Here's the stuff:
I have been making sausage since I was old enough to walk. (I can remember standing on a chair to be tall enough to turn the hand crank on my Busha's meat grinder!) In our house, the men brought the meat home, but it was the ladies who processed it! From Irish Bangers to Polish Kielbasa to Greek Loukaniko. If it is a sausage, I love it!
I currently live in Lafayette, Indiana with my husband, toddler boy & assorted animals.
Five years ago, Santa brought me a very nice Propane Grill. (I was a good girl.)
Last year, Santa brought me a Weston 38" vertical Propane Smoker. (I must have been a very good girl!) I am just about dizzy with all the things I can do with my smoker!
I use a broken fridge in my consistently chilly 60 degree basement (with deep pans of saltwater for humidity) to hang meat to cure. Pancetta is a personal favorite. I firmly believe in technology to keep me safe... I use digital scales to measure cure mixes to a tenth of a gram, calibrated hydrometers & digital thermometers (with remote alerts!) so I do not have to take chances.
I am a long standing member of the "Church of Rytek" and am fortunate enough to have not just read my copy of Charcuterie to dog-eared shreds, I have eaten often at Polcyn's Cinco Lago in Milford, MI. I am currently struggling my way through the Mariansky brothers Art of Fermented Sausage.
Pork, beef, chicken, venison & rabbit. In that order. I just bought (7/28/2010) a whole cow and am ordering a dozen bunnies from my butcher. I will try anything, once. I ascribe to the belief that the only part of a pig you can't use is its squeak.
I have to deal with this beef I bought! Whew! I will be brining the rabbits, then barding them with pork fat and probably stuffing the chests with salt pork.
My projects for the next few months will include emulsified sausage (woo-hoo bologna!) dry salami & **maybe** a prosciutto or two, if I feel adventurous.
What I Need:
Advice. I read voraciously, but that only goes so far. I don't have a fraction of the experience some of you have. I need advice on everything from wood chips to preferred tools. I hope to make some friends, learn some recipes & share what little info I have.