Day by Day, Easy Food

Sausages and hams October 2019

This is not strictly foraged food…we no longer live in the days when one could head off into the woods, bow and arrows slung over the shoulder, and hunt down a wild boar. However, it is part of our seasonal living, an autumn tradition, and it’s fun!

We generally get our weaners in the spring time Spring learning April 2019 and keep them until they are about six to eight months old. It’s always a bit of a tearful farewell when they head off on their last journey and amazing how often they make a bid for freedom in the few weeks prior to this.

It’s lovely being part of a “pig group”. We’ve shared this experience with lots of families, over the past ten years or so. The initial little children who charged around the field, made dens, enjoyed picnics and learnt alongside us how to rear weaners are now at uni. The team now is fabulous and it’s heartwarming to see a fresh bunch of children enjoying all the same activities as our older ones did before!

Our family loves hams, so I always cure some of the joints. I’ve tried various recipes but I now tend to use a mixture of vinegar, salt, brown sugar, beer, cloves and peppercorns. Once it’s all dissolved and then cooled the hams need to soak in it, in a plastic tub, for the specified time before hanging for twenty four hours. I then pop them in the freezer…apart from one which we eat straight away!

Sausage making is lots of fun. It’s a little like alchemy, and my Bee Keeping Buddy is definitely a natural with the flavours.

I mix 50g toasted breadcrumbs with 1kg sausage meat and 5g salt. And then experiment with flavours! Herbs, spices, apples, leeks, wine…

and tasting is part of the fun.

Creating sausages is a little like a game show task and is always accompanied by lots of laughter, copious cups of tea, friendships forged and memories made.

Although we are sad to see the pigs go, we all look forward to sausage day, and the delicious flavours which emerge from it.

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