It was a very cold morning last Sunday. Mum said we were going to her and Dad's Italian friends' house to watch some sausage making. She had little faith in my stamina, thinking I'd get bored from all the outdoorsiness. At one point Dad asked whether I wanted something more glamourous. I surprised them both, and even myself - I had a great time. I put on my journalist and photographer hats and did some research in the name of Tune into Radio Carly. The hats were only metaphors. If I had worn a hat, I would have been much warmer! I think my enjoyment also came from wearing sensible shoes for the trip, too.
As Faux Fuschia says, vegetarians, look away now!
It was such an educational experience. It was like real life Food Safari! Aside from the sausages, so much produce is grown and made on these peoples' land. They provide vegies for the local markets. They make their own wines. I loved the self sufficiency of it all.
Mum and Dad's friends do an annual pig slaughter and sausage making fest on the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend. They have lots of their friends helping them out - they come from interstate for the event.
The pigs get slaughtered on Friday, the butchering is done on Saturday, sausage making is done on Sunday and clean up on Monday.
The sausages are made in a fully equipped shed.
This is a huge tray of pork mince for the sausages and salami. It is flavoured with chilli, salt and coriander. They mix the herbs and spices through it by hand.
The mince is cooked on the stove and taste tested to see whether more flavour needs to be added. Here's what I ate. Tasted good.
These are natural sausage skins, soaking in water, ready to be filled with mince. The skins are tied with string.
The mince is held in a big machine and someone winds a handle to feed the mince through a pipe. The sausage skin is attached to the end of the pipe.
Here is a salami being made.
The salami was THIS BIG!
These are sausages. They can be cooked and eaten straight away.
And these are salamis. They will be hung to dry.
I learned that the salt and chilli preserve the mince so the salami keeps fresh. The sausages are pricked to remove the air so they don't explode when cooking. I also learned that sausage making is a messy, cold job. I imagine being so self sufficient is tiring, but rewarding.
This is prosciutto being salted...
...and hung. Prosciutto is the Greek word for ham. You can find out more about it here.
This pot sits on a gas cooker. It's filled with stock for a cabbage soup.
This home built wood stove was lovely.
Here are some goats that their neighbour keeps.
The goats had recently given birth to eight kids. The kids were high up on the hill away from the humans.
The goats eat everything in sight. And they make a different sound to a sheep.
They had a cute dog that looked a bit like Toby.
It was a fantastic morning and I thank Mum and Dad's friends for letting me take photos and write about their tradition on my blog.