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Tea Party Winners: Carla Gade's winner is Becky Dempsey, Andrea Boeshaar's winner Caryl Kane, Gina Welborn's winner Jasmine A., Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners book copy -- Lynda Edwards, teacup and saucer -- Wendy Shoults

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sausage Making in Colonial Virginia by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Sausage Making at Yorktown Victory Center in Virginia

Sausage making in colonial Virginia was quite a chore.  These two men are making sausages at Yorktown Victory Center in Virginia.  First the pork had to be chopped.  The man on the left used a cleaver to chop the meat into tiny pieces. This was very labor intensive, as you can imagine.

The pork was seasoned for the sausage with thyme and other seasonings, perhaps fennel and parsley and other herbs. The pork was first chopped into tiny sections and then transferred to a trencher or a bowl and then stuffed inside the casing.


The pork mixture was pushed through a funnel, to which the casement was "attached" by the sausage stuffer holding the casing to the opening in the funnel.

The Yorktown Victory Center does wonderful demonstrations this time of year about how farmers prepared food for winter.  Hogs were normally killed in late November and then the meat put up.


The sausage casing gets slippery and is difficult to keep attached.  In the picture below, the sausage maker is using two fingers to hold the casing to the funnel.

The meat had to be pushed through the funnel with a wood spoon, in this case, and into the casing.  This required some attention on the part of the sausage maker.

This looks quite different from the way my mother made sausage.  She had a meat grinder and ran the meat and seasonings through the metal grinder which had a crank handle. It had a section where the casings attached and if I recall correctly, there was a metal clip device that kept the casing on while Mom made the sausage.







Question:  Have you ever seen sausage made?  What did you think?  Do you make sausage or have you ever?

4 comments:

  1. haven't seen it being done live or done it. Seen it on tv but the more modern way. it would take a lot of strength.

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    1. Those guys were pretty strong who did this. But my mom did it with mechanical device and not as hard.

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  2. Have helped with sausage making. Pork sausage, liver sausage, blood sausage, potato sausage. All good stuff. Even with the modern conveniences, it's still a real job.

    One winter, my father-in-law and some friends were going to butcher three hogs, put down bacon, make sausage. I took the children to my mother-in-law's so she could watch them while I helped with the cutting and sausage making. I walked into the cold shed and there were twelve half hog carcases. I teased my father-in-law about his math skills. Six of us worked from eight in the morning til nearly four that afternoon, but the six hogs were all cut, portioned and wrapped for the freezer. The bacon was brined, and the sausage was stuffed.

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    1. Judith I was recently eating out with my brother and the people at the next table were discussing this very thing which totally grossed me out and I lost my appetite.

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