Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Monday, February 15, 2010

Sausage Casings and other adventures..

Saturday we finally located a store that sold casings for sausage making! It was a pretty neat place too. Hubby and I had an outing there. It was a ways away, but Daughter called and needed a ride home from work, and it was along our route so we did that as well. We got our sausage casings at The Peach Stand in Fort Mill SC. 'Sal' who is a butcher there and I think must be from someplace in New York, gave us lots of tips and help and sold us some small portions of both lamb and hog casings to use. We ogled some of the meat in the glass case in the butcher shop there--it looked really really good--but also pretty spendy. Not in our budget right now, but if I ever want to make a really special meal I'll remember where to go.

I've been sick as I mentioned last time I posted. I didn't actually end up making my sausage. Hubby and #2 Son took that over for me. I still have a little left to freeze today and some will be cooked in spaghetti for dinner, but its all been ground up and spiced.

They used the hog casings up but had trouble with the thinner lamb casings. Our grinder apparently doesn't have a part that fits with the lamb casings. They would not go over it. Thus we have a great deal of bulk sausage that is not cased, which I'm freezing in one cup portions so it can be used for meals.

Hubby did it all backwards, I was napping so I didn't supervise. He made his maple breakfast sausages with the hog casings and ended up with bulk Italian sausage. I'd have gone the other way. No matter, it worked. He also used too much onion in the breakfast links, but decided he liked it. Next time its onion powder only. You learn things as you do them. I always said I had a big learning curve in life, why shouldn't he too?

I'm going to try to find a funnel of some sort that I can use to attach in some way to the grinder so we can use the lamb casings we bought. There is no appropriate part I can order for our machine. Luckily we only have a small amount and it was very inexpensive. Also--they keep up to a year or two in salt in the fridge so I don't have to worry about them.

I'm feeling a little better. Hubby is telecommuting today so I will have his nice heated jeep to do my errands. My car has a problem with the heat that we haven't been able to fix yet,its a vacuum thing and just requires more time and investigating than he has had time for. The AC works though--and living here that is the priority. Usually if I just wait til afternoon to drive it its fine. Other times I use a car blanket and bundle up. Old cars are such fun! But --no car payment--ever. Pretty good trade off.

I got a little more painting done over the weekend. The front hall is done now--except for the trim. I've picked out the last color I want to buy of paint before that rebate deals ends. Today is the last day so I am getting two more gallons of paint when I go out later this morning. I just love the living room color! It looks so warm and inviting and fresh--and it makes our poor old furniture look nicer as well--which is great because its got to make it a while longer yet. ;)

Hubby and I talked about Daughter's wedding and have decided we want to stretch this until May and possibly then have the outside wedding she wanted. We'll have more cash on hand then which will help. Hopefully it will work out fine. Its nice to have more time, I feel so much less stressed by that. I don't think her mind is all on a wedding right now anyhow, she's very preoccupied with baby thinking and also with her job. I was feeling a little too stretched by this, also I think with getting sick and the lovely issues of being an aging female.

I'm thinking more and more of my garden. I'm starting more flower seeds now than I was thinking originally. I will have a great deal of outside work to do once the weather warms up here-lots and lots of planting! I told Hubby yesterday that I already have about $300 worth of plants on my light stand, and I'm not done planting--and that doesn't account for what those plants will be worth at harvest time. Amazing the value of a seed!

My big expenses in the garden this year will be compost and mulch, other than our grapes and filberts which I still haven't ordered. I'm planning to spend time on my garden every day. The doctor wants me outside in the sun every day anyhow to keep up my D level, and I know the work will be good for me in so many ways besides being useful for my pantry and to beautify the yard. I had my vitamin D level re-checked last week and also calcium, no news yet-so I'm thinking it may have improved. They generally contact you if things need to be worked on. My fingers are feeling much better than they were--so now I don't know if it was the vitamins or the glucosamine chondroitin supplements I've been using. Whatever it was is worth it! There's nothing quite so annoying and busy hands that hurt.

I did NOTHING on my Etsy shop this weekend. I wonder if it is just not the time to do that right now.. I guess I don't have to rush. Right now I am concentrating on starting seeds and organizing more and more here and also on getting all our walls painted. Some still need the texture on them. My sons are doing that. I can paint walls--but not ceilings, they will help with all that too. I do all the trim painting so far. I also need to figure out how to cover windows--right now we just have sheets and some old blinds that I am removing as they fall apart. The blinds came with the place and I think must have been recycled. I'm recycling them further by cutting up the slats, bleaching them white again and using them for plant markers. They're very good for that.The dusty old blinds were OK temporarily for a construction zone but I'm pretty sick of looking at them. We have so many windows though! I have to be careful not to bust the bank on covering them. Eventually I'd like to have bamboo blinds in our living room and dining room but I'm not sure when that will be yet.

Soon there will be things to do for the wedding. I'm going to make Daughter a hair piece and I'm doing her flowers and decorating and probably the cooking. Always something! I also want to decorate an arch for them to be married under. I'm thinking I'll use wild green briar and silk flowers for that. We have green briar vines all over the trees down hill from here just on the other side of the stream. I need to tear them out anyhow, why not use them?

I always seem to have too much to do, but its good, I want to be useful and I think I am. The night comes when no [wo]man can work, as the Good Book says, so while we can, why not do so?

Well off I go to have breakfast and plot out my day. Have a Pokeberry Day!


  1. It is always fun to read all your writings. Keep on truckin, Mary!!!
    xoxo- Julie

  2. the should have all of your casings as well as attachments for your grinder. That's who we use.