage in four varieties (bratwurst, breakfast, Italian and koubasa).
We really put my Kitchen Aid mixer to good use, including the sausage stuffing attachment which had, until now, gone unused. I will be sure to share some koubasa with my hunting friends Sue and Vance who provided the wild Saskatchewan goose and venison that we added to the mix.
Now that I think of it, every wedding anniversary should have its symbolic food. Any suggestions?
This recipe comes from Stocking Up: How to preserve the foods you grow, naturally, ed. Carol Stoner, 1977. (Ralph, if I got anything wrong, send a correction.)
2 ½ lb medium ground veal
2 ½ lb medium ground pork butt
2 tsp ground mace
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp salt
3 tsp white pepper
1 ½ cups water
1 cup bread crumbs soaked in milk
Put everything in a big bowl. Mix endlessly until the mixture becomes very smooth, dense and well incorporated. (This is where the Kitchen Aid dough hook comes in handy.) The proteins in the meat begin to bind as does the gluten in well-kneaded bread. Ralph’s wisdom: “Unlike bread, you cannot knead sausage meat too much.” Press the meat through the sausage maker into pork casing, twisting it off every 6 inches or so.
To cook the brats Wisconsin style (hubby’s contribution): Boil the brats in a pot with several sliced onions, two bottle’s-worth of beer and water to cover. After 10-15 minutes, remove the brats and brown on the BBQ. Serve on a bun with the onions.