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More Stories - The Way We Were

The Great Sausage Machine

ChefAl  had a really neat forum. The subject of spiedies (pronounced "speedies") came up.  I'd forgotten about these treats from upstate New York.  They consist of meat, usually marinated, and often veggies too, grilled and put into a bun with a sauce, sort of like a Meatball Sub See examples at the "" website

One of the entries is printed with Chef Al's permission.   By Darnell on Sunday, March 25, 2001 - 10:22 pm:

"I don't understand you giving us a puzzle and don't know the answer.  How come you expect us to know anything?

I tell you about them steedies, oops, speedies and sausage. I, Darnell Jellico, am old but once I was young.  We lived on a farm and made sausage.  You won't find our method on your home page but it was our method.  When the weather in November got real cold we have a hog killing.  About 5 or 6 of Pap's farm neighbors would get together and kill hogs.  I won't go into the scalding, scraping, gutting, and cutting up the meat.  It's the sausage you are interested in.  We had no electricity back then so we had to grind the sausage by hand.  Guess who got that job, us boys.  It was hard work turning the sausage grinder all day by hand. 

Me and Turner figured out a way to ease the labor a bit and speed up the work at the same time.  We replaced the handle on the sausage grinder with a pulley off an old binder, jacked up Turners old man's car, used a short wide belt from the sawmill and hooked it all up, rear wheel of the car and pulley on the grinder with belt around both. We made it nice and snug so it wouldn't slip or jump off.  We started the car and when Turner put it in gear that sausage mill began to turn at a feeroucious speed. I put a piece of meat in the grinder and zap it was gone in a split second.  Turner said we gonna need a hopper to feed that thing so we built a hopper out of an old cream separator.   

We tried it out on a couple of pieces of meat and it worked fine.  Purty soon the men brought the meat all cut up for the sausage and we explained our idea. All the women folks came also to pack and bag the sausage.  Everyone gathered round to see this sausage grinder get it on.  Counting the kids there was probably 15 or 20 people crowded in front of the sausage mill/grinder.  Mr. Matt filled the hopper with two three gallon of meat cut into little squares about 2 or 3 inches and Turner slid the car into gear, and just let it idle slowly.  Well sir that sausage came out fine and went right into the tub.  Why those people marveled and filled the hopper again.  Old Hamp yelled for Turner to rev. it up a bit and get the sausage made even quicker.  Now they had about 4 gallons of cut up meat in the hopper and Turner pushed the throttle wide open.

It was a disaster of monumental proportions. That sausage came out in a stream about 20 miles per hour.  It hit Mr. Matt's wife full in the face and curled all around her head and under her bonnet.  She never did find her glasses.  The bench, where the grinder was attached, sort of bounced around and the stream of pork got Lena, Mr. Matt, Florence and Nevie.  Poor Mrs. Lillie May was a little bitty woman and when the sausage hit her it knocked her down.  Nearly all the kids got covered also.  J.R.'s pack of coon hounds came alive and just about ate Mrs. Lillie May.  Just about that time Newell drove up in the old A Model Ford truck and he had 5 hounds with him and they joined the melee thus provoking J.R.'s hounds into a real fight over the meat.

Well they was some kind of screaming and yelling, growling and barking dogs, a fair to middling amount of cussing.  Babies began to scream and rub sausage in their eyes.  Turner looked at me and the mess and said, "Lets git".  We got.

We spent the night in Kinslow's barn."

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