Does this look like 100 pounds of pork?
The girls, Connie, Julia, Aunt Cindy Bennett and cousin, Karli, removed the excess fat from the pork.
John and Garry took charge of the grinding. They said it was so much easier this year because they located the motor-driven grinder. Apparently Garry's dad loaned it to an in-law years ago and Connie happened to mention their need for it to a colleague at school who said, "yes, I have it, do you want it back?" Now is safely in the hands of the next generation of Essers.
Grinding the sausage into Mom (Bertha's) steam table pans
Following Mom (Pat Esser's) handwritten recipe
Garry added his own touch - minced garlic soaked in hot water.
Connie browned some of the seasoned sausage
And these guys, Karli, Brady, and Julia patiently waited to taste their work.
But Mom, Pat's, opinion ruled!
Perfectly seasoned sausage now ready for stuffing into the casings. I wonder how old that sausage stuffer is? Garry told me they found it in the attic of John's house!
Garry and Cindy sharing family stories, laughing because Pat recalled that her job, when she first experienced butchering and sausage-making with the Essers, was to clean out the intestines so they could be stuffed with the sausage. Ewwwuuuu!
The links are ready for smoking.
John tending the fire in the smokehouse.
I came home with fresh sausage patties!
I wandered around the shop and then sat on a chair to rest my ankle near the heat source. I asked Connie about the "furnace" and she told me it's an efficient little burner that is fueled by "dirty" oil from all the farm machinery. What a great way to recycle and reuse!
Garry's office....a few awards, John Deere miniatures, and St. Joseph, the Worker, right in the center. I suspect Garry's faith sustains him every year as he plans, plants, waits, and celebrates the harvest. How else could someone work at a job with so little control over the elements? This place is truly