Making Sausage: A Post of Dirty Implications

Thursday, April 2, 2009

“You two together are a scatological nightmare.” I read the words again in the succinct little e-mail from Elise. I chuckled to myself.

It may be a bit true, and by a bit I mean when you get Hank Shaw and myself together in a room I simply guarantee that the conversation will be jovial, entertaining and educational. We hold thoughtful discussions about the various theories and practices of food. We muse over preparation techniques, the use of ingredients, and who is doing/cooking/writing what. Stories are shared about everything from previous meals prepared to angry squirrels (and possibly meals of angry squirrels).

It all starts very Socratic and Watersian, but sooner or later the conversation breaks down into “fart and poop jokes” as Elise puts it. Unfortunately, or fortunately as it entertains me to no end, poor Elise is always caught in the middle of it. Our raucous conversations start well intended and thoughtful, but sooner or later scream down a supersonic waterslide into jokes and puns that you would expect to hear from boys on a grade school playground or the high school quad. Such a range I know, but we’re able to somehow bridge the liminal space of the two and cover every inappropriate topic plausible in the colorful rainbow of lewd conversation topics.

This last weekend, the whole process was only exacerbated as Elise, Hank, and me sat down to make and stuff sausages. Let me say it again: STUFF. SAUSAGES. Let your brain roll that gobstopper around a little more. Suck on the flavor of that for just a second. Stuffing. Sausages.

Just from that, the foul trenches of your mind spring to life and start bandying jokes that you would never utter around grandma. Let’s face it, the second I lift my eyebrow and smile in just that particular way and say I spent my entire day stuffing sausages, well… you’re going to start giggling to yourself.

So yes, we were joking non-stop about stuffing sausages, packing and beating meat, pounding hamburger, and forcing it into a tube. Whenever the meat was done chilling I had to go and whip it back out. At one point we all argued about the proper size of a sausage patty since, let’s face it, size matters. Of course, it only got worse when Hank started to actually push the sausage into their casings. The sounds… Oh, the sounds! Splut, spurt, blurt, sport, splut, thbbbbbblllphbt! My lord, we didn’t even have to say anything to start laughing.

The taste of these sausages was quite exquisite. They were some sweet, sweet Italian sausages that were just so spicy and savory and sweet. We moaned as we ate them, relishing every single drop of juice that squeezed out of them.

It should be no surprise that for every culture that makes sausages they have jokes that go right with it because, truly, the sight is just a little bit too that way.

So yes, it’s inevitable, allow boys into the kitchen and be prepared to participate, put up, or cover your ears.* Especially when they're stuffing sausages.

*But seriously, you should hear my mom or my friend Kaiti. They can be worse than me. They put the boys to shame.


  1. Nice. Hey, I never claimed to be regal...glad you liked the sausage. Heh.

  2. sounds like you guys had a lot of fun!

  3. the first time my (non-italian) husband joined in our annual sausage-making, his eyes got wide at the sight of the ladies feeding the casings onto the stuffer and handling the meat as it got stuffed into the casings...silly boy!! truly one of the things i am most proud of heritage-wise, along with canning millions of tomatoes and making wine! -carolina p

  4. Hah! Now I see why my boss tell me I'm outta the park! I look like a Grandma, but talk like a sailor! Your blog is a scream, too funny!

  5. We did a sausage fest with Cam & Anita and a few others a while back. Big fun, totally worth the effort, but yes, gives one the church giggles.


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