I headed to the basement; I needed to cut the meat and start to grind it. Usually, this would be a two-person job. One would feed the meat to the grinder, and then the meat would be mixed with herbs and spices. The mixture would age for a week. Then it would be put through the grinder again, only this time it would be stuffed in a casing and tied off. I helped Pa do this so many times. I’ll get the boys to help when it comes time to fill the casings.
I was well into cutting the meat and feeding it to the grinder. I had the feeling Pa was with me. One of the boys came down, and I hadn’t noticed until he put his hand on my shoulder. I jumped, he laughed. “You scared me.”
“I’m sorry, I made enough noise coming down. I thought you heard me.”
“I thinking about when my grandfather and I did this.”
“You were close to him?”
“Yes, he was like a second father to me. I spent a lot of my time here. He was the one who taught me how to make salami and sausage.”
“What can I do to help?”
“I need to cut the meat from the bones and grind it. Then I’ll mix the herbs and seasonings into the ground meat.”
So I continued to grind the meat. When we were done, I measured the herbs and spices into two containers, one for salami and one for sausage. The ground pork will be sausage, and the ground veal will be salami. Pa made a special sausage. If there weren’t enough pork to fill a casing, he would add ground veal to it. He said it was his specialty. It was different; that was true.
“I let this mixture rest for a while. This Saturday, I’ll start filling the casings. Then I’ll hang it, and next year it will be ready.”
“Yes, the salami and sausage must age. As the casing dries, it will squeeze the meat, forcing out the fat.” I got a salami and sausage that Pa and I made the last time we did this.
“That is what it is going to look like that?”
“Yes, exactly” He smiled.
Covering the vats with a cloth, taking the bones, going to the kitchen, I put the sausage and salami in the fridge. The bones, I’d boil with some herbs. The broth I would place in jars for use in soups.
Tom walked into the kitchen. He was in their apartment. “Charlie called; he will arrive in two weeks. I told him we would meet him.”
“Good, I’m anxious to get those cars working. Then I can return the rental.”
I had some prep work to do for school, and I wanted to read a little more from the family archives. “I have some school work to do, but I want to check out the chickens before it gets too dark. Care to go for a walk?”
As we walked to the barn, I visually checked out the garden. The tomato plants were still producing as well as the hot pepper plants. As I approached the barn, “We need to build a paddock for the horses to exercise. If I remember right, there are some posts back of the barn. I think they were part of the original paddock.”
“We can check that out. If the posts are there, it’ll give us an idea of the size of the paddock. Then we can order the wood to fence the area.”
I agreed to their plan. I still was concerned about where I was going to get the horses.
I was surprised when I saw the peeps, and they weren’t peeps anymore. There were two roosters, and I knew we’d have eggs soon. “Aren’t those roosters going to fight?”
“Yes, we’ll have to eat one, but they are still too thin.”
“I’ve never seen a fat rooster. I’ll ask my dad if he wants one. He doesn’t raise chickens, but maybe he should.”
“You said your dad has a farm.”
“Yes, but he raises corn, soybeans, and potatoes. I think he’s planning on raising oats. He said he has a customer who would like to have some oats for their horses.”
The boys laughed. They knew who that customer was. “We need to keep an eye out for farm auctions so we can buy four horses.” The boys nodded, and I knew they would do that.