Im finally sitting down with a warm cup of tea to write our Fall newsletter. Things have certainly been slowing down around here. The maple trees have blanketed parts of our property in a thick layer of beautiful orange leaves, that the kittens are constantly chasing. The only critters left out on the pasture are our heritage turkeys. They've been keeping us entertained with their daily shinaningings. They will only be around for one more week, we'll be processing them the weekend before Thanksgiving. And unfortunatley, we are sold out. We've had a tremendous amount of interest in Heritage Turkey this year and we plan to raise quite a few more next year. Our pigs were sent to the butcher at the beginning of October and we delivered the last of the pork on Tuesday. I've already heard good things about the bacon, sausage and pork chops.
It is sausage making season around our house. We kept a half a pig for ourselves and I (Liza) butchered it back in October. We love sausage, so we use a lot of the meat for sausage making. Now that we have more spare time we can start thinking about making some sausage. I made a test batch of Fresh Garlic sausage last night. A new recipe I hadn't tried yet, it's delicious. A couple years ago I spent the Winter working at Sea Breeze Farm on Vashon Island. Sea Breeze is an amazing farm. They raise a lot of animals and they have a butcher shop where they butcher all their own meat. I had the pleasure of working one day a week in the butcher shop making sausage. This was not only fun but an amazing learning experience for me. So now every Fall we break out the meat grinder and sausage stuffer and make sausage. It's actually pretty easy to make sausage in your home kitchen. If you skip the links and just make ground sausage it's fairly simple. You can have your butcher grind the meat for you or if you have a hand-cranked grinder or meat grinder attachment for a Kitchen Aide, you can grind it yourself. Then the only other thing you need is spices and maybe some wine. There are some good websites out there for sausage recipes and also some good books. Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn shows step-by-step with illustrations how to make sausage, and it has great recipes. We love the spicy Italian Sausage recipe from their book. The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is also a favorite. It has good information on making your own bacon, sausage and even ham; including what to do with organ meats. A couple of websites I go to for recipes are The Spicy Sausage and Sonoma Mountain Sausages. We usually make breakfast sausage, hot italian, chorizo, campagne (a french country style sausage), and some kind of hot link (because Marianne likes the spice).
For those of you who missed out on Pork or Turkey from us this year, we are planning on increasing our production for next year. We are taking orders now for 2013. Get your order in early to make sure you don't miss out on our delicious whey-fed pork or heritage turkey. We are sold out of chicken for the Winter and Spring Chicken CSA shares. We will have more available next year for the Summer Share starting in July 2013.
On Sunday, November 4th we had the pleasure of doing a cooking class for the Olympia Food Co-op entitled, "How to Prepare a Whole Chicken." The class was full and we had a blast. We demonstrated how to roast a whole chicken using two different recipes side by side, Mark Bittman vs. Julia Child. We also demonstrated how to cut up a whole chicken into drumsticks, wings, thighs, and breasts. We are planning to do a series of classes this Winter. Some topics we're considering covering are bone broth, soups and stews, pork carnitas, and brining. Keep an eye out for the Olympia Food Co-op's Winter class schedule.