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When the DMV screws up your license, what do you do???? Make Snack Sticks...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well, it's been a interesting week around here.


Started the week on Monday with a letter from the GA Dept of Drivers Services telling me my GA license is being cancelled because "I" never took care of 4 tickets and an accident in NY in 1999.  Odd thing in, I was never in the State of NY in 1999, much less Harlem, NY.  Yep, I'm now another victim of mistaken identity from the National Driver Registry.


NDR was a good idea, but there are a lot of problems with the implementation. Idea was that states would enter problem drivers (DUI, suspended, no insurance, etc....) into a national database so these drivers could not just get new licenses elsewhere.  So in my instance NY DMV made an entry for someone with my name who lived in NY in 1999 and was in an accident with no insurance and never bothered to come back to court.  So NY rightfully puts that driver's info into NDR.


Well fast forward to about 2 weeks ago.  My GA license expires next month and I have the option of just paying to renew in advance online instead of going to a DDS office and waiting in the long lines (I have already completed the "real ID" process).  So I renew well in advance online.  As a part of the renewal process GA DDS checks the NDR and somehow made the determination I'm the idiot from NY. Not withstanding that GA has all my history back to the 1960's that shows I have always lived in GA and have a clean record.


So you get your WTF cancellation letter and call your DDS.  They say NY suspended my license and to call them.  So you call NY and they no, they suspended this other guy and did not notify GA I'm the same guy. And the rat race on the merry-go-round of government idiocy began....


After two days on the phone I finally get past the front line phone bank people at both GA and NY and talk to supervisors who can actually understand and appear to actually be concerned about this issue.  ID and a "it's not me" letter are faxed to NY so they can determine that I'm not the person who is suspended in NY and inform GA of this.


So today (4 days later), it appears GA has fixed this, but I still don't have a renewed license as they denied my request earlier based on the NDR....


Ok, enough of the back story....


So, What do you do when the DMV and DDS totally stress you out and screw up your license?  You make sausage of course!!!!


Figured I'd make up another batch of AC LEGG #116 snack sticks.  I picked up some 80% lean ground beef from the local Sam's Club instead of grinding fresh.  Did not use any pork in this batch.  I've posted the entire process for this before, and did not photograph the whole thing, just the high points.


The ingredients I'm using for this smoke.  I'm breaking it into 2 batches of 5 pounds as I'm not sure I have enough ECA for the whole 10 pounds (Note: ECA is not in this photograph as it's added the next day right before smoking).



Combined all the above with a little more cold water (the cure #1 was mixed with warm originally to help it dissolve, cold tempers it down as I want the meat to stay as cold as possible).  Mixed by hand for about 4 or 5 minutes until good and tacky (it will become very tacky when using phosphate binders).


If you don't have any of these 6 liter polycarbonate food storage containers, they are worth buying.  They come in sets of 2 at Sam's Club.  This one has 10 pounds of mixed meat and with the lid on it fits just perfect on my lower shelf of the fridge for an overnight rest before adding ECA, stuffing and smoking.



Did not take any photos of the stuffing, and smoking as they would basically look like every other snack stick post I've made.  I did smoke these in two 5 pound batches on the e-WSM electric smoker mod to about 152-154 internal temp after adding ECA just before starting the smoke.


Sample of finished product....



Most of the trimmed sticks were vacuum packed in sets of 10 sticks after "blooming" in a paper bag for 2 days (resting).  I did keep some out for eating but most were vacuum packed to preserve freshness longer.   Photo is not really staged well, but I had limited table space.  Wife is making the wedding cake for our oldest daughter who is getting married tomorrow.  I was happy for the space I could get and quickly exited the area.



A side note is I really like these VacMaster pre-cut vacuum bags that I bought from webstaurantstore.com  The price is very reasonable, they are triple ply and I've been using them for about a month.  They are my new favorite bag. A bag of 50 of these pre-cut is around $4.  I bought the pint bags (which are what I used for these trimmed sticks), quart, and gallon pre-cut bags.


post #2 of 10

Nice looking sticks.................Thumbs Up


I had NJ revoke my NC license a few years back. Said I owed them money from 20+ years ago "which I paid 20+ years ago". Asked me if I had my receipt!!!!! WTF? Had to pay again but at least got them to drop the penalties and interest for 20 yrs. So instead of around $500 bucks I had to pay around 140 to get my license reinstated. I will be buried with that receipt.

post #3 of 10

Those are some good looking sticks!

Sorry about the license thing!



post #4 of 10
Great looking sticks!

Dang that is cheap for the bags. How's their shipping rates? I normally buy from Lisa at VSU but those prices are better even with the 10 SMF discount.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Shipping is very reasonable. I bought 4 sets each of the pint, quart and gallon sizes as it was not much more than if I bought one of each, and it also moved my price per set to the next lower volume bracket. That gave me 200 bags of each size. Shipping was $11 for the entire lot and one box weighed 20 pounds (it came from three of their warehouses, GA, PA & NV).  It came real FedEx and not the FedEx US Postal partnership. I think they lost money on that shipping.  I like the precut bags but to buy the Foodsaver and other branded ones was way more expensive than these.   Like I said, I'm impressed with the quality of the VacMaster bags as they are commercial quality. 


This is what I paid for each set of 50 bags (in quantity of 4 sets or 200 bags):


Gallon - $11.17 for 50

Quart - $6.68 for 50

Pint - $4.45 for 50


Yeah, I've been buying from Lisa also, but I really really like these bags and the price.  They have rolls also, but they are the larger commercial unit rolls and will not fit inside the standard Foodsaver units.  You can still use the rolls, but you cannot close them up inside the unit (at least not until you use about 1/2 the roll).   But I really like the pre-cut

post #6 of 10
Lemonade from lemons for sure! Or, a darn good excuse to make some stuffed treasures!

I'm liking the vac bag prices too!
post #7 of 10
Tasty looking sticks! Have fun at the wedding!
post #8 of 10

Whew! I thought you were going to make sausage from a DMV employee.

post #9 of 10

i am a little stupid here, but what is ECA, and thats some nice looking sticks.


post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

ECA = Encapsulated Citric Acid.  


It give them that "twang" that commercial stick have.  You can also get the twang from fermented sticks, but that is a longer and more involved process.  Some people use buttermilk powder for twang, but IMO ECA is the way to go.  ECA is citric acid that is inside little capsules of solid fat.  The fat will melt at a certain temp usually in the 130-140 degree range and the citric acid can do it's thing.   You can also buy straight citric acid, but mixing CA with meat, or over mixing ECA and causing the little capsules to break open too soon can basically ruin your sausage.  It's gets grey and mealy if you break it open and let it sit in the fridge overnight (mixed with the meat).  You add the ECA as the last step before stuffing and then the sticks go straight on the smoker to start the heating process.  You do not put ECA in with the other spices and then let the meat rest overnight in the fridge.  You also do not grind the meat again, or use a grinder with a stuffer horn once the ECA is mixed in.  Mix the ECA by hand into very cold meat, and then use a manual stuffer.

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