The sausage maker with a secret recipe …
Every Saturday night, my Aunt Kay and Uncle Ray would come for dinner. The menu would always be homemade sausage, homemade baked beans, vegetables and pizza. My mother would make the sausage mixture which consisted of ground pork and many seasonings.
It was my job to make the sausage. We had an appliance that screwed onto the end of a table. It consisted of an opening that was just the right size to fit the sausage casing over, a deep well in which to put the mixture and a handle that turned to push the meat into the casing forming the sausage.
I would drop in the meat, turn the handle and make each sausage about six inches long. Then it would be time to put on another casing and continue the process until two or three pounds of sausage were made. The casings came in a jar and looked like tiny- transparent stockings only open at both ends. I didn’t know it then but found out later that they are really pigs’ intestines. I think most sausage made today may still use them.
And the Pizza …
My mother made two kinds of pizza … tomato, and egg and cheese. There was no such thing as thin crust pizza in those days, and not all the toppings they use today. Her pizza was at least three inches thick, and topped with tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. The egg and cheese pizza consisted of beaten egg, grated Romano cheese and parsley. About five minutes before it was done, she placed pieces of Mozzarella cheese on the top. This was a delicious recipe handed down from her family. It sounds easy, but there is a certain way to prepare it to come out right.
That is MY secret.
June Flori’s stories can be found in her wonderful book My Italian Family. Life in the Past Lane.