Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A family tradition. . .

This weekend was butchering weekend for my family.   We've done this every year (that we get deer I suppose) for as long as I can remember.   It's been carried down through the generations.  It's more of a guy thing though and I don't often help.   I help with food though!

The deer were shot, skinned, cut up and frozen in Nov.  Starting on Friday the guys start cutting up the pork.  That usually doesn't get totally done on Friday, but flows over to Saturday morning.  They continue to cut up and then start mixing, grinding and stuffing.  This weekend my Dad, my husband and my brother were making sausage.  My brother was only making summer sausage since he didn't have deer.  My Dad made both.  We also made bulk pork sausage, bulk deer sausage (it's mixed with pork) along with our deer sausage.  I guess I'm not sure if we made only summer sauage, we may have only deer sausage that's stuffed. I can't keep up!   We also made little smokies (smaller bite size sticks) along with full size sticks.  It's been a while since we've made smokies.

Here are some images from the weekend. . . .

This is the set up.  A *long* table in my Dad's shop.   Shaving underneath to catch any drainage.   My dad has a walk-in cooler which is convenient and helps in keeping everything cool.  Especially with the warmer days we had this weekend.

I told you this was a long table. . .   That's my nephew Mason sitting way at the other end. . . waiting for the action to start!

This is a bit blurry but this is my brother, his son in the orange, and my other nephew in the boots.  They are grinding the meat.

All ground up

Stuffed and tied. . . 

This is a panoramic shot I took with my phone.  The sausage comes to the smokehouse at our house to hang.  This image is deceiving because you can't really see how much there is.  There are many rows of meat behind the first.  I think my mom said about 100 full size sticks and 80 smokies.   They are hung in sections by owner and type of meat.   This is not a cheap endeavor and everyone has their own recipe so you gotta stay organized!

Yesterday my husband started the smoke.  The meat is smoked for three days.  I hate those three days.  My husband checks the smoke regularly and he smells like smoke for those three days.  He doesn't get showered or cleaned up in the evening until right before we go to bed.  He makes one last check and build up the smoke so that it lasts over night.  He comes in smelling so bad.  The clothes get tossed in the laundry room and he hits the shower.  I can't wait till the smoke days are over!  The smokies will hang for about 2 weeks and the large sticks for about 6.  All depending on the weather and they dry.  

It's an exhausting weekend as it's a lot of work and long days.  Friday night my mom and I fried fish the guys.  Yesterday they fried up some of the deer meat to try at lunch and my mom also made a big pot of spaghetti.   Sometimes they don't finish till Sunday.  It just depends.  This weekend they got everything stuffed and hung Saturday night and only had to finish clean up on Sunday.   

I love that my little nephews take part in this.  These kind of traditions fall by the wayside over the years.  It's very old fashioned and a reminder of times gone by.   I love it and I hope that the next generation learns how to do it and carries on the family tradition. 

1 comment:

  1. Man, I'm such a city girl. This is totally outside of my world, lol!