Listening to: A Little Lost (Arthur Russell - thanks to Geoff and Betty*)
Pigwatch: Kim's making nests, Molly's like a beachball
Weather: drying up, spuds can go in soon
The sausage-making equipment had been sitting in the corner of the kitchen for nearly two weeks, gleaming in the sunlight, looking all German and efficient.
So I thought I'd better take it out for a spin.
Not having any pork of our own yet, I bought some - roughly two-thirds lean shoulder to a third belly. My first mistake.
I minced the meat, mixed in breadcrumbs with salt, pepper, a little brown sugar, a teaspoon of ginger, sage and bayleaf and packed it back in the tray ready to fill the sausage skins.
Removing the mincing plate, I fitted the sausage-nozzle-filler thingy and threaded on about four feet of sausage skin, remembering to put a knot in one end.
I pressed the button and nicely seasoned pink squidgy stuff went all over the place.
Not enough hands, obviously. One hand to hold Fritz the sausage machine, one hand to shove mixture down the chute and another to ease the skin off the filler-nozzle thingy.
Frau TPF had been watching proceedings from over the rim of a mug of Earl Grey and stepped in to help.
I took charge of switching on and off and sausagemeat shoving, while Sal expertly eased the skin off as the sausages. . . err. . . oh dear. . . stiffened.
With barely an 'ooh matron', we fed all the mixture into the skin and set about forming links. After a couple of false starts we (or more particularly Sal) got the hang of it, the result being this. . .
. . . I was pretty pleased.
Taste wasn't quite as impressive. The pork was fine, but I'd been way too cautious with the pepper and there wasn't enough fat - the belly having been a good deal leaner than I expected - and the sausage was too dry. I'll order some back fat next time.
Still, I bet Mr Walls didn't get it right first time.
* Geoff of Contains Mild Peril and Betty of the eponymous Utility Room put together a mixtape of some favourite/recommended tracks - try it over on CMP.