Sausage making

Consider this your anti-Super Bowl thread. Even more loaded with commercials than a regular season game plus John Madden whipping my ass for five hours? Bosh and flimshaw!

As Democrats maneuver their $1.2 trillion “stimulus” package through Congress and Republican pundits lament it as a vehicle larded up with pork, my mind turns to the old adage “there are two processes that one should never observe closely–the making of sausage and the making of laws.” In fact, I took it as inspiration to make some sausage of my own this weekend. Closely observing the process of freshly grinding well-marbled beef and pork shoulder, mixing in the seasonings, stuffing it into natural hog casings, then smoking it to perfection is sheer nirvana. Too bad one can’t say the same thing about watching Washington in action.

Barbecue is a hobby/obsession of mine and sausage making became an extension of that. One of my favorite foods is the sausage rings they make down in Lockhart, TX. There are three bbq joints in the town (actually four, but the three I frequent have roots that go back almost 100 years) and they all serve sausage that is pretty much identical. Since Lockhart is about a four hour drive, I decided to master sausage making at home. I haven’t quite replicated Lockhart sausage yet, but I’m getting there. The sausage I do turn out is better than anything you can get at a bbq restaurant here in Dallas.

One of these days I’m going to throw in the towel on the rat race and get out of the big city. I’ll live on the cheap, go to welding school, and have a go at building and selling bbq pits. I’ve got some kinfolk that live in a small town in Oklahoma that just so happens to have two welding schools. Pay cash for a house, live cheap, go to school, and chase my dream of earning a living doing something I really love. Is there anything more quintessentially American than starting a business fueled by your passion and the ideas you’ve written down after years of tinkering?

High end bbq pits are a boutique market that won’t be as affected by fluctuations in the economy. Plus it’ll help that the kin in Oklahoma include several well-connected lawyers and doctors. Cook a man bbq and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to bbq and he’ll spend all day sitting around the backyard drinking beer and go to bed smelling of sweet, sweet hardwood smoke.

So while Americans are forced to choke down a massive wad of dirty, greasy pork under the guise of economic stimulus I’m savoring spicy fresh-from-the-cooker and dripping-with-flavor bbq sausage. Equating law making and sausage making is an insult to sausage. At least no one will be paying for sausage making a generation from now.

Doubt we can believe in
I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords